Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) Endorsements

In recent years, the NSW government has introduced reforms designed to improve the quality of fire safety in buildings across the state. The most important change for building owners is the introduction of a new role, Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) APFS – previously referred to as Competent Fire Safety Practitioner (CFSP).

Under the legislation, building owners are required to engage an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) at each key phase of installing and maintaining a fire safety system, from planning, to construction, to ongoing yearly assessment.

As a result, Annual Fire Safety Statements now require an added level of assessment. By law, building owners are required to engage the services of an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) to conduct an in depth review of the essential fire safety measures in the building, to ensure they are performing to their installed specifications.

So if you are looking for an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) in the Northern Rivers NSW… look no further. Hawkins On Fire’s highly experienced and qualified Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) provides the following services:

  • Annual Fire Safety Statement Endorsement
  • Fire Systems Design
  • Endorsing exemptions to the Building Code of Australia for minor works to existing relevant fire safety systems
Call Hawkins On Fire today on 02 6625 2531 to book in our Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) service, or learn more by reading our FAQs on the NSW Annual Fire Safety Statement process below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes. On 1st of July 2020, it was made mandatory for all Accredited Practitioners (Fire Safety) to be accredited as “Fire Safety Assessors” under the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA).

It is important when choosing an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) to ensure that the individual holds accreditation for each of the Essential Fire Safety Measures in the building.

Hawkins On Fire’s APFS holds accreditation in the assessment of all essential fire safety measures.

Owners of buildings that contain essential fire safety measures are required by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 to issue an annual fire safety statement.

A fire safety statement is a declaration from the building owner(s) that the fire safety measures that apply to a building have been checked and continue to perform to the relevant standard. This declaration includes the requirement that an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) has:

  • Assessed, inspected and verified the performance of each essential fire safety measure that applies to the building, and
  • Inspected the exit systems serving the building and found that the exit systems within the building do not contravene the provisions of Division 7 of Part 9 of the Regulation.

A building owner must ensure that an annual fire safety statement for the building is issued each year and that a copy of the statement is provided to the local council and Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW.

The AFSS must be issued in the form approved by the Planning Secretary.

The AFSS can only be signed by the building owner or owner’s agent and not by anyone else. The Statement has a section for an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) endorsement. Although Councils may or may not send reminder notices regarding submission, the legal onus is on the building owner to ensure this annual statement is submitted by the due date every year.

Fire safety measures include items of equipment, forms of construction or fire safety strategies that are provided in a building to ensure the safety of persons using the building in the event of fire. It can include items such as portable fire extinguishers, fire hydrants, fire sprinklers, fire detection and alarm systems and lightweight construction. Fire safety measures include both essential fire safety measures and critical fire safety measures as defined in clause 165 of the Regulation.

Essential fire safety measures are often identified in the building’s fire safety schedule, where a schedule was required to be issued, or they could be included in the essential services list attached to an approval or order issued under the Local Government Act 1993. Essential fire safety measures are the fire safety measures that form part of an annual fire safety statement.

Critical fire safety measures are the fire safety measures that are of a nature or installed in a manner which requires periodic assessment and inspection at intervals of less than 12 months. These measures are specifically identified on the fire safety schedule and form part of a supplementary fire safety statement. A critical fire safety measure is also an essential fire safety measure.

The building owner is responsible for maintaining each fire safety measure to the required minimum standard of performance contained in the fire safety schedule. For fire safety measures that apply to buildings other than on a fire safety schedule, the measures must be maintained to the standard to which each measure was originally designed and implemented.


A fire safety schedule specifies each of the fire safety measures that apply to the building premises. The measures specified in the fire safety schedule will vary for each building and can be both essential and critical fire safety measures. The schedule also specifies the minimum standard of performance for each of the measures. This standard reflects the standard to which each measure is designed, installed and capable of operating.


Fire service providers generally conduct inspection and testing activities in accordance with AS1851-2012 ‘Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment’, or other Australian Standards as appropriate. When building owners obtain statements from their service providers, it would be normal for these to be in the form of a yearly condition report and contain Essential Fire Safety Measures to these routine service standards rather than the original installation standards. The job of a fire service provider is best illustrated by the activities in “Stage 2” of the figure below which is contained within AS1851-2012.

AS 1851-2012 Routine Service Fire Safety Equipment Diagram

As part of our routine testing and maintenance contract, Hawkins On Fire can also provide clients with a yearly condition report in accordance with AS1851-2012. This will form part of the information your Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) will evaluate in assessing the performance of the fire safety measures within the building.

In addition to our routine maintenance and testing service, Hawkins On Fire provides Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) services, which as shown in the diagram above, require a higher level of expertise and industry accreditation under the new legislation.

The simple answer is no. Under the new legislation, the role of the Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) is specially designed to be an additional and more holistic check that encompasses more than your routine fire inspection, testing and maintenance schedule.

The role of a fire maintenance contractor is to provide ongoing inspection and testing of Essential Fire Safety Measures to routine service standards. Building owners and/or tenants will usually receive statements in the form of a Yearly Condition Report.

This, however, does not provide the level of detail required under the new legislation to comply with the role of the Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety), as a maintenance provider.

Hawkins On Fire is ideally placed to undertake routine testing and maintenance of your fire safety measures. Additionally, Hawkins On Fire is able to provide Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) services to:

  • Assess and endorse your Annual Fire Safety Statement, and
  • Prepare Fire Systems designs
Call the Hawkins On Fire team on 02 6625 2531 to get a quote on Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety) Services for your building or project.

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We've been keeping the Northern Rivers
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Areas We Service

Hawkins On Fire is the leading independent fire safety provider to the Northern Rivers of NSW. With our office centrally located near Lismore, our service area spans from Tweed Heads down to Grafton and out west to the Great Divide.

Alstonville | Ballina | Bangalow | Banora Point | Bexhill | Bogangar | Bonalbo | Broadwater | Brunswick Heads | Byron Bay | Cabarita Beach | Casaurina | Casino | Chinderah | Clunes | Coffs Harbour | Coraki | Corindi Beach | Dunoon | Eltham | Evans Head | Ewingsdale | Federal | Goonellabah | Grafton | Junction Hill | Kingscliff | Kyogle | Lennox Head | Lismore | Maclean | Mallanganee | Modanville | Mullumbimby | Murwillumbah | Nashua | Nimbin | Ocean Shores | Pottsville | Skennars Head | Suffolk Park | Tabulam | Tumbulgum | Tweed Heads | Urbenville | Urunga | Wollongbar | Woodburn | Woolgoolga | Yamba