Dr Bob Docherty

Fire Safety Consultant

Author Bio ▼

Dr Bob Docherty is a fire safety consultant and fire engineer. He joined the Fire Service in 1968 and started his own business in 2001 after a 33-year tenure in the service. Bob was honoured in the New Years Honours in 2001 with the award of the Queen's Fire Service Medal for his contribution to the Fire Service. He has delivered many papers at conferences and seminars throughout the world and has contributed articles to many technical journals. He has also written the book, Airports and Aircraft, Fire Protection, Firefighting and Rescue Techniques. Bob continues to be active in the field of fire safety/engineering and is the Secretary General for the Institute of Fire Safety Managers. He is involved in the education of fire safety engineers in the UK and abroad, especially at a higher educational level, and he sits on various committees that are linked to this subject. He is also a verifier and contributor to training in industrial fire brigades through JOIFF and lectures to the MSc course in fire safety engineering at the University of Central Lancashire, with particular reference to qualitative risk assessments.
March 5, 2018

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IFSM apprenticeship

Why we’re launching an apprenticeship standard for fire risk assessors

Just as we go to press for the latest edition of Daedalus, I can now let members know that we’ve developed an apprenticeship standard for fire risk assessors.

In the world of competencies we all have to start somewhere. If we’re to be successful as a professional body, we need to exert influence young professionals who want to enter the world of fire risk and fire safety management.

There has been a lot of talk lately about how a person ‘claims’ to be a fire risk assessor. I won’t rehearse those arguments here as we all know what they are.

However, if we’re to start to improve the fire risk assessing profession then we need to set up our own building blocks and pathways to give our young professionals a platform for proving competency.

Last year the council gave the go ahead for Chris Richards, Graham Green and myself to explore how we could achieve this and we quickly agreed on setting out an apprenticeship for fire risk assessors.  Once agreed, Stuart Cocking and I set out to write that standard.


This was our criteria:

“The key function of a Fire Risk Assessor under the initiative will be to carry out fire risk assessments of simple/less complex premises which can be described as small buildings with a simple layout such as small shops, offices or industrial units with non-complex means of escape and life safety issues.”

That definition of simple or less complex buildings is defined more specifically in the actual standard.

The standard is set at Level 2 and lists the knowledge and skills required at this level. Council has now approved the final document and the next step is to enter discussions with various educational delivery systems to see how best we can introduce this to interested young professionals.

Once we achieve this, it is Council’s wish that the standard is shared throughout the fire sector. The standard will then form the first step in the national competency framework that we’re working on with the Fire Sector Federation.


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Hi, my son is due to end school in August. I’m a fire safety professional with over 30 years service in a local authority, fire service (Lancs) environment and 10 years in fire safety. I have a CertEd teaching qualification, with CPD, and a level 4 diploma in fire safety (XACT). Therefore can I assist him in this field immensely. Please advise?