A duty of the Fire Marshal of Ontario is to provide advice on fire safety and protection matters by any number of means including newspaper articles, electronic media and otherwise as the Fire Marshal considers advisable. As such, it’s important that the following information be shared about some firefighter training courses being provided in the province of Ontario.
It has been brought to the Office of the Fire Marshal’s (OFM) attention that there are companies delivering various training courses where the issuance of certificates or other documentation may lead participants to believe that they have been certified or that they have received training from a company that is accredited to provide training to others. At the same time the issuance of these certificates and documents may inadvertently confuse or mislead hiring entities about the level of training provided and whether the candidate is in fact certified.
This information does not impact the colleges of applied arts and technology and registered private career colleges where a candidate completes all of the training requirements through the Pre-Service Firefighter Program. Upon completion of these programs the candidate is then eligible to complete the OFM certification testing and evaluation for all pre-service courses. This information also does not impact those companies that are providing training and not misrepresenting participants in the issuance and wording of certificates or other documentation.
The OFM, through its Academic Standards and Evaluation Unit, is the certifying body for the National Fire Protection Association standards in Ontario. The OFM is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board). The OFM is the only Authority Having Jurisdiction for Ontario certification.
The purpose of this public safety warning is to encourage consumers both in the fire community and those outside who are seeking relevant training and certification to ensure that the program they are participating in is delivered from an organization that is permitted to provide training using the credentials that are being advertised.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is illegal for a business or individual to give you false information or to claim that they have licenses, accreditation or certification when they don’t. Anyone who has questions about consumer protection in Ontario can visit the Consumer Protection Ontario website to learn about consumer rights and the protection available to you under the Consumer Protection Act.
The OFM says it is available to assist fire chiefs and interested parties in helping to understand the certification requirements in Ontario.