Page 15 - October 2022
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Past Master Awarded Honorary Life President Peter Cowland recognised for his contribution to the IFSM
 Peter Cowland with IFSM President Dr Robert Docherty and Chairman David White
At a recent ceremony at the MK Dons Football Conference Centre, Past Master Peter Cowland was awarded Honorary Life President status in the Institute of Fire Safety Managers.UntiltheirAGMin2021 he had been their Treasurer since 1995 and now enjoys “back bench“ duties.
The Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) was formed in circa 1995 at the offices of the Fire Protection Association, then at Borehamwood in Hertfordshire. Some like minded people came together in support of a number of individuals who had completed the European Central Fire Protection Association Diploma in Fire Safety. This was a two year modular study programme concluding with a lengthy dissertation and an interview by highly regarded individuals in the fire industry.
Approaches had been made to a number of fire professional bodies who felt that the academic standard represented by the CPFA
Diploma did not equate to some of their levels of qualifications. This being the case, the then FPA Director suggested a self-support and networking institute be formed. This was duty done and a committee formed to run events of interest and support for CFPA Diploma holders. Full “Member” grade was offered to those with the diplomas whilst an “Associate” level was offered to others still working on their qualifications or holding responsible fire safety management positions both in the commercial world and fire brigades.
PM Peter Cowland recalls that, due to the kind offices of the FPA and because all officers were voluntary in post, the annual subscription was able to be set at just £12 pa! Gary Whitworth, former Chief Fire Officer of the Kent Fire Brigade, became the first President.
Initial membership was about 15-20 persons working in such companies at Land-Rover
Jaguar in Birmingham, British Telecom, Marks & Spencer, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Kent and BNF (Sellafield Power Station) in Cumbria. As more individuals qualifiedwiththeCFPADiploma, so the numbers grew.
In 2002, due to growth, it was decided that a new management team should be formed at which time Dr Bob Docherty QFSM PhD CEng and (Liveryman) Ken Day, amongst others, joined the IFSM Council.
Seminars and local conferences were organised and the IFSM grew. New members also came along following attendance at events as guests. By 2010 they were up to approximately 390 members!
Their initial Fire Risk Assessors Register was formed in about 2013 after which it developed into the Third Party Accreditation example they have today.
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