IFE Level 2 Certificate in Fire Science, Operations and Safety (VRQ)

Qualification Number: 500/5925/7

This examination is offered in South Africa in exam sessions in both March and October.


The IFE Level 2 Certificate in Fire Science, Operations and Safety (VRQ) has been developed by the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), representatives of Fire and Rescue services, and other fire professionals. The content and structure of the qualification have been established to reflect best professional practice and cover key knowledge and understanding in the areas of fire engineering science, fire service operations, and fire safety.

Aims of the Qualification

The IFE Level 2 Certificate in Fire Science, Operations and Safety (VRQ) has been designed to enable individuals to demonstrate a wide range of critical knowledge and understanding relevant to the role of firefighter. Success in the qualification will enable individuals to demonstrate that they can apply their knowledge and skills to provide solutions in diverse fire and rescue situations.

Target Audience

The qualification will meet the needs of:

  • Those employed, or preparing for employment, as firefighters who wish to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding relevant to the role;
  • Those operating in specialist contexts, such as aviation fire operations or fire safety inspection roles, who wish to demonstrate knowledge and understanding relevant to the role;
  • Other fire professionals who wish to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of fire engineering science, fire operations, and fire safety.

Learning Outcomes

Candidates who achieve this qualification should be able to:

  • Carry out mathematical calculations accurately
  • Understand scientific principles in relation to fire and the methods of extinguishing fire
  • Understand basic procedures and how to use equipment in firefighting operations
  • Understand the safety precautions and prevention methods used to protect individuals and the built environment

Qualification Structure

The qualification consists of one unit, Fire Science, Operations and Fire Safety (Ofqual Unit Reference number R/505/5748).

The unit is divided into three sections:

  • Fire Engineering Science
  • Fire Service Operations
  • Fire Safety
Candidates taking examinations should refer to the updated September 2022 syllabus which can be downloaded here.

Form of Assessment

The assessment takes the form of one three-hour examination. The examination contains 120 multiple-choice questions.  The examination is divided into three sections, reflecting the three sub-sections of the unit. Examination papers are structured as follows:

Section 1: Fire Engineering Science – 45 questions
Section 2: Fire and Rescue Operations – 45 questions
Section 3: Fire Safety – 30 questions

Examinations are designed to ensure that all sections of the syllabus are tested in each examination.

Examinations are provided in English only

Sample Exam Questions for the Level 2 Certificate are available for viewing by candidates.

Recommended Reading Material

Candidates should be aware that this reading list is advisory rather than definitive. Candidates should use the syllabus for the examination as their guide in deciding what reading materials they need to help them prepare for the examination – please see the section on Content below.

The IFE recommends that all candidates should read widely in order to extend the depth and breadth of their knowledge and understanding.
The IFE has applied the following criteria in determining which resources should be included on this recommended reading list:

  • the resource provides information that will be of benefit to the candidate in their professional life, providing depth and breadth of understanding;
  • the resource contains some information that will be relevant to part of the syllabus;
  • the resource is recognised by industry professionals as providing valuable information.

Candidates preparing for the examinations are advised to refer to the list below or the book list see here.

Grading and Certification

Successful candidates will be awarded a Pass Certificate.

In order to achieve a Pass, candidates must achieve at least 50% of the marks available i.e. 60 correct responses. (Note: grade boundaries are reviewed and confirmed by an expert panel review following each examination session in line with best practice awarding procedures.)

Candidates do not need to achieve a minimum number of marks in each of the sub-sections of the examination. The total number of correct answers from across the whole paper is used to determine whether or not candidates have met the minimum requirement to achieve a Pass.