Level 3 diploma

IFE Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety (VRQ)

Qualification Number: 500/6216/5

All units of the Level 3 Diploma are offered in the March exam session.  Only Unit 6: Fire Service Operations and Incident Command is offered in the October exam session.

Introduction

The IFE Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire 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 has been established to reflect best professional practice.

Aims of the Qualification

The IFE Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety (VRQ) has been designed to enable individuals to demonstrate a wide range of critical knowledge and understanding relevant to a number of fire professional roles such as Watch Manager in the Fire and Rescue Service, Fire Safety specialist and Fire Investigation specialist. It focuses on the underpinning understanding of fire engineering science and safety that individuals need in order to assess situations and to respond to diverse hazards and incidents.

Additionally, success in achieving this qualification will enable candidates to meet the academic requirement for membership of the Institution of Fire Engineers at Graduate grade (GIFireE).

Target Audience

The qualification will meet the needs of:

  • Those employed in fire and rescue service roles across the world, particularly those who are either already in Watch Manager or equivalent roles or those who wish to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding relevant to the role of Watch Manager in preparation for promotion to this role
  • Those operating in specialist fire and rescue contexts such as aviation or fire prevention/fire safety audit roles who need to develop and apply a wide range of knowledge and understanding in their role
  • Other fire professionals who wish to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of fire science, fire safety and other specialist areas

Qualification Structure

The IFE has made changes the structure of the Level 3 Diploma. The changes took effect in March 2021 examinations.

The changes are all structural and the content of qualifications remains unchanged. New qualifications are directly equivalent in all ways to the previous units/qualifications.

Previously the components were presented as “units” within the structure. From 2021, each of units will be presented as a separate qualification and will be named “Certificate not unit”.

In order to achieve the Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety, candidates need to achieve four of the qualifications listed below ie the Level 3 Certificate in Fire Engineering Science (not to be confused with the Level 3 Certificate Unit 1: Fire Engineering Science), the Level 3 Certificate in Fire Safety (not to be confused with the Level 3 Certificate Unit 3: Fire Safety) plus two of the other qualifications. The qualifications below are equivalent to the former unit examinations. .

Mandatory Units

  • IFE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Engineering Science (formerly, Level 3 Diploma Unit 1- Fire Engineering Science)
  • IFE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Safety (formerly Level 3 Diploma Unit 2 – Fire Safety)

Optional Units – Choose 2

  • IFE Level 3 Certificate in Aviation Fire Operations (formerly Level 3 Diploma Unit 3 – Aero Fire Studies)
  • IFE Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management (formerly Level 3 Diploma Unit 4 – Human Resource Management in Fire and Rescue Services )
  • IFE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Service Operations and Incident Command (formerly Level 3 Diploma Unit 6 Fire  Service Operations and Incident Command International)
  • IFE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Investigation (formerly Level 3 Diploma Unit 7 Fire Investigation)

Restrictions on Optional Units

Candidates should note that Unit 3 (Fire Service Operations and Incident Command – International) may NOT be used in combination with Unit 6 towards the Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety due to the level of content overlap between these units.

Selecting Units

Other than the combination restriction noted above, candidates may choose the two units that are most appropriate to their own situation and/or the requirements of their workplace.

Form of Assessment

Assessment takes the form of one three-hour examination. The examination is closed book and provides a summative assessment of the full range of learning specified in the content  below.

Examinations are provided in English only.

Candidates will be required to complete six questions from a choice of eight questions. There will be 20 marks available for each of the questions.

In order to achieve a pass, candidates will be required to attain at least 40% of the 120 marks available to them via the six questions (ie 48 marks).

Candidates who answer fewer than six questions will be able to achieve a pass as long as they achieve the minimum pass mark of 48. Where candidates answer more than six questions, candidates will not benefit as only the six best responses will be included in the final total mark.

Certification and Grading

Candidates achieving the required combination of components will be awarded the IFE Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety.

The qualification is not graded.  Successful candidates will be awarded a Pass.

Results of examinations will be reported as follows:

Pass – this is awarded where candidates achieve a mark between the minimum pass mark of 48 marks (ie 40% of the marks available) and 71 marks(59%).

Distinction – this is awarded where candidates achieve a mark of 72 or above (ie 60% or more of the marks available).

Fail – candidates who achieve 47 marks or fewer will receive a result showing Fail. Where candidates receive 24 marks (ie 20% of the marks available) or fewer, the result will show Fail (X).

Candidates who are unsuccessful in the examination may re-sit the examination. There is no limit on the number of times that candidates may re-sit. Note: The IFE reports results as described in the bands above. However, candidates who wish to know the specific mark awarded to them may email the IFE for this information.

Candidates do not need to achieve all four components at the same examination session. Candidates who achieve fewer than four components at one examination session will receive the relevant qualification certificates.

Candidates are required to achieve the four components within five years. This means that candidates who achieve relevant qualifications (components) in 2021 may combine these with achievements from 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017.

The IFE will automatically issue a full Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety certificate at the point where candidates have achieved all four of the components required.

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