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Hydrock fire safety team spearheads industry competency standards

James McNay \ 17th Apr 2023

Our fire safety division has launched a ground breaking in-house technical development programme, developed to ensure that our teams have the skills, knowledge and competency to deliver world class consultancy. Quite simply, we want to set the standard for technical excellence in the fire safety industry, both in the UK and internationally. Our fire team members embarking on the pathway from graduate to chartership, will be provided with a structured syllabus which drives a culture of technical excellence, with continuous learning and development central to improving technical knowledge.

Supported by leading experts in the field, including Professor Jose Torero Cullen, Department Head at University College London and an instructed expert of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, this is a reflection of Hydrock’s desire to be a force for good, a great place to work and our aspiration to spearhead industry competency, whilst paving the way for a new era of regulation.

James McNay, divisional director of fire safety explains the importance of launching a technical development programme:

Since the Grenfell Tower fire, in June 2017, resulted in 72 of its occupants losing their lives the UK construction industry has grappled to create a regulatory regime and culture to prevent such a tragedy happening again. Subsequently, there has been a paradigm shift as societal constructs command that everyone in our industry should aspire to reach a higher standard - especially from those responsible for building safety. Inevitably, there has been much scrutiny on the work of fire safety professionals and their technical competency to develop fire safety strategy and provide fire safety advisement on complex buildings.

James describes the guiding mission of the fire safety team:

Hydrock has been meeting these challenges ‘head on’. One of our missions has been to address the chronic shortage of fire safety professionals by ‘growing our own’ - investing in academic learning and formalised training of our staff. Hydrock’s fire safety division now has over one hundred team members. To date, we’ve put over 20% of our staff through a masters in fire safety engineering, with 10% more currently studying to achieve this academic milestone. We are also currently sponsoring PhD research, as well as the International Masters in Fire Safety Engineering course (IMFSE). In addition, we’re passionate that more woman are given leadership opportunities in the fire safety industry, which is why we were the headline sponsor of the recent IFE Women in Fire Safety Conference and a sponsor of the upcoming Women in Fire Safety Awards.