You are likely aware that JIBC is the only entity in British Columbia dually accredited by both the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (commonly known as The ProBoard®) and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). You have probably been personally issued multiple certificates bearing Pro Board® and/or IFSAC seals. But what do those shiny stickers really mean? In order to answer that question, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of the FSD’s two accrediting bodies.
The Pro Board® offers an internationally recognized means of acknowledging professional achievement in the fire service and related fields. Through accredited agencies such as JIBC, Pro Board provides a national and international level of recognition for members of the fire and emergency service who have demonstrated proficiency in meeting the National Fire Protection Association’s® (NFPA®’s) professional qualifications standards.
As Pro Board® (n.d.) asserts, “Professionalism has long been a goal sought by members of the fire service. It has only been within the past 25 years that a system has evolved to produce national professional qualifications standards that an entity can use to establish performance measures for personnel. Entities that achieve Pro Board® accreditation are recognized as having met the rigors of review by an independent organization. This third party independent review is the best way to assure candidates and governance bodies that the entity’s program meets the national standards.
Pro Board® recognized certification from an accredited entity is a statement of success, an indisputable mark of performance belonging to individual fire service professionals. Each successful candidate for certification from an accredited entity knows that he or she has been measured against peers and meets rigorous national standards. Certification affords the individual a uniformity and portability of qualifications. In addition, the credibility of an organization is enhanced by having members certified to national consensus standards.”
As explained on their website (n.d.), “IFSAC is a peer-driven, self-governing system of both fire service certification programs and higher education fire-related degree programs. The IFSAC Certificate Assembly provides accreditation to entities that certify the competency of and issue certificates to individuals who pass examinations based on National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) fire service professional qualifications and other standards approved by the Assembly. The IFSAC Degree Assembly accredits fire science or related academic programs at colleges and universities.”