MAF Associates Expands Industry Accreditations to Boost Training and Recruitment
MAF Associates has bolstered its credentials as one of the UK’s leading fire risk assessment and fire safety consultancies, adding three key industry accreditations to its already impressive roster of associations.
In response to unprecedented demand for its service, especially relating to external facade surveys and cladding inspection, MAF Associates has joined the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the Fire Sector Federation (FSF) and the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP). This adds to well-established partnerships with BAFE Fire Safety Register, the Fire Protection Association (FPA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), among others.
“With so much demand for the services we offer, we see membership of these organisation as vital to cooperation across the industry, not only to build our own profile, but also to share vital knowledge and training,” said Mike Fox, founder and MD of MAF Associates. “One thing that has been made clear in the aftermath of Grenfell is the lack of qualified operatives in our industry, especially relating to external fire inspections and surveying. We’re determined to work with industry bodies and other businesses to address the short-term skills gap and devise long-term solutions.”
As one of only a handful of UK firms able to offer the full range of services necessary to ensure compliance with the Fire Safety Act 2001, including the stipulations relating to facades and cladding, MAF Associates is acutely aware of the need to enhance skills and training for existing fire risk assessors and surveyors, as well as encouraging more people to enter the industry. Mike estimates that there are fewer than 200 people fully qualified to undertake the examinations mandated under the legislation, with at least 200,000 buildings requiring inspection.
Mike added: “With recent changes to EWS1 requirements, there is still some uncertainty over the number of buildings involved here. It could go as high as 1.2 million, but even at the lowest threshold, we simply do not have the manpower to deal with demand. Many organisations, such as the FIA, are already working to boost skills and awareness, and my team will do all we can to support this.
“As a company, we are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitably qualified and experienced personnel, especially with regards to the new regulations and responsibilities mandated under the FSA. As an industry, we clearly need new blood. This is not going to happen overnight, but we can clearly do more by working together through industry associations and training organisations.”
MAF was founded in 2010 by Mike, building on three decades of experience in the construction sector, including posts with roofing, cladding and building products companies. Since 2015, he has built MAF into one of the UK’s leading building inspection and investigation businesses, providing detailed reporting and analysis for insurers, building management and construction companies. The company’s clients include many household names, including Persimmon, and the aim of the MAF team is to build trusted, long-lasting partnership with all clients.