The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal certifies Ontario Fire Service personnel to the respective Ontario Fire Service Standards based on the criteria developed by the Certification Council, approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal and agreed to by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. The Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA), clause 9 (2) (d), provides authority to the Office of the Fire Marshal for training and evaluation of fire service personnel.
In 1988, ‘Paradigm for Progress,’ a Task Force Report to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, recommended that the Professional Standards Setting Body (PSSB) be created with the mandate to develop a training, educational and certification system for the Ontario Fire Service.
The PSSB, under the auspices of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) and the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM,) has developed and published nine Ontario Fire Services Standards.
Purpose of Certification
Certification formally acknowledges that an experienced fire service personnel in Ontario meets the recognized job performance standards, and educational/training and job experience requirements as approved by the Office of the Fire Marshal and agreed to by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs.
Certification is not a means of determining who shall participate in the practice or profession of firefighting and its related activities. A lack of certification is only an indication that the individual has not applied for or completed the requirements of certification.
Terms of Certification
The initial Ontario Fire Service certificate is valid for five (5) years from the date of issuance.
Benefits of Certification
There are a number of benefits to fire service personnel certification.
Certification recognizes fire service personnel as professionals with specialized skills and an ability to provide quality, competent service.
Certification provides fire service personnel with opportunities to evaluate and document their performance, and compare their skills to each competency and the overall standard.
Certification acknowledges a fire service personnel’s commitment to ongoing training and lifelong learning.
Certification provides a concrete training path to follow.
Certification will support the credibility of fire service personnel in the completion of their regular and special activities such as, dealing with litigation.
Highly motivated people will continue to be attracted to the fire service because of the certification program.
Certification is a voluntary process and is based on a candidate’s ability to:
Meet established educational/training qualifications
Provide proof of current employment in a fire department in Ontario
Meet job experience requirements
Demonstrate competencies to standards
Candidates are required to submit their educational/training and job experience portfolios with required documentation to the OFM Certification Office at the time of application for certification.
Ontario Fire Services Standards and Job Performance Checklists are available through the OAFC office. Please visit our bookstore to order.