Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Seeking Input on Proposed Firefighter Certification Standards
Date: February 4, 2022
On January 28, 2022, the Ontario government released a draft regulation under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. As the government states, the regulation would establish mandatory minimum certification standards for specific fire protection services.
The regulation sets out the mandatory minimum standard and corresponding job performance requirements of firefighters delivering specific fire protection services, together with a compliance deadline (a four or six-year timeline depending on the fire protection service). Certain firefighters would be exempt from these certification standards based on their prior knowledge, training and skills. Exceptions are also proposed for firefighters, in limited instances, who have been a firefighter for no more than 24 months and are operating under the supervision of a certified firefighter.
The government states that this certification model would, among other things:
- require municipalities and territories without municipal organization to meet the certification standard that aligns with their level of fire protection service,
- require certification to full National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards,
- prevent the need for re-certification of firefighters, if the requirements for obtaining a certification standard are subsequently updated or changed, and
- allow fire departments to apply for a letter of compliance based on previously completed training and existing skills and knowledge for existing firefighters.
As the government states, the regulation does not change or add any new regulatory requirements for fire departments that are already training and certifying to full NFPA standards.
The government is seeking public input on this proposed approach and will review all feedback received by February 28, 2022.
The regulation is proposed to come into force on July 1, 2022.
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