FD&A System Installer Level 3

The FIA AO Level 3 in Fire Detection and Alarm Installation, Theory and Regulatory Requirements is intended to provide technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary to work on the installation and testing of new systems according to a provided system design. Technicians will understand the specific requirements of current and relevant UK legislation, BS 5839-1 and other associated standards where applicable, the technologies available through to installation and fixing techniques, testing methodology fault finding and certificating the work carried out.

This qualification is not linked to any manufacturer of fire detection and alarm (FD&A) equipment and will not include specific requirements set by those manufacturers for making connections, programming and testing. It is strongly recommended that technician’s complete product specific training from their chosen manufacturer in addition to completing this qualification.

Learner Benefits and Objective

Learners successfully completing this qualification will understand and apply the recommendations of applicable standards and guidance in order to ensure compliance through their installation and testing of new systems. They will understand and be able to apply their knowledge of:

  • Current legislative and regulatory requirements with references to differences across UK nation(s)
  • Understand and interpret design plans, recognise when changes in building construction or use lead to design plans that do not relate, and when the design plan requires revision by the designer.
  • installing a system according to the design plan
  • applying industry best practice in installation techniques and methodology
  • applying industry best practice in testing methodology
  • completing installer certification, documentation and diagrams

The objectives of this qualification are to:

  • Prepare the learner for employment in the FD&A sector as a Systems Installer
  • Prepare the learner to carry out their duties in the FD&A sector as a Systems Installer
  • Prepare the learner for career progression to more advanced qualifications in the FD&A sector, in particular to qualifications as a System Commissioner and System Design


Qualification Structure

The qualification is made up of 4 compulsory units.

Compulsory Units  Guided Learning  Directed Learning  Invigilated Assessment  TQT
FIA AO Level 2 Foundation in Fire Detection and Alarm    16 Hrs 1 Hr 1:10 Hr  18:10 Hrs
FIA AO Level 2 Environmental for Field Service Technicians  4 Hrs 0 Hr  1 Hr  5 Hrs
FIA AO Level 2 Health and Safety for Field Service Technicians  8 Hrs   0 Hr 1 Hr 9 Hrs
FIA AO Level 3 FD&A Systems Installer  16 Hrs  8 Hrs 2 Hrs  26 Hrs
TQT for this qualification  44 Hrs  9 Hrs  5:10 Hrs  58:10 Hrs

This qualification is graded as Pass/Fail, a successful pass for all units will be required for award.

Key to the table:

  • Guided Learning: The activity of a learner being taught or instructed by, or otherwise participating in education or training under the immediate guidance or supervision of a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other appropriate provider of education or training (e.g. attendance on a training course), expressed in hours
  • Directed Learning: Learning completed by the learner that is not under the direct supervision or immediate guidance of a lecturer, supervisor or tutor. Directed learning includes all forms of study completed by the learner outside of the direct control or influence of the centre as defined for Guided Learning (above), expressed in hours
  • Invigilated Assessment: The participation of a learner in the activity of being assessed for a qualification where the assessment is subject to invigilation but takes place without the benefit to the learner of the immediate guidance or supervision of a lecturer, supervisor, tutor or other training provider of education or training, expressed in hours
  • Total Qualification Time (TQT): The number of notional hours which represents an estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required, in order for a learner to achieve and demonstrate the achievement of the level of attainment necessary for the award of the qualification, in undertaking each of the activities of guided learning, directed learning and invigilated assessment. Expressed in hours


The TQT for this Qualification allowing for completion of all units is estimated by the FIA AO to be 58:10 hrs. It is the responsibility of the centre to decide the appropriate course duration based on learner’s ability and level of knowledge held. It is not unreasonable therefore that the number of guided learning hours may vary between centres, and so the TQT serves only as guidance for both learners and centres.

Learner Eligibility

  • Age Range - This qualification is approved for learners aged 16 and above
  • Geographic Location – This qualification is recognised by the regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is therefore suitable for learners working in each of these UK Countries, changes have been made to the qualification criteria in order to reflect the specific legislative requirements of each
  • While not yet recognised by the regulators for Scotland, this qualification has also been developed with a view to future recognition in this UK country and changes have been made for the benefit of learners located in Scotland and the Border areas
  • Learner Entry Requirements – There are no pre-requisite entry requirements for registration and completion of this qualification, however learners should be proficient to level 2 in core skills (Literacy, Numeracy and Communication)
  • It is recommended that learners entering this qualification have previously gained field experience either in FD&A and/or appropriate levels of education/experience in associated industries


Learner Progression

This qualification will serve as an early step in a career in the fire industry and will form a basis for learners who later wish to progress to other roles, specifically for career progression toward the following qualifications.

  • FIA AO Level 3 in Fire Detection and Alarm System Design, Theory and Regulatory Requirements.
  • FIA AO Level 3 in Fire Detection and Alarm Commissioning, Theory and Regulatory Requirements.

Full specification»