Technician Registration & Renewal Process

 1.        GENERAL INFORMATION


Appendix A of CAN/ULC-S536 Standard for the Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems states that “any person who performs the annual test and inspection of a fire alarm system should be familiar with this Standard and have suitable formal training or sufficient experience acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction”.  The CFAA Fire Alarm Technology Program has become widely accepted across Canada as providing suitable formal training acceptable to Authorities Having Jurisdiction.

 Several provinces have issued statements to the effect that the CFAA Fire Alarm Technician Education Program has been accepted by them, as meeting the intent of their fire codes, respecting the personnel who are deemed to be acceptable to perform inspection and testing of fire alarm systems in their respective jurisdictions. 

 The Canadian Fire Alarm Association provides a service to all persons who have successfully completed the CFAA Fire Alarm Technician Education Program and field experience, and who can therefore expect to be accountable to the Authorities Having Jurisdiction under CAN/ULC-S536 Standard for the Inspection and Testing of Fire Alarm Systems.  This service provided by the CFAA is a registration service, whereby the CFAA will:

  • Issue the CFAA Fire Alarm Technician with a personalized photo-id badge and certificate,
  • Create a CFAA Registered Technician file,
  • Enter the CFAA Fire Alarm Technician’s name into a registration database,
  • Provide ongoing industry articles and pertinent industry information via the CFAA Journal.


2.       Register as a CFAA Trainee and Complete the recommended Field Experience or Lab training

Register online or complete the Technician Registration Form to become a Trainee Technician. Completion of all five (5) CFAA required Theory-based courses (or exemptions) is required to become a Trainee. You will need to submit the registration form (or complete online), proof that all courses have been completed (or exemptions), a picture (jpg format) to techadmin@cfaa.ca and the annual registration fee.
 
It is recommended that Trainees complete a minimum of 1500 hours of work experience to ensure that the CFAA Fire Alarm Trainee has acquired the knowledge and skills to successfully complete the Registration
Exams. The CFAA has developed a CFAA Fire Alarm Trainee Log Book that provides a detailed reference for the kinds of training one should be trying to obtain to acquire the knowledge and skills required to successfully complete the Registration Exams. The CFAA Fire Alarm Trainee Log Book is NOT mandatory unless the Trainee is unsuccessful in completing the Registration Practical Exam on their second attempt. Some colleges provide fire alarm laboratory courses that are also recommended to those wishing to become Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technicians. The work experience or lab training required by each individual will vary. Each individual must be well versed in all items contained within the CFAA Fire Alarm Trainee Logbook before proceeding. Once enough work experience or training has been obtained, the Trainee can then make arrangements to successfully complete the Registration Theory and then the Registration Practical Exam.
 
3.       Complete the CFAA Registration Theory Exam

The CFAA Registration Theory examination is a standardized knowledge assessment of an individual’s understanding of the requirements to properly inspect, test and verify a fire alarm system as per Canadian Codes and Standards. This exam will only be administered and proctored by the CFAA and will only be administered in hard copy written or online formats. The exam will be three (3) hours in length, comprised of true/false and multiple choice type questions. Successful completion will require a passing grade of 80% or better. Calculators, codes, standards and CFAA manuals will be permitted to be used in the examination.
Online proctored examinations will be hosted by B-Virtual. Only Trainees will be able to purchase and register to take the Registration Theory Exam online at www.cfaa.ca/Courses/courses.aspx. Questions about the Registration Theory Exam can be sent to theoryexam@cfaa.ca.
Preparation for the Theory exam can done by reviewing the study course handbook and materials (codes and standards) for Courses 1-5. Some questions will also test on field or lab experience. You will not be able to review the exam results after the exam is marked. Only the final numerical results of the exam will be provided. Should you not pass, you will be required to register and pay for another exam.
 
 
4.       Complete the CFAA Registration Practical Exam

The CFAA Registration Practical exam will only be invigilated by CFAA approved Instructors. The two (2) hour, in person, exam will be based on the past “Skills and Knowledge Checklist” as well as the CFAA Fire Alarm Trainee Logbook and will feature a number of scenarios that can be completed in a number of ways. The Trainee will be tested on an active fire alarm system designed and programmed to test all candidates equally. All tools and materials will be supplied by the CFAA Invigilator. Successful completion will require a passing grade of 80% or better. Registration Practical Exams will be scheduled to be held across the country but special requests can be sent to practicalexam@cfaa.ca  Registration for both exams will be advertised and available for registration online (viewable to Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician Trainees ONLY) at www.cfaa.ca/Courses/courses.aspx
Completing practical work experience and documenting this in the Trainee logbook is the best way to prepare for the Practical exam. If your first attempt at the Registration Practical Exam is unsuccessful you must wait a minimum of one (1) month to retake the Registration Practical Exam. If you are unsuccessful after your second attempt you will be required to submit a completed CFAA Fire Alarm Trainee Log Book at the end of a minimum of one (1) year waiting period to retake the Registration Practical Exam.
 
5.       Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician - status

Once you have completed the 5 courses in the CFAA Required Theory-Based Education, become a Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician Trainee and passed both the CFAA Registration Theory Exam and Practical Exam, you will be a Registered Fire Alarm Technician. You will be issued a new photo ID with your registration number unique to you and the province of application. If you wish you can also apply for Registration in other provinces with an additional fee for each province of registration.
 
6.       Maintaining Registration as a Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician

One of the most important changes to the registration process is the requirement for continuing education. This has always been a necessary component in the professional development of any CFAA Fire Alarm Technician in order to keep up with changes in the industry, whether they be technical, jurisdictional or pertaining to updated codes and standards. Beginning for those CFAA Fire Alarm Technician renewing in 2017, you will be required to submit proof for approval that you have successfully completed eight (8) Continuing Education Credits within at least the past year. The CFAA Trainee Logbook, which is available online at the CFAA website: www.cfaa.ca/logbook.aspx , is a very useful tool in outlining the specific types of education that will be accepted for Continuing Education Credits, and what would be considered as industry related training. Each continuing education credit relates to approximately one hour of classroom, lecture or training time related to the industry. Note that of the 8 required credits, only 2 would have to be achieved directly through CFAA. The remainder can be obtained in a number of ways, including CFAA delivered seminars, educational institutions, and industry providers or even within your own company. There is a great deal of flexibility and latitude for meeting these new requirements. Each Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician should begin tracking their continuing education training and education on the form found at www.cfaa.ca/cececreditform.aspx . Note: Preference for credit allotment will be given to those methods that provide proof of attendance, instructor information, session information and successful completion of a proficiency quiz or exam.
 
Only 8 Continuing Education Credits are required for ALL those renewing in 2017 no matter if you had registered for one or two years in the past.
 
Please note that if you renew your registration for two (2) years in 2016, or in the future, you will be required to submit proof for approval that you have successfully completed eight (8) Continuing Education Credits within each of the two years of your past registration period for a total of sixteen (16) Credits to renew your registration the next time.
The CFAA is in the process of launching one-hour online and webinar based courses that will cover a wide range topics and will help meet at minimum, the requirement for 2 credits from CFAA training or all 8 credits. These courses will be available for a minimal fee per course and will be able to be done easily with nothing more than a computer with internet access. Once registered for the webinar, it can be completed at any time as the technician’s schedule allows. Other opportunities and venues for CFAA training will also be made available and will be posted on the CFAA website as details are determined.
 
Continuing Education Credits (General Requirements)
o   Eight  (8)  Continuing  Education  (CE)   Credits are required annually prior to any technician’s registration renewal starting January 1, 2017. Note: those that are due to renew in January or February 2017 can renew early (by December 31, 2016) to avoid the CE requirement.
o   A minimum of two (2) CE Credits must come from Category 1 (CE Credit Submittal form) and up to all eight required credits may come from this category. This is training taken directly from the CFAA with an examination.
o   The remaining six (6) CE Credits may come from either the CFAA or other training means, or both
o   A maximum of four (4) CE Credits may be acquired annually in any one category other than Category 1
o   Pre-approval of other training or material by the CFAA is not required but submission of documentation after completion of any other training to the CFAA for approval as credit is.  It must meet the CFAA criteria approval for both content and relevancy.
o   The Technician Training Log Book Sections “A” through “E” items are the basis of any non-CFAA training for consideration for approval towards CE Credits and the specific item the training received corresponds with must be noted on the submission form.
o   Full details regarding submission requirements and credit allotments can be found in the CFAA CE Course Submission Package available online.
o   Submission packages complete with supporting documentation must be emailed to ce@cfaa.ca in advance for review to ensure registration renewal


Note:  There is a $50.00 reinstatement fee for all lapsed or overdue accounts.  Therefore it is important for each fire alarm technician to renew on or before their registration expiry date.

TRAINEE & TECHNICIAN REGISTRATION CARDS

 Upon receipt of an acceptable Application for Registration (as outlined above), or for Technician Renewal, the CFAA will issue the appropriate Photo-ID Badge (card) to the applicant.

The photo-id badge includes:

  - The Technician registration number of eight digits in length.

  - The name of the home-address province of the Technician is displayed at the top of the card. The first two digits of the Technician Registration number will represent the Technicians home province/territory as follows:

11 - Alberta 15 - Newfoundland & Labrador 19 - Ontario        
12 - British Columbia 16 - Northwest  Territories  20 - Prince Edward Island
13 - Manitoba            17 - Nova Scotia 21 - Quebec
14 - New Brunswick   18 - Nunavut        22 - Saskatchewan

  - The last six digits of the number will be the individual technician's unique identification number.

 The Ontario cards will be different in another way. The Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario has stated that the CFAA Fire Alarm Technician registration cards,  carried by technicians who wish to work in Ontario, must bear specific wording. This is because of the differences between the Ontario and the National, building and fire codes. Therefore such cards issued to registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technicians having an Ontario address, will automatically contain the following ‘Ontario Identifier Statement’:

On cards issued to CFAA Fire Alarm Technicians in all provinces other than Ontario, the statement reads “The bearer of this card has successfully completed the FIRE ALARM TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM.   This program is deemed acceptable under CAN/ULC-S536 / S537”.
 
A Registered CFAA Fire Alarm Technician may be registered in more than one province. In that case, the Technician must apply accordingly, and, if deemed appropriate by the CFAA, cards will be issued for additional provinces. The CFAA Fire Alarm Technician registration number will be the same on all cards except for the provincial designation.  There is a fee for each additional provincial registration and card.

 CFAA FIRE ALARM TRAINEE OR TECHNICIAN RENEWAL

Please note when your CFAA Fire Alarm Technician status will be expiring.
The expiry date is shown on your CFAA Fire Alarm Technician Photo ID Badge.

 In order to remain a Registered Technician in good standing you are required to complete the renewal process (Continuing Education beginning 2017) along with your picture and payment to the CFAA..
To do this, please log in at the top right of the screen.
Once logged in, your account information menu will appear at the left side of the screen.
Select 'Renewal'. under 'Technician Status/Update'


Click here if  you need help logging in