ASSE Rolls Out High Level Inspections and Testing Certificate with Training Site in Washington State
The Northwest Region of the National Fire Sprinkler Association presented a webinar in June to help members get better acquainted with certification options available through NICET and ASSE, as well as NFSA training resources and regional opportunities. In this blog post, I’ll review the information presented by Marianne C. Waickman, Professional Qualifications Director at ASSE International. ASSE 15010 certification is accepted by the Washington State Fire Marshal Office for the certificate of competency for the Specialized Level ITT Certificate of Competency Holder, also known as an Inspection and Testing Technician.
ASSE is both a standards developer as well as a third-party certifying body. ASSE does not provide training but works directly with training providers by ensuring the trainers curriculum and training materials contains the relevant material. Sprinkler fitters may be familiar with ASSE’s backflow assembly and/or medical gas certifications.
The ASSE 15010 certification “tests for the ability to knowledgeably and skillfully inspect, test and maintain water-based fire protection systems” and goes beyond the minimum requirements of NFPA, Ms. Waickman explained. This relatively new (two-and-a-half-year-old) certification is not meant to replace NICET’s certification but is in addition to it. It seeks to reinforce a skill level beyond the minimum requirements. Ms. Waickman stressed that the test is difficult and would be appropriate for those striving for a high level of industry excellence, particularly those in leadership positions.
The certification contains a hands-on testing component in addition to a 200 question exam that covers NFPA 25, 13, 14 and 20. The hands-on component includes knowledge and skills demonstrations including a full flow test on a dry pipe system, a trip test on a pre-action system, a main drain test, and a test fire pumps.
In order to participate, individuals must meet prerequisite experience criteria with hands on field experience, and full working knowledge of each of the standards involved in testing and maintenance.
Recertification occurs on a three-year cycle and requires completion of a refresher course and exam.
The ASSE website contains resources such as finding an approved school, industry articles and resources, a list of certified individuals (helpful for employers and local AHJs). The website also contains ASSE’s current COVID-19 related updates.
In the Northwest, UA Local 699 runs a Seattle-area ASSE accredited site for the union members. The school information is available through ASSE’s website.