Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Fire Training Certification Program?
- When did the Fire TCP begin?
- Who should I contact if I still have questions about Fire TCP?
- What direction is there in using this program as an outreach or electronic based program.
- Does Fire TCP certify program content or training practices? If it is content, who determines what is appropriate content?
- There are a number of programs that I would consider “exceptional” already. Is there a mechanism to certify or recommend particular programs that have already been developed? In addition, how does proprietary work when recommending another program?
- Will the training validation process of a course consider student outcomes and assessments rather than just hours?
- Without a component to certify the training entity how will you assure reliability of the certified courses?
- If the focus is on how training courses are set up and delivered, then how does this certification make my training portable? An organization needs to know that an individual has met a standard and not how they were taught.
- Is FireTCP complementary to or competitive with IFSAC and Pro Board certification?
- If IFSAC and ProBoard certify individuals based on a national professional qualifications consensus standard, why is it necessary to certify training programs? Doesn’t ProBoard and IFSAC certification already make that training portable?
- How do IFSAC or ProBoard Certifications integrate into this system?
What is the Fire Training Certification Program?
The Fire Training Certification Program (Fire TCP) is a new program designed to solve many of the problems associated with a lack of standardization within the fire training community. Fire TCP sets minimum standards for fire training for continuing education, and ensures training content meets quality standards. These standards are designed to meet or exceed all other certification standards, thus ensuring that Fire TCP-certified training will be accepted by all participating organizations for training credits.
When did the Fire TCP begin?
Fire TCP was publicly announced at the annual ISFSI conference held in Cincinnati, OH on September 30th, 2016. A panel of experts answered questions to introduce the audience to this new certification program. The announcement and the panel discussion were also broadcast live. View the recorded broadcast.
Who should I contact if I still have questions about Fire TCP?
If you still have questions about Fire TCP that aren’t covered in this FAQ, please email us.
What direction is there in using this program as an outreach or electronic based program?
The program is 100% accessible via online submittals by instructors. The curriculum delivery is based on how the instructor chooses to deliver the program.
Does Fire TCP certify program content or training practices? If it is content, who determines what is appropriate content?
Fire TCP certifies program content. Subject matter experts and instructional design experts review the material to ensure it meets the standards set forth in the Fire TCP rubric.
There are a number of programs that I would consider “exceptional” already. Is there a mechanism to certify or recommend particular programs that have already been developed? In addition, how does proprietary work when recommending another program.
Please feel free to tell any training providers about Fire TCP and refer them to FireTCP.org. We are also happy to reach out to them if you email us your recommendations. Proprietary work will always belong to the author of the work.
Will the training validation process of a course consider student outcomes and assessments rather than just hours?
Absolutely. The training is validated on a rubric that takes into account the following considerations: preparation, presentation, application and evaluation.
Without a component to certify the training entity how will you assure reliability of the certified courses?
All course materials for consideration will be submitted to ISFSI, including the instructor lesson plan, student lesson plan, course bibliography, tests and assessments, and recommendation letters from individuals who have taken the training in the last 6 months. The review process is rather rigorous and takes into account the past success of the course. In addition, FirstForward®, the website that will host all Fire TCP courses, has the ability for people to leave reviews for the courses they take. People are requested to comment and leave reviews via a 5-star scale. Course reviews will be taken into consideration for continued and future certification.
If the focus is on how training courses are set up and delivered, then how does this certification make my training portable? An organization needs to know that an individual has met a standard and not how they were taught.
Training becomes portable when a standard is broadly accepted, the next person who examines your training records knows that anything that met the Fire TCP standard has met or exceeded the state standard. Standards no longer need to vary by state, city, or department, but can be universally accepted. In addition, FirstForward® allows you to store your training records digitally and share them with any current, or future employer. FirstForward will also create a printable resume for you, based on the records you have stored in your profile.
Is FireTCP complementary to or competitive with IFSAC and ProBoard certification?
Fire TCP is intended to evaluate courses that are used for continuing education, not examinations. So you could say Fire TCP is complimentary to IFSAC and ProBoard.
If IFSAC and ProBoard certify individuals based on a national professional qualifications consensus standard, why is it necessary to certify training programs? Doesn’t ProBoard and IFSAC certification already make that training portable?
While Pro Board and IFSAC Certifications were intended to provide national portability, this has not yet entirely come to fruition. In addition, ProBoard and IFSAC accreditation only applies to certification courses. It does not address non-certification courses and other programs that departments may need. Fire TCP allows the department to seek additional training for its members that is vetted and of known quality.
How do IFSAC or ProBoard Certifications integrate into this system?
Individuals have total control of their portable training record within FirstForward. If a firefighter receives an IFSAC or ProBoard Certification they can manually add that to their training record to ensure that it is a permanent part of their career profile.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I submit materials for review?
- What types of documents do I need to submit for review?
- How long will the review process take?
- How long is the certification valid?
- If certifications become obsolete will that class be removed from the database? Or will the information just be updated as the class evolves?
- How do I know my content is protected?
- Who owns the class, the SME’s or First Forward?
- Are there other requirements for being certified?
- What does the Fire Training Certification Program cost for training providers?
How do I submit materials for review?Create an account at FirstForward, and follow these instructions to submit course materials.
What types of documents do I need to submit for review?Providers interested in having their training course reviewed by the Fire Training Certification Program should submit the following documents and anything else providers feel would be relevant:
- Instructor lesson plan
- Student lesson plan
- Course Bibliography
- Lesson storyboard – if applicable
- All tests/assessments
- Recommendation letters from at least three individuals who have attended your training in the past 6 months.
How long will the review process take?Currently, the content review period is less than 30 days.
How long is the certification valid?The Fire TCP Certification is valid for a period of two years.
If certifications become obsolete will that class be removed from the database? Or will the information just be updated as the class evolves?
Courses must be recertified every 2 years. After a course is certified, it will be denoted with a seal on the FirstForward® site. If the course is not resubmitted for approval after 2 years, or if the course does not receive re-approval after 2 years, it can still remain on the FirstForward® site but will not have the Fire TCP seal of quality associated with it.
How do I know my content is protected?Prior to any requested reviews, all Fire TCP reviewers sign agreements with clear non-disclosure clauses. The Non-disclosure prohibits reviewers from disclosing or profiting from ANY information or content they receive as part of this program. Additionally, the end-user license agreement (EULA) on FirstForward® prohibits unauthorized use or distribution of content.
Who owns the class, the SME’s or First Forward?
The instructor or content provider owns the course, not FirstForward®, ISFSI (unless it is their course!), or the SME.
Are there other requirements for being certified?
Yes. The following list lays out a few more of the requirements:
- Online providers must host their content on FirstForward®, however, they may also host Fire TCP certified content on their own Learning Management System (LMS).
- All Providers must have an account on FirstForward®, the platform for the Fire TCP.
- All courses must include a name, description and image. In-Person and classroom courses must provide location, time and a link for more information about the training. Online / E-learning courses must be in a SCORM package when uploaded to FirstForward®.
- FirstForward will house all student records for completed Fire TCP certified training.
- Completion rosters for In-Person and Classroom Fire TCP certified training must be uploaded to FirstForward®. In addition, completion records for online courses housed on a providers LMS must be uploaded as well. Online courses taken on FirstForward® DO NOT need to be uploaded. A fee will be assessed per firefighter record added, fees are outlined in the Provider Roster Fees section.
- Fire TCP is offering an incentive for online providers who support the Portable Training Record database. Providers who submit their complete firefighter training data for online training to the database via an initial training data upload to FirstForward® will have the records for those firefighters “grandfathered in”; that is, no fees will be assessed for students’ certified course records submitted for a period of 2 years.
What does the Fire Training Certification Program cost for training providers?
There is a $150 application fee for each course submitted. Additionally, there is a per-credit-hour charge depending on the type of course being submitted:
- Online / distance learning – $165 per credit hour
- Classroom / in-person – $25 per credit hour
What are the Provider Roster Fees?The following is the fee structure for an individual provider. The costs are broken down by type of course and delivery mechanism.
Online course offered through the catalog on FirstForward®No additional cost to provider
Online course taken on a provider’s LMS$2.50 / student / year (unlimited certificates for that year)
Classroom or In-Person course – Certificates$2.50 + ($0.25 x credit hours) / student / course (maximum charge is $15.00 / student / course)
Online course offered through the catalog on FirstForward®A provider will pay no additional fee for any online course taken through the catalog on FirstForward®. Online course taken on a provider’s LMS Fire TCP certified online courses taken from a provider’s LMS by 10 students in a particular month will cost the provider $25.00. This fee supports the generation of student accounts, Fire TCP certificates, student surveys and annual hosting of the record. If in the next month 20 students take a different Fire TCP certified course from the same provider where 10 of the students had previously taken a Fire TCP certified course, the provider’s cost will again be only $25.00. The charge will be for the 10 new students who had not been previously reported at least once within the year.
Classroom or In-Person course – CertificatesA 10-hour Fire TCP certified classroom course that has 10 students completing the course will cost the provider $5.00/student ($2.50 + $0.25 x 10 hours). The fee for the provider would be $50.00 to add the 10 student records to the Fire TCP framework on FirstForward®. This fee supports the generation of student accounts, Fire TCP certificates, student surveys and annual hosting of the record. If one of the same students were to retake the same course or take another 10-hour Fire TCP certified course from the provider it would cost the provider an additional $5.00 for the student to provide the information and obtain the official Fire TCP Certificate of Completion.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why should I submit my training materials for Fire TCP certification?
- Will I be able to assign courses to my officers from the catalog?
- What is a portable training record?
- Our department currently uses Learning Management Systems. Will the ISFSI training system be able to adopt other systems like LMS?
- Is this a tool to document a firefighter’s training and/or a library of training topics to be used?
- Can I market my course as Fire TCP certified?
Why should I submit my training materials for Fire TCP certification?Training providers and content developers will benefit from having their training materials reviewed by subject matter and instructional design experts and accepted on an international level by fire service leaders throughout the world. Fire TCP certified courses also, may grant students the credit they need to maintain their professional licensing requirements. Training coordinators will gain confidence in the provider’s courses and reputation as they choose from the many fire service training programs being offered, both in a traditional classroom setting and online. In addition, fire service and other agency chief executives will have confidence in the training curriculum being offered which will inspire them to send their students to Fire TCP training. Earning the Fire TCP seal guarantees your product meets the industry’s best practices, and certification will also help you better market your courses to a broader audience of fire service professionals.
Will I be able to assign courses to my officers from the catalog?
Yes. You can browse, purchase and assign courses directly from the catalog. After your officers are added to the FirstForward platform, you will be able to select the individuals you would like to take the selected course.
What is a portable training record?
Almost 200,000 firefighters change jobs each year, and approximately a fifth of those move to a new state to accept their next employment. Both the firefighter and the out-of-state agencies endure administrative headaches that arise when re-evaluating training the firefighter has already completed. When a firefighter completes a course through the catalog housing the Fire TCP training, the outcome will automatically be added to the officer’s portable training record. This will save time and money for everyone involved.
Our department currently uses Learning Management Systems. Will the ISFSI training system be able to adopt other systems like LMS?
FirstForward® can be used as an LMS, but also provides additional features. Anyone with training content for first responders can add their content to FirstForward®, assign that training, and track it, all in one system. To learn more about the features in FirstForward®, visit FirstForward.com and create an account or email [email protected].
Is this a tool to document a firefighter’s training and/or a library of training topics to be used?
FirstForward® is a tool for taking training courses (both online and in-person) as well as for documenting a firefighter’s training. A record of every course taken on FirstForward® is stored in an individual’s account. Firefighters can also manually add training taken before signing up for FirstForward, so they have a complete training record that can be accessed from anywhere, and shared with employers.
Can I market my course as Fire TCP certified?
Yes! You can let everyone know your course is Fire TCP certified. Promoting your course as certified lets potential customers know your course meets a standard of excellence. Marketing and promotion guidelines will be announced in the near future. Look for more information here soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I become a Fire TCP course reviewer?
- As a subject matter expert why should I become a reviewer?
- What qualifications do I need to become a Fire TCP course reviewer?
- How long will each review process take?
- What are you going to offer the SME’s? What will their contract include? i.e. Contract, Compensation, Liability? Who owns the class, the SME’s or First Forward?
How do I become a Fire TCP course reviewer?
Subject Matter Experts should have recognized content expertise and a significant background in fire service training, as well as three professional references. ISFSI will review all SME requests. Apply to be an SME.
As a subject matter expert why should I become a reviewer?
Reviewers are the backbone of the Fire Training Certification Program. This professional group of subject matter experts is responsible for assessing the content and instructional strategies used in fire service training programs. Reviewers are professional, knowledgeable, experienced, and committed to ensuring that the training programs submitted for review comply with the Fire TCP standards for training excellence.
What qualifications do I need to become a Fire TCP course reviewer?Reviewers are generally recognized as a state and/or international expert in a specific fire service subject or topic. They come from fire service training academies, colleges, universities, fire service agencies or other fire service professional entities. Many are certified as experts in their topic areas, experienced trainers and instructional designers. They should have recognized content expertise and a significant background in fire service training, as well as three professional letters of recommendation attesting to the reviewer’s specific areas of expertise. A recommendation from a state fire marshal or academy is highly desirable.
How long will each review process take?
Currently, lesson content review should take less than 30 days. However, there may be expedited training requests to respond to.
What are you going to offer the SME’s? What will their contract include? i.e. Contract, Compensation, Liability? Who owns the class, the SME’s or First Forward?SMEs will be offered compensation for their time. Their contracts will cover compensation, liability, nondisclosure, and how they are expected to handle the proprietary information that belongs to the course author. In the end, the instructor or content provider owns the course, not FirstForward®, ISFSI (unless it is their course!), or the SME.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does FireTCP include EMS training? Now or in the future
- The IAWF deals overseas with many countries on similar issues. Is there a plan to work with IAWF on this program?
- Will all existing certificated training need to be certified in program and if a department refuses does this increase their liability?
- Since most instructors have databases of records will all these records need to be certified and can they be input onto this system?
Does Fire TCP include EMS training? Now or in the future?
There is a lot of training in fire service that would also benefit the EMS community. An example of this might be EVOC training. Technically, curriculum that is hosted on FirstForward, is available to any profession. However, we are not currently planning to integrate EMS learning objectives at this time.
The IAWF deals overseas with many countries on similar issues. Is there a plan to work with IAWF on this program?
We welcome the opportunity to work with any individual or organization who has had success in the delivery of quality curriculum both inside and outside of the United States. Our overall vision is to be able to offer global access.
Will all pre-existing certificated training need to be recertified in program, and if a department refuses does this increase their liability?
We would definitely encourage all certificated training to go through the certification process. It’s hard to predict the growth and future implementation of the program, but we are starting with certification of continuing education courses. In terms of liability, that is up to each individual department. However, we believe using certified high quality training is the best way to reduce liability and risk.
Since most instructors already have databases of records, will all of these records need to be certified, and can they be added to the new system?
The records themselves do not need to be certified, only the course and its content. However, if you would like to upload older records to the site to provide better information to your students, please contact us at [email protected], and we can discuss how we can assist you with this.