Grandfathering Frequently Asked Questions

Grandfathering Frequently Asked Questions

Grandfathering re-opened on March 23, 2018 to support the implementation of the mandatory certification regulation. Below are some frequently asked questions to assist the fire service with regard to grandfathering.
1.
What is the intent of grandfathering?
The intent of grandfathering is to give applicants recognition for training and education already completed and for experience already gained. Grandfathering gives the applicant an entry point into the next NFPA standard level, as long as all the pre/co-requisites has been successfully completed. When an applicant is grandfathered, it does not mean he/she has been certified. It means that they have achieved alternative compliance with the regulation. If the applicant is looking for certification, he/she would have to successfully complete both the knowledge (written) testing and practical skills evaluation for the standard.
2.
What dates will be considered for experience?
In order to re-open grandfathering the OFMEM needed approval from both accrediting bodies, IFSAC and Pro Board®. Both bodies approved the re-opening of grandfathering, however the details and requirements for grandfathering could not be altered. Therefore, the requirements for 5 years of experience and knowledge must have been attained before/by December 31st, 2015.
3.
What NFPA standards can be grandfathered?
The following NFPA standards are being offered through grandfathering:
  • NFPA 1001, Fire Fighter Level I
  • NFPA 1001, Fire Fighter Level II
  • NFPA 1041, Fire Service Instructor Level I
  • NFPA 1041, Fire Service Instructor Level II
  • NFPA 1021, Fire Officer Level I
  • NFPA 1021, Fire Officer Level II
  • NFPA 1031, Fire Inspector Level I
  • NFPA 1035, Fire and Life Safety Educator Level I
  • NFPA 1035, Public Information Officer
4.
What do I need to submit to the OFMEM?
You need to submit a completed application form signed off by the Fire Chief or Designate. Each application must be signed by the Fire Chief, confirming that the information provided is valid, and that supporting documentation for either knowledge or experience is available for audit. Documents substantiating your application are not required to be submitted, but must be available if an audit is requested by the OFMEM.
5.
What do I do with my application once completed?
Complete the grandfathering application form and mail packages to the attention of Melanie Arsenault, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, 25 Morton Shulman Avenue, 2nd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M3M 0B1. Or scan and email to Melanie.Arsenault@ontario.ca. If additional information is needed for an audit, you will be contacted with detailed instructions on what to submit.
6.
Can an applicant pick both knowledge and experience when applying for grandfathering for a specific NFPA standard?
When applying for grandfathering the applicant must select experience OR knowledge for a specific standard. All requirements for both knowledge and experience can be found in Communique 2014-04:
7.
Will the OFMEM provide the job experience requirements to demonstrate competences to the standards?
The OFMEM has available the job performance checklists which demonstrate competence for each of the old Ontario Certification Programs:
  • Ontario Training Officer Certification Program
  • Ontario Fire Prevention Officer Certification Program
  • Ontario Company Officer Certification Program
  • Ontario Firefighter Certification Program
Please email Melanie.Arsenault@ontario.ca to request this material.
8.
If my fire department is selected during the audit process, what do I need to submit?
Fire departments that have been randomly selected for an audit must submit documentation that proves the applicant has completed training for all the general performance objectives (GPO) identified for each standard they are applying for.
 
Acceptable documentation to submit for experience is:
  • Confirmation of number of years of experience,
  • Incident Reports outlining the number of calls responded to and type of activities performed - primarily for Fire Fighter Level I and II,
  • Any other relevant documents for other levels that demonstrate the General Performance Objectives (GPOs) outlined in the OFMEM grandfathering policy were performed.
Fire departments applying under the knowledge requirements must be able to prove that the applicant completed the appropriate courses.
Acceptable documentation to submit for knowledge is transcripts from OFC or equivalent training facilities.
9.
If an applicant is grandfathered for NFPA 1031 Level I or NFPA 1001 Level I do they also receive NFPA 472 Awareness Level?
Yes, if an applicant has been grandfathered for NFPA 1031 Level I and/or NFPA 1001 Level I the applicant will also be grandfathered for NFPA 472 Awareness Level.
Those who were grandfathered based on the previous OFSS Curriculum to Fire Fighter Level I completed a comparable level of training to meet the HazMat Awareness Level criteria. This was approved by IFSAC and Pro Board® as it is within the OFMEM's level of discretion as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).
All applicants who have been grandfathered to Fire Fighter Level I will receive credit towards having HazMat Awareness Level and thus are deemed to have met the pre-requisite for both NFPA 472 HazMat Operations and NFPA 1031 Level I.  
10.
Will grandfathering be recognized if the proposed mandatory certification regulations are implemented?
A number of the NFPA standards are retroactive and/or apply to new hires and existing firefighters. Grandfathering will be recognized if it applies. Please see chart below for more details:

Retroactive NFPA Standards

Firefighter Roles and NFPA Standard

Available for Grandfathering

In-Force Date

Newly Hired Firefighters

Suppression firefighters: NFPA 1001

Yes

July 1, 2019

Pump Operations: NFPA 1002

No

July 1, 2019

Technical Rescuers: NFPA 1006 (for 7 chapters)

No

January 2, 2021

Fire Educators: NFPA 1035

Yes

July 1, 2019

Newly Hired and Existing Firefighters

Fire Officers: NFPA 1021

Yes

January 1, 2020

Fire Inspectors: NFPA 1031

Yes

January 1, 2020

Fire Investigators: NFPA 1033

No

January 1, 2020

Fire Service Instructors: NFPA 1041

Yes

January 1, 2020

Fire Dispatchers: NFPA 1061

No

January 1, 2020

Hazardous Materials Personnel: NFPA 1072

No

January 1, 2020

 
11.
If a firefighter has been grandfathered prior to the regulation coming into force and moves to another fire department, is their grandfathering still valid?
Grandfathering is assigned to the individual; it remains with the individual within Ontario. Changing departments would not affect their grandfathered status.
12.
If you had personnel certified by an out-of-province agency, do you have to submit the credentials to the OFMEM?
Certification from other out-of-province agencies will be recognized in accordance with International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) and National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board®) reciprocity rules. All copies of out of province certificates should be provided to the OFMEM. It will be the responsibility of the fire department to maintain proper training, grandfathering and certification records.
13.
Will the gap course for NFPA 1031, Fire Inspector Level II be offered?
Yes, the gap course will be available for NFPA 1031 Level II. Please contact the Ontario Fire College at: AskOFC@Ontario.ca
14.
What is the deadline to submit application for grandfathering?
Grandfathering will close on September 30, 2018. Once the applications have been processed, including verification of the information provided as appropriate, the OFMEM will provide an updated list to the Fire Chief along with Letters of Compliance. It is the Fire Chief's responsibility to review the lists for any errors or omissions.