What is Fire Engineering?

Fire Engineering is the application of scientific and engineering principles, rules [codes], and expert judgment, based on an understanding of the phenomena and effects of fire and of the reaction and behaviour of people to fire, to protect people, property and the environment from the destructive effects of fire.

What is a Fire Engineer?

Through education, training and experience, a Fire Engineer understands:

  • the nature, characteristics and mechanisms of fire;
  • the spread and control of fire and the associated products of combustion;
  • how fires originate;
  • how fires spread within and outside buildings/structures;
  • how fires can be detected, controlled, and/or extinguished;
  • the likely behaviour of materials, structures, machines, apparatus, and processes as related to the protection of life, property and the environment from fire;
  • the interaction and integration of fire safety systems and all other systems in buildings, industrial structures and similar facilities. 

What activities might a Fire Engineer undertake?

Activities undertaken by a Fire Engineer could include:

  • the assessment of the hazards and risks of fire and its effects;
  • the mitigation of potential fire damage by proper design, construction, arrangement, and use of buildings, materials, structures, industrial processes, transportation systems and similar;
  • the appropriate level of evaluation for the optimum preventive and protective measures necessary to limit the consequences of fire; 
  • the design, installation, maintenance and/or development of fire detection, fire suppression, fire control and fire related communication systems and equipment;
  • the direction and control of appropriate equipment and manpower in the strategy and function of firefighting and rescue operations;
  • fire investigation and analysis, evaluation and feedback.

What grades of IFE membership are available?

The IFE offers Affiliate status (for both individuals and organisations), Student, Technician, Graduate, Associate, Member and Fellow grades of membership.

You can also become a registrant member, meaning that you have registration as a Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer or Engineering Technician with the Engineering Council.

For more information, please go to JOIN.

I live in the UK. How do I join the IFE?

Go to JOIN to find out which grade of membership is most relevant for you then complete the online application form. You might also want to contact your local branch in the UK to find out more about us. Branch contact details can be in the ABOUT section.

I live outside the UK. How do I join the IFE?

Please contact your local branch directly. If there is no local branch near you, then please go to JOIN to find out which grade of membership is most relevant for you and complete an online form. If you require any further advice or assistance, please email membership@ife.org.uk with your CV.

How much does it cost to apply for IFE membership?

There is no application fee for membership of the IFE. If your application is successful, an annual subscription is payable. 

I am a Fire Risk Assessor in the UK. Does the IFE run a professional registration scheme for Fire Risk Assessors?

Yes. Further information about the scheme can be found here.

I am a Fire Risk Auditor/Enforcing Officer in the UK. Does the IFE run a professional registration scheme for Fire Risk Auditors?

Yes. We work in partnership with UK Fire and Rescue Services to provide this registration scheme. For more information, please email frr@ife.org.uk with your contact details and stating which enforcing authority you work for. We will get back in touch with you with further advice and guidance.

Does the IFE produce newsletters and professional journal publications?

Yes, the IFE produces a monthly e-newsletter and a quarterly publication, International Fire Professional, for its members.  These are sent directly to members via email and post respectively and members can access past editions via the 'MyIFE' area of the website.  If you would like to subscribe to the journal and are not currently a member, please contact Marketing@ife.org.uk for details.  

How do I apply to take IFE exams?

If you would like to apply to take IFE examinations, please visit the Qualifications pages of the website which provides the latest guidance documents, terms and conditions, application forms, examination centre list and examiner reports to assist you.   

If you would like any further information please contact exams@ife.org.uk

How much does it cost to take IFE exams?

For many candidates, particularly where IFE exams are required for promotion or consideration for promotion, the fees are often paid by their employer. However, candidates can pay their own exam fees. Details of fees can be found on our website here.

Is there any financial assistance available through the IFE to support fire-related research?

The IFE works in partnership to assess applications for possible funding of fire-related research through the Fire and Rescue Service Research Training Trust (FRSTT). For more information, please email frstt@ife.org.uk

Is there any financial assistance available through the IFE to support educational projects in disadvantaged communities?

Yes. The IFE’s Charitable Education Fund (CEF) has supported a number of educational projects, most recently in Kosovo and Ghana. 

Do IFE exams meet the academic requirement for IFE membership?

IFE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Science, Operations, Safety and Management meets the academic entry requirement for Technician grade.

IFE Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety meets the academic entry requirement for Graduate grade.

IFE Level 4 Certificate in Fire Science and Fire Safety meets the academic entry requirement for Associate and Member grades.

Can I join the IFE without IFE exams?

Yes. The IFE recognises a wide range of qualifications for membership and also offers Affiliate Individual and Affiliate Organisation grades for those with an interest in the IFE and its work. For more details please visit the JOIN section.

Can I join the IFE without any formal qualifications?

Yes. You could join as an Affiliate or, if you are studying currently, as a Student member. If you have substantial fire-related experience you may be eligible to apply for other grades using a Mature Candidate/Individual Assessment route. Please contact membership@ife.org.uk with your CV.

Does the IFE offer training courses?

No. The IFE is a registered charity and does not offer any commercial services. However, the IFE does review and recognise high quality training delivered by others including its UK and International branches and these can be found here

Does the IFE offer consultancy?

No. The IFE is a registered charity and does not offer any commercial services. However, many of the IFE’s members do offer consultancy services.

How do I know if someone is a member of the IFE?

Members that have gone through a professional review process with the IFE, may use the following letters after their name:
FIFireE Fellow
MIFireE Member
AIFireE Associate
GIFireE Graduate
TIFireE Technician

How can I check if someone using IFE post nominal letters after their name is a current member?

If an individual has applied to you for employment, or is offering professional services, and if he or she is claiming current IFE membership which you would like to confirm, please refer to the IFE Member and Engineering Council Registrant Directory. This is an online database of most — but not all (see below) — active members and Engineering Council registrants. Here you will be able to view an individual’s membership or registration details.

Please note, however, that the Directory lists only those members and registrants who have specifically asked to appear in it. If your search does not return any results it does not necessarily mean the individual is not a member of the IFE. If this should be the case, please raise this with the individual who will be able to prove their membership by opting-in to the Directory via their ‘MyIFE’ portal.

Alternatively you can also request this information by contacting the IFE's Membership and Registration team on 01789 261463 or by emailing membership@ife.org.uk.

I am interested in joining a Special Interest Group. How do I do this?

You need to be an IFE member to access the IFE Special Interest Groups.  Current Special Interest Groups include: Transport, Fire Modelling, Competency and Ethics, Heritage Buildings, Fire Resistance and Fire Investigation and Research.  Members access SIGS by logging in to the MY IFE area of the website.  If you would like to become a member, further information can be found here.

Does the IFE advertise vacancies in the fire sector nationally and internationally?

Yes. Organisations that are Affiliate members of the IFE can place advertisements for vacancies directly within the 'MY IFE' area which is freely accessible to all IFE members.   Vacancies can also be placed in the e-newsletter and the IFE's International Fire Professional journal.   If you would like to advertise a vacancy please contact marketing@ife.org.uk.  Membership is currently in excess of 10,000 fire professionals worldwide.

Does the IFE expect members to maintain Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Yes. In fact, the IFE is keen to support members in maintaining their CPD. The IFE’s branches hold events throughout the year which carry CPD hours. To find out more about events offered by your local branch click here. The IFE also allocates CPD hours to specific training courses which are available on our website under the Training and Development Directory. If you are running an event and would like IFE CPD hours allocated please click here to download an application form.

The IFE also supports members by providing access to an online CPD logging system which is available in the MyIFE portal of the website.

Is the IFE licensed as a Professional Engineering Institution?

Yes. The IFE is licensed by the Engineering Council as a Professional Engineering Institution.

What is the Engineering Council?

The IFE is licensed by the Engineering Council. More information about the Engineering Council can be found at www.engc.org.uk.

I am running a fire-related event. Can I apply for IFE CPD hours?

Yes. This can be done through your local IFE branch or directly by emailing cpd@ife.org.uk

How can I find links to other fire organisations worldwide, universities and fire-related research?

Please log in to MY IFE for this information.

My question is not in the FAQ. Who can I contact?

Please email info@ife.org.uk

I hold an international qualification and need assistance with UK comparability, who can assist me?

UK NARIC helps professionals that are qualified internationally who wish to practice in the UK.  UK NARIC is the designated United Kingdom national agency for the recognition and comparision of international qualifications and skills.  It performs this function on behalf of the UK Government.

UK NARIC can provide an official document that states how your international qualifications compare to UK qualifications.  This is a Statement of Comparability and is widely used by those wishing to work, study or practice in the UK.

For more information about UK NARIC's services please visit www.naric.org.uk or contact them on communications@naric.org.uk or on +44 (0)871 3307033

What is the IFE's policy for Lifetime membership?

The IFE’s current policy for Lifetime membership is as follows;

Members of at least fifteen years standing may, from 1 January in the year following attainment of the age of 65, make payment of twice the Fellowship annual subscription which shall entitle them to remain members of the appropriate class during their lifetime without the payment of any further annual subscription.

Does the IFE have a rate for Retired Membership?

The IFE does not offer a rate for retired members, however we do offer a Lifetime membership option, details of which can be found within the FAQs

I am a new member and/or Engineering Council registrant of the IFE. What are my post nominals and how can I use them?

If you are a new IFE member or IFE Engineering Council registrant, it is important to note the correct order for your post nominals (letters after your name, also referred to as designatory letters).  These are written as follows:

IFE Membership Grades (Fellow, Member, Associate, Graduate and Technician):

FIFireE       MIFireE       AIFireE       GIFireE       TIFireE

IFE EngC Registration Levels (Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician)

CEng       IEng       EngTech


Please note the correct placement of capital and lowercase letters; no punctuation or spaces should be used.

We encourage our members to use their IFE (and EngC, if applicable) post nominals at every opportunity, including email sign-offs, official letters, tender documents etc.  This helps raise the profile of your professional status with us.

IFE Membership and Registration post nominals should be ordered with EngC registration first, immediately followed by the relevant IFE grade, for example EngTech TIFireE or CEng FIFireE.  Registration and membership post nominals should go after academic post nominals, such as university degrees, and before Armed Forces post nominals (such as RN or RAF).

So, if you are an IFE Member grade member with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, your post nominals should look like the following: Mr A Person BSc (Hons) MIFireE 

If you are an IFE Fellow grade member with a Master of Engineering degree and you have achieved Charted Engineer status, you post nominals should look like the following: Mr A Person MEng CEng FIFireE

If you have recently been registered with the IFE as an Engineering Technician you are automatically conferred as a Technician member (or Graduate member, depending on academic qualifications) of the IFE and are entitled to use the following post nominals: Mr A Person EngTech TIFireE or Mr A Person EngTech GIFireE

If you have a PhD, you can either use the title Dr or the post nominal PhD: Dr A Person MIFireE or Mr A Person PhD MIFireE   

Note to EngC registrants: You may be interested to know that there is an EngC logo that you can download and use on your email signatures, business cards, letterheads etc.  For more information, please visit https://ws.engc.org.uk/logoorders/.

For more information on the use of post nominals, please see the following resources:

IFE guidance on use of post nominals

IFE flowchart displaying correct order of post nominals

Engineering Council Professional Registration FAQs

List of post nominals used in the UK

Note to members on cancelled/lapsed memberships: Should you cancel your IFE membership or your membership is suspended due to non-payment, you are no longer entitled to use your IFE post nominals (including EngC post nominals if you are registered through the IFE).

All subscriptions and fees fall due for payment on 1 January each year.

How do I reinstate my IFE membership?

Reinstating IFE graded membership is relatively straightforward and there is no need to complete a fresh application form. However you will need to access the MyIFE Portal and update your personal details, including; email address, telephone number, address and employment details. 

In order to process the reinstatement of your membership we require the following:

  • An up to date current CV
  • A CPD log covering the past 12 months showing relevant industry content with clear learning outcomes
  • A non-refundable reinstatement application fee of £75
  • Past IFE membership reference number if you know it
  • Date of birth – this helps us to locate your past record

If you want, you are able to pay all outstanding membership fees for the entire lapsed period of membership which will allow you to show continued membership, however this is not normally a requirement and is a personal choice.

Upon receipt of the reinstatement fee and required documents, your reinstatement application will be put forward to the Membership Application Assessment Panel for review. Upon successful award of your reinstatement, you will be required to pay the full membership grade fee. Please note reinstatement will not be complete until all fees and subs have been received by IFE International HQ. The Panel usually meets every 6 to 8 weeks.

All documents and information can be emailed to us at membership@ife.org.uk

Please note if you want to reinstate registration of any type, please contact us for further information regarding this.

Is there guidance available on the use of IFE Logos?

There are strict guidelines in place regarding use of IFE logos. You will have been sent information regarding these if you are eligible to use any of the available logos.

If you are unsure please email membership@ife.org.uk for further guidance. The IFE takes mis-use of any of our logos very seriously and will take appropriate action including recourse to the courts, if our logos are used with intent to deceive.