Frequently Asked Questions
This section covers the FAQs regarding the Diploma in Fire Doors and becoming a FDIS Certificated Inspector. If you have additional questions, please do contact us.
1. How do I apply to take the FDIS Diploma in Fire Doors?
You can sign up here and now.
This qualification is ideal for any fire safety professional, health and safety consultant, building inspector, facilities manager or employee within the fire door industry - a valuable additional qualification under your belt which proves your competence in fire door inspection and advice.
You can study for the Diploma in Fire Doors via our online education programme. This is a series of education modules which you can study in your own time. At the end of your study, you can sit the final exam at a test centre near you.
The education programme provides a comprehensive level of knowledge in fire door specification, installation, inspection and maintenance. If you pass the final exam, successful candidates are then awarded the Diploma in Fire Doors and are entitled to use the designation DipFD.
2. What does the FDIS Diploma cover?
The FDIS education programme is a series of online education modules which you can study in your own time and wherever it's most convenient for you. The FDIS Diploma examination can be taken at a local centre.
The programme covers:
- Foundation module - provides a basic understanding of fire doors and their components, including testing and certification, regulations and standards, inspection and maintenance.
- Timber fire doors and frames - provides a more detailed look at timber fire and escape doorsets, their construction, installation and functional performance.
- Metal fire doors - provides information on how steel doors differ from timber doors, how they are tested, glazed, installed and maintained.
- Glazing - provides detailed guidance on the different types of fire resistant glass, glazed apertures, glazing retention systems and beading and the importance of getting it right.
- Seals - provides detailed information on the function and technology of intumescent, acoustic and smoke seals, how they're identified and installed.
- Ironmongery and signage (Part 1) - covers why each type of ironmongery is essential, critical issues about installation, how to check it is functioning corectly and when the item should be replaced.
- Ironmongery and signage (Part 2) - covers essential and non-essential ironmongery, the requirements for panic escape mechanisms and signage on fire doors.
- Transition module - only for Diploma holders who wish to proceed to become an FDIS Certificated Inspector.
Each module looks at the relevant regulations and standards that apply to fire door components and how certification is crucial to compliance.
3. How much does it cost to take the FDIS Diploma?
FDIS online training can be undertaken at your convenience and the FDIS Diploma examination can be taken at a local centre. For GAI, IAI, BWF or BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme members the cost of the education modules and examination is £300 plus VAT. For non-members it is £500 plus VAT. There are other discounts also available to members.
4. My company intends to put a number of people through the FDIS scheme. Are discounts available?
There are discount arrangements for the Diploma element only. Details are in the FDIS price list.
The discount is not deducted at the point of payment but made as a rebate when the number of candidates from the same company reaches the qualifying level.
5. My company intends to register a number of people to undertake the Diploma qualification. Is it possible to make a single transaction 'block booking' and thereby receive one invoice?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to make a block booking.
This was given very serious consideration, but we need to be able to track each individual's journey through the system. Each individual record becomes the basis upon which the person is tracked through the education programme, through to Inspector assessment and ultimately the database of Certificated Inspectors. This cannot be achieved on a group basis.
So every person must be registered individually and each transaction will generate a separate invoice.
6. Why should I become a FDIS Certificated Inspector?
FDIS Certificated Inspectors can carry out on-site inspections of installed fire doors in existing or new buildings. This is an essential part of any fire risk assessment required by law to be done by a building’s Responsible Person.
If you don't want to trade as a professional fire door inspector, you don't have to take this next step after achieving the Diploma. But if you want to provide a professional service to building owners and others who need a survey and advice on fire doors - and if you want to be listed on this website - you need to be a FDIS Certificated Inspector.
This involves completing the online Transition Module, and then submitting your practical inspection skills to the close scrutiny of our independent assessors at Exova Warringtonfire. They will check that you are applying your Diploma knowledge: demonstrating an understanding of the importance of carrying out accurate inspections as well as providing clients with high quality feedback and professional reports.
Being a FDIS Certificated Inspector proves that you are qualified and have been independently assessed to meet the FDIS standards. Certificated Inspectors are entitled to use the designation CertFDI. All Certificated Inspectors work to a Code of Conduct.
By lifting your knowledge levels to that of a certificated professional, you will be playing your part in enhancing life-safety measures in buildings all over the UK.
7. What do I get when I become a FDIS Certificated Inspector?
You will receive a FDIS Certificate and Identity Number and will be entitled to use the designation Cert FDI. You may also use the FDIS logo on your website, letterhead etc.
You will also be provided with protected access to the FDIS website and inspector database area, and may then purchase FDIS Door labels which are used on each inspected door.
You will be then be free to practice as an FDIS Certificated Inspector in accordance with our Code of Conduct. Each inspection undertaken by an FDIS Inspector is reported to clients in the same format via the FDIS website database. This requires a complete inventory and unique identity of all fire doors on the premises. A detailed report on the condition and functionality of each door is loaded onto the database by each Inspector. Any required remedial work will be undertaken by the client’s own contractor or by other recommended specialist contractors.
8. How much does it cost to become a FDIS Certificated Inspector?
Once you have achieved the Diploma in Fire Doors, you can go on to complete the Transition Module online and request assessment by Exova Warringtonfire. Assessment costs are £1,700 plus VAT for members of the GAI, IAI, BWF or BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme. The cost to non-members is £2,500 plus VAT.
9. How long does certification last?
As a FDIS Certificated Inspector, you will be required to renew your certification on an annual basis, and will undertake a practical reassessment every three years. You must comply at all times with the FDIS Code of Conduct.
10. How long will it take to become certificated?
Once you have successfully gained the Diploma in Fire Doors, how long you take to become a FDIS Certificated Inspector will depend on your current ability and skills and also having an appropriate workload to be able to demonstrate your skills to the assessors.
11. The entrance door to my flat doesn’t have a self-closer, should it?
Yes, all fire resisting doors other than those which are kept locked (such as store cupboard or riser doors) must have door closers. In addition fire resisting doors must have the correct signage depending on their use.
12. Is it okay to fit a roller bolt catch to a fire door?
The Code of Practice covering door hardware for Fire and Escape Doors states in reference to roller bolt catches:
This form of latch cannot be relied upon to give a retaining action and indeed can actually prevent a door from closing fully in to the frame. Their use on fire resisting doors is therefore NOT recommended. It should be noted that some latches, where withdrawal of the latch is via a handle/turn, use a roller rather than a bevelled bolt. Such devices can provide a positive retention of the door leaf but it is important to ensure that the rollers of such devices are made of a material high enough melting point (greater than 800C, or 900C for steel doors over 90 minutes resistance) to meet fire test requirements.
13. I have timber fire doors fitted with magnetic hold-open devices and door-closers. The doors have twisted and don’t closer properly. Why has this happened?
If hold open devices are installed incorrectly the door may bow or twist due to the conflicting forces of the hold-open device and the door-closer. Fire resisting doors can only prevent the passage of fire and smoke in the closed position so it is important that the doors close correctly without excessive gaps so it is essential to install hold-open and closing devices correctly.
14. I am supplying and installing fire doors do they need to be CE marked?
The Construction Products Regulations came in to force in the UK on 1st July 2013 and require certain building products to be CE marked. However fire resisting doors are not subject to CPR because there is currently no ‘Harmonised Standard’ for fire resisting doors. External fire doors are subject to CPR but not with respect to their fire resisting performance.
15. From a legal standpoint, how often do I have to inspect my fire doors?
Every six months. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places the legal responsibility with the Responsible Person (the person having control of the building) to ensure that fire safety devices are correctly maintained and fit-for-purpose. BS 9999 gives specific information with regard to six monthly fire door inspections.
16. I have had a letter from the building management company asking me to confirm that the entrance door to my flat is a compliant fire door. What does that mean?
It means a door that has been tested and certificated to provide adequate fire resistance. A fire door to a flat entrance is required to provide fire separation so that a fire can be contained within the flat for a specified period of time. This is to protect other parts of the building from fire spread and to protect escape routes. You can engage the services of a Fire Door Inspector to assess the suitability of your doors. We can let you have details of the most suitable inspector if you let us know your requirments here.
17. What is the maximum glazed area in a fire door?
This will depend on the certification and fire test evidence for the door leaf. Fire doors are subject to a fire test and will have been tested with a glazed aperture. From the fire test a report is produced giving details of limitations to the size and location of glazed apertures in the fire door leaf. The door manufacturer’s instructions and test evidence must be consulted with regard to the installation of glazed apertures and on-site cutting and glazing is not allowed on Certifire certificated fire doors because it will invalidate the certification.
18. Are concealed, uncontrolled door-closers suitable for fire doors?
Approved Document B (ADB) covers defines a self-closing device in Appendix E. This definition would cover a controlled CE marked closer but any uncontrolled jamb-mounted closer would be unlikely to comply. If the latch rests against the strike, it is probable that there would not be sufficient strength in the device to push the door home into the frame. A closer tested to EN 1154 is usually at its strongest in this position, and would usually have little trouble in pushing the door over a latch from a standing start. This is why the Code of Practice : Hardware for Fire and Escape Doors says ADB’s requirements are not met by uncontrolled jamb door closers.
19. To what extent do intumescent fire seals expand in the door edges? And does a 15mm wide seal expand to a greater extent than say 10mm?
Sodium silicate used in fire seals will expand between five and ten times its original size. But it can be difficult to quantify exactly as it will depend on the heat involved. So a 10x4 seal can expand by five to ten times and a 15x4 seal can expand by the same degree. It is not purely a matter of the intumescent seal expanding to fill the gap around the door, as it is generally tested on 3-4mm gaps around the door. This means that the seal expands to create pressure to help clamp the door into the frame to hold it in place for the required length of time. For this reason larger gaps around existing doors need to be reduced to the tested gap size of 3-4mm. Sodium silicate intumescent material begins to expand at around 100 degrees C which will be in the first few minutes of the fire.
20. How do we promote the fact that we are FDIS qualified to clients and prospects?
We provide a protected logo that qualified people can use to advertise their qualifications and services.
21. If I have a BWF-CERTIFIRE doorset is it a legal requirement to have an approved door closer? Or can the closer just be CE marked?
The important thing is to refer to the door manufacturer’s instructions and data sheet. Look for the BWF-CERTIFIRE label on the top edge of the door. It will contain a number with a CF prefix (eg CF160). If you visit the CERTIFIRE website you can download the CERTIFIRE certificate and data sheet which contains the information you need. Also, if it’s a new CERTIFIRE labelled door then it will come with installation instructions. It is essential to fit compatible components as referenced in the current building regulations, Approved Document B.