The changing role of the fire safety assessor

On 1 July, 2020, mandatory accreditation was introduced in New South Wales, with the adoption of the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) Fire Systems Design (FSD) and Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) categories.

For the first time, practitioners were formally held individually for the quality of their work.

The scheme has been in place now for almost two years, and the industry is starting to see a significant shift in attitudes, as individuals become increasingly aware of their responsibilities.

So, what changes are people seeing, and what does it mean for the future of fire protection?


Leigh Gesthuizen

National Manager, Technical, FPA Australia

Leigh is currently employed by FPA Australia as the National Manager Technical and Advocacy.  He has been involved in the building regulatory industry for 35years, cutting his teeth on the Melbourne Central tower and shopping precinct.  An expert in concrete technology and fire testing, he has worked with both Australian and offshore accredited testing laboratories.  9 years off shore experience in South East Asia for manufacturing, supply chain management.  Leigh has represented FPA Australia as a member for technical seminars in the passive and fire door sectors.  He continues to remain engaged with the international fire testing industry.


Mark Wilson

Senior Essential Service Consultant, Philip Chun Essential Services

Mark manages the NSW operation of Philip Chun Essential Services and has over 25 years’ experience and expertise in the building industry

Carrying out essential fire safety measure  compliance auditing and ensuring that building owner’s statutory obligations are met with respect to the ongoing safety, operation, maintenance and certification of building essential fire safety measures.
Providing technical assistance for Building Code of Australia, Australian Standards and Fire Engineering with respect to required essential fire safety measures performance.

Also providing independent witness testing of systems commissioning and annual systems interface testing for verification of performance requirements.

Currently FPAA Qualified Accredited Fire Safety Assessor for all Measures with a Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety Engineering and Diploma in Fire Systems Assessment



Alex Hoyle

Director, GMBS

FPAS accreditation status

FSA 26046A

Tertiary Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) , Diploma in Engineering Practice
  • Graduate Diploma in Building Surveying
  • AMCA certificate of Competency – Fire Damper installation and certification

FPAA Engagement

  • Chairman of the NSW Accreditation Reference Group
  • Member of the Industry Reference Group – Fire and Smoke Control Design
  • Member of the Industry Reference Group – FPAS, HVAC Industry

Industry Associations

A member for the following industry groups;

  1. Engineers Australia
  2. AIRAH
  3. CIBSE
  4. FPAA

I’ve worked in the consultancy space for the last 23 years, focusing on the annual certification process throughout Australia but more than 80% of that works consists of sites throughout NSW.

My clients vary from Westfield, Mirvac, NSW Health, CBRE, Frasers Property, Coles and many others. Most of these works purely focus on AFSS and essential services.

Our company works across all types and classification of buildings, but specializing in retail and commercial buildings.


Bill Lea

Chairman, Infrastructure Maintenance and Engineering Australia

Bill’s experience in the fire industry extends over 30 years. During this time he has established and operated several fire industry businesses. He is involved in several working groups to advance the fire protection industry educationally