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Tier 1 Fire Investigation

Tier 1 Fire Investigation online course:

The main objective of the FireWise Tier 1 Fire Investigation course is to improve awareness of fire investigation amongst practitioners initially attending a fire scene, who are most likely to be Fire Service Incident Commanders (Crew & Watch Managers), Police Officers/Detectives, Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), private sector Fire Scene Investigators or Facilities and Health Safety & Environment managers.

The course provides learners with the knowledge and skills to carry out routine (Tier 1) fire investigations effectively, taking into account their professional and legal responsibility, and determining origin and cause in routine fire scenes; or to be able to hand over the scene to a Tier 2 Fire Scene Investigator or other agencies. 

Recognising the most frequent fires attended by Tier 1 Fire Investigators, the Tier 1 course also provides knowledge of basic electrical causation, small appliances/white goods, smouldering and smoking material fires, self-combustion and personal mobility/vehicle fires.

The Tier 1 course does not qualify individuals as competent Fire Scene Investigators, which is a much more advanced and specialised role requiring further Tier 2 training and qualification through the FireWise Fire Investigation training programme.

Course benefits:

  • Convenient and affordable fire investigation education to national standards (NFCC, FSB, Level 2 criteria)

  • The online, modular approach supports learning for a remote workforce, and those working different Duty systems,         in particular FRS On Call personnel

  • 8 hours of Guided Learning, equivalent to a 'one day attended course'

  • Delivered by subject matter experts, informed by decades of fire investigation fieldwork, this course has all the behind-the-scenes experience to grow individuals professionally

  • Easy to navigate learning platform

  • Tutor support throughout

  • Organisational progress reports and/or coordinator monitoring access

  • Certificated upon successful completion (achieving 70% or higher)

  • Accessible design in accordance with BDA guidelines (Person Impact Assessment available)

  • 8 hours formal CPD accreditation by United Kingdom Association of Fire Investigation (UK-AFI)


Course Delivery:

The modular Tier 1 programme comprises 8 hours of online learning, delivered by UK Fire Investigation subject matter experts, with a knowledge check and immersive assessment of the learner’s ability to determine origin, cause and fire development within a routine fire scene.

The online, modular approach supports learning for a remote workforce, and those working different shift patterns or Duty systems, in particular FRS On Call personnel. The programme is completed through the online FireWise learning platform either individually or as cohorts.


The FireWise Learning Academy content is designed and delivered by experienced, UK Fire Scene Investigators and trainers, experts who are able to convey their knowledge of the subject matter effectively to the learner.

The content is delivered and explained, using narration, images and annotation.

The learner will complete a knowledge quiz to confirm knowledge acquisition and understanding; a 70% pass rate is required. To enhance the subject matter, the FireWise Learning Academy programme uses immersive 360-degree imaging to enable the delegate to experience a real fire scene whilst in this theoretical, learning phase. This helps to reinforce their recognition and interpretation of fire damage, post fire indicators and patterning.

Rather than simulation or virtual reality, the real-life imaging prepares learners for future exposure to real scenes as they progress to further practical fire investigation training.

Here is an example of the learner immersion using 360 fire scene imagery:


Following preliminary visual examination of the scene the learner can interact with the scene and manipulate or remove items or fire debris to allow further examination and investigation.


Upon Completion

The FireWise Fire Investigation programme meets the Job Performance Requirements related to NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator, 2022 Edition which facilitates safe, accurate investigations by specifying the job performance requirements necessary to perform as a fire investigator in both the private and public sectors.



The FireWise UK Fire Investigation programme aligns with: 

  • the NFPA 1033 Job Performance Requirements of the scientific fire and explosion investigator

  • NFPA 921:2021

  • the recommended qualifications* of the NFCC National Competency Framework for Fire Investigation, and the UK Approved Code of Practice

  • the Tier 1 training requirement of the Fire Standard for Fire Investigation 


* ‘Personnel performing Tier 1 (routine) scene investigations should be trained and competent to a level equivalent to meet all of the Skills for Justice Level 2 Introduction to Fire Investigation assessment criteria’ (below)

1: Understand the principles and responsibilities of fire investigation:

1.1 Describe why fire investigation is needed 

1.2 Explain the levels of fire investigation and agencies involved 

1.3 Identify the legal requirements for a fire investigation

1.4 Describe the limits of own responsibility within fire investigation

1.5 Describe the levels of PPE required by a Tier 1 Fire Investigator

2: Understand the methods used in fire investigation: 

2.1 Describe the relevance of post fire indicators 

2.2 Identify different types of burn patterns 

2.3 Identify indicators of deliberate fires

2.4 Describe effective scene preservation by initial crews

3: Understand the recording of evidence by a Fire Investigation Officer:

3.1 Identify the types of evidence gathered by a Tier 2 Fire Scene Investigator

3.2 Explain the reasons for contemporaneous notes 

3.3 Describe what is meant by ‘the chain of evidence’ 

3.4 Summarise the information recorded by a Tier 2 Fire Scene Investigator

4: Be able to investigate a fire within own level of responsibility:

4.1 Identify the point of origin of a fire 

4.2 Investigate the cause of a fire 

4.3 Explain the development of a fire

4.4 Record information relating to a fire 


Our course is not designed to solely meet assessment criteria, but imparts the knowledge that we know Tier 1 investigators want and need to know about Fire Investigation of routine fires.

The Tier 1 online course attracts 8 hours formal CPD accreditation by United Kingdom Association of Fire Investigation (UK-AFI)


For those Fire Scene Investigators working within the UK criminal justice system, the FireWise courses will underpin knowledge to assist in meeting the training and competency requirements of ISO17020:2012 and of the Forensic Science Regulators code of practice and conduct.


Course delivery:

Online through the FireWise Learning platform.

A good internet connection and current internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Edge are required.


Course structure:

Tier 1: Chapters with knowledge check quiz, concluding with a ‘practical’ determination of origin, fire development & cause in an immersive 360 image real fire scene.


  • 8 hours of online Guided Learning, knowledge checks and ‘practical’ assessment scenario

  • Learners can complete the Chapters at their own pace, progress is saved.

  • Usually the course completion timeline is two months from registration – if required, extensions can be agreed on a case-by-case basis.



FireWise Learning Academy founder, Bob Turley partnered with the world’s leading fire investigation expert, Dr. John DeHaan to design and deliver this proprietary training program across Canada and the US. The proven FireWise Fire Investigation programme is now available across the UK and Europe through the FireWise UK Learning Academy, delivered by UK subject matter experts with decades of fire investigation experience and knowledge of current UK training and competency standards, experts who are able to convey their knowledge of the subject matter effectively to the learner. This ensures that learners receive relevant knowledge and understanding relevant to their origin & cause determination of routine fire scenes – kitchen fires, small electrical items, white goods, smouldering/smoking materials and car fires.


Training support:

  • The in-house course Tutor is available throughout by either email, phone or online for questions and assistance.

  • Learner support is available throughout.

  • Technical & learning platform support is available during regular business hours.


Tier 1 Fire Investigation printable certificate of completion awarded upon achieving 70% or higher.


Whilst all the course content is delivered, not requiring learners to have hard copy/online reference material, learners may wish to undertake wider reading and all related documents are available on the FireWise UK website resources page.

To find out more about the FireWise Fire Investigation programme contact FireWise UK Learning Academy at

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