F.I.A.I.: Fire Investigators Association of Ireland – Cumann Imscrudaitheoiri Doitean na hEireann

Education / Resources

International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)

The IAAI offer a range of Certifications and Designations for Fire Investigators to demonstrate their expertise

The IAAI have also developed a large range of online training programs designed to provide Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities for all those working as Fire Investigators or with an interest in Fire Investigation. These programs are available on the IAAI’s training website, CFI Trainer.


Gardiner Associates Training and Research, North Essex

Gardiner Associates Training and Research (GATR) is Europe’s largest provider of inter-agency fire investigation training to police and fire authorities. The company ethos is to deliver training by people who possess and practice intrinsic skills in the specific subject areas that they teach. From its launch in 1996, Gardiner Associates has assembled one of the most experienced and knowledgeable multi-disciplined team of practitioners who are amongst the best in their category. All GATR staff bring a high level of energy and to the classroom and provide different skillsets. These will be useful for you in the training ground as well as a wealth of practical insight and technique. The team continues to provide a range of ‘best value’ training options. Representatives of the majority of British fire and police authorities and former Forensic Science Service (FSS) laboratories have already attended our training programmes and in the past, the FSS has used our practical training facilities to assess and accredit forensic scientists.


University of Leeds

Fire Dynamics and Modelling

The course will follow a structured approach starting from the general fundamental principles of combustion flammability and heat transfer, and will lead you through to the more specific study of fire spread and fire development in compartments. Open fires such as pool and jet fires will also be covered. The principles of fire protection practice and technology will be discussed within the context of understanding the fire development mechanism and the response of structures to fires. Your learning experience will be enhanced through worked examples and brief problems that you’ll be asked to attempt on your own or in groups.


University of Edinburgh Centre for Fire Safety Engineering

The Centre offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Fire Safety Engineering well as a number of CPD courses related to Fire Investigation and Fire Safety Engineering Topics.


Fire Science and Fire Investigation Course

Running for over 30 years, this internationally acclaimed four day course on fire scene investigation explores the scientific principles of fire behaviour for practical application.

The course is taught by academics from the University of Edinburgh, specialising in fire dynamics and fire investigation, together with professional fire investigators, consulting engineers and forensic pathologists.

Topics include:

  • Investigation techniques
  • Forensic pathology
  • Ignition & fire growth
  • Wilful fireraising
  • Legal aspects

The programme is designed to build on previous training for professionals such as Police & Fire Officers, Fire Safety & Security Consultants, Coroners & Procurators Fiscal, Forensic Scientists and Loss Adjusters.


An Introduction to Tunnel Fires

This two day course aims to equip those working in the field of tunnel fire safety with the essential foundations of knowledge they need.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to fire dynamics
  • Vehicle fires
  • Fire behaviour in tunnels
  • Tunnel fires vs. ventilation
  • Tunnel fires vs. sprinklers
  • Introduction to structures
  • Response of structures to fire
  • Response of concrete to fire
  • Structural fire protection
  • Introduction to smoke
  • Ventilation for smoke control
  • Ventilation modelling (CFD)
  • Introduction to human behaviour
  • Tenability in smoke
  • Egress issues – road
  • Egress issues – rail
  • Wayfinding and escape


The course is aimed at professional engineers, designers, tunnel operators, regulators, etc. Topics will be presented at a graduate level, but no specific knowledge of the topics presented is expected. This course should therefore be appropriate to all parties interested in fire safety in tunnels.


University of Central Lancashire

Fire Scene Investigation MSc/PGDip/PGCert

This exciting course has been created in collaboration with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS). It provides the scientific background research methodology and fire science necessary to undertake practical fire investigation. A strength of the course is our unique access to real fire scenes created specifically for investigation at LFRS’s International Training Centre at Washington Hall.

This postgraduate course covers fire scene investigation theory and practice, the principles of fuels, sources of ignition and fire behaviour in buildings, fire modelling and computational fire dynamics in relation to fire cause and development hypothesis testing, providing evidence as an expert witness in court, the anatomy of large scale accidents and catastrophes, and research skills. The theory and practical sessions will build confidence through the development of practical expertise and specialist knowledge in the field of fire scene investigation and reporting protocols.

Postgraduate Fire Scene Investigation at UCLan is accredited by the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Energy Institute.


Certificate in Fire Investigation, Cert

The module will develop students’ skills and knowledge to enable them to conduct a fire investigation and to communicate the findings of the investigation to stakeholders in writing and verbally to in accordance with legal requirements, appropriate conventions and agreed protocols.

Students take theory and practical classes and practical fire investigations are conducted on full scale buildings.  Assessment is by assignments and practicals. Practical assessment involves full scale room burns, preparation of reports and simulated court attendance.

The course is delivered by academics with extensive experience in fire related subjects and fire service professionals who bring years of experience from working in the fire and rescue service.

We aim to create the perfect blend of knowledge, practical experience and relevance to equip UCLan graduates with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in the world of work.



Advanced Certificate in Fire Investigation, AdvCert

Advanced fire pattern analysis techniques – processing the scene using calcination surveys and laser equipment; post flashover fire pattern analysis; vector surveys; hour glass burn patterns; Advanced electrical fault analysis – fault identification through elimination techniques; lost neutral, arc mapping surveys, use of x ray equipment; Introduction to modelling fires – fire dynamics & computer modelling; physical and mathematical models; zone modelling (CFAST/NIST); Field models (FDS); Laboratory analytical techniques – Accelerant detection and identification including gas chromatography, mass spectrometry; small or large scale ignition tests; physical and chemical debris examination; radiography; microscopy; reconstruction techniques; adhoc fire testing; Fire dynamics – Flashover characteristics including compartment variations, logic diagram for flashover; smouldering fires; flaming combustion fuel controlled, ventilation controlled and under ventilated fires; stack effect; flammability limits; flash point, fire point and auto ignition temperature; Thermal inertia, heat release rate and heat transfer; structural response of the building including fire load, design load, live load and load resistance.

The course focuses on the use of advanced analytical techniques for the determination of fire cause and origin using, computational tools such as NIST’s Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS); advanced electrical investigative practice, forensic analysis and fire dynamics.

Theoretical sessions are supported by practical demonstrations in the fire laboratory and computational computer suite.

Assessment is by assignment and unseen examination.


Other Courses

University of Central Lancashire also offer a number of undergraduate courses in topics related to Fire Risk Assessment, Fire Engineering and Fire Safety and postgraduate courses on Fire and Rescue Service Management and on Fire Safety Engineering


Fire Service College

Practical Fire Investigation

This programme has been developed and is delivered in conjunction with the College of Policing (COP) for both fire investigators and forensic investigators. This is a blended programme, consisting of internet based pre-course study (25 hours), followed by a one-week practical course.

The course provides delegates with the underpinning knowledge and understanding required for the role of a fire investigator and develops their investigative skills as a fire/crime scene investigator.

On successful completion of the programme, delegates will be able to:

  • Have an understanding of basic fire science, combustion, fire behaviour, toxicology of fire debris and electricity as a cause of fire
  • Recognise the roles and responsibilities of the different agencies that may be involved in a fire investigation
  • Work as an effective member of a multi-agency team in fire investigation incidents
  • Maintain health and safety at a fire investigation
  • Identify and analyse post-fire indicators that may be present at a fire scene in order to determine origin and cause of fire
  • Identify the effects of an explosion at a fire scene
  • Identify the signs of arson
  • Use observational skills to identify items recovered from the debris, and to recreate the fire scene to identify points of origin
  • Prepare and deliver a presentation on a fire investigation and the findings


The Fire Service College also offer a range of other courses related to aspects of Fire Investigation, Firefighting and Fire Safety:


Prometheus Forensic Services

Five Day Fire Investigation Training Course

The Five Day Fire Investigation Training Course is aimed at investigators who are required as part of their role to examine simple fire scenes as the sole investigator. It has been designed specifically with crime scene investigators and fire officers in mind. The course comprises both theoretical and practical components. The classroom learning is interspersed with small practical elements and group syndicate exercises. There is a whole day given to a hands-on fire scene investigation. There is no requirement for previous fire investigation knowledge in order to attend this course. It is intended that at the end of the course each delegate should feel that they are able to examine, record and determine the cause and origin of simple fire scenes. The five day fire investigation training course has been accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences for 44 Continuous Professional Development points.


Five Day Fire Investigation Training


This list is not exhaustive and is provided for information purposes only. Inclusion on or exclusion from this list does not imply the endorsement or otherwise of the FIAI.

If you know of any other courses that should be included then please e-mail us with the details.