Skip to main content

Developed and maintained
by the NFCC


This breathing apparatus training specification has been prepared to help training providers produce suitable and sufficient theoretical and practical breathing apparatus training packages.

Whilst addressing the legislative requirements placed on duty holders, the main focus of this specification is the health and safety at work of all fire and rescue service personnel required to use breathing apparatus. It sets a benchmark in the form of good practice against which training providers can develop their breathing apparatus training products and associated arrangements.

The Health and Safety Executive, trade union safety representatives and others, such as independent auditors and operational assessment peer review teams, may also refer to this training specification when auditing fire and rescue authority arrangements for managing the health, safety and welfare of operational personnel.

The specification represents the current standard for breathing apparatus related training and is issued by the UKFRS National Operational Guidance Programme. It is anticipated that fire and rescue services will adopt the training specifications set out in this document.

The drive toward common principles, practices and procedures supports the development of safe systems of work on the incident ground and enhances intra and interoperability and national resilience.

It is for each individual fire and rescue service to decide whether or not to adopt and follow these specifications. The onus of responsibility for their application lies with the user.


The specification has been developed using the fire and rescue service Health, Safety and Welfare Framework and the principles of the Health & Safety Guidance 65 (HSG 65) Successful Health and Safety Management. It provides a framework for how a service can discharge its duty of care for the training and assurance of competence for operational personnel who undertake the following roles:

  • Breathing apparatus wearer
  • Breathing apparatus team leader
  • Breathing apparatus entry control operative
  • Breathing apparatus entry control point supervisor
  • Breathing apparatus communications operative
  • Breathing apparatus sector commander
  • Breathing apparatus welfare officer
  • Incident commander/incident monitoring officer
  • Breathing apparatus trainer/instructor


This specification presents a framework for the acquisition and maintenance of competence for breathing apparatus wearers, personnel responsible for the command, control and supervision of breathing apparatus at operational incidents and personnel responsible for the development and training of others to be able to undertake these roles competently.

It aims to provide a consistent approach across fire and rescue services and forms the basis for common operational practices, supporting interoperability across fire and rescue services, other emergency services and where appropriate, industry and other groups.

This guidance provides services with a clear framework for each breathing apparatus role identified above and should be used to ensure operational personnel acquire and maintain the required level of competence for their role.