Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Program overview

The program is for those wishing to enter the fire service (pre-service) and professional firefighters who wish to earn an AAS degree and/or meet specific National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State of Oregon DPSST fire certification requirements.

Mission statement

Collaborate and partner with emergency response agencies, organizations, associations and educational institutions to provide high-quality pre-employment training and education, and professional development opportunities for career and volunteer emergency response personnel to meet industry needs for a skilled and diverse professional workforce.

History of PCC’s Fire Service Accreditation

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adopted the first nationally applicable performance standards for uniformed fire service personnel, NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications, in November 1974. Since that time, the NFPA has adopted over 18 professional qualifications for fire service-related career areas. As part of the movement toward professionalizing the fire service, the National Professional Qualifications Board (Pro Board®) was established to accredit entities certifying members of the fire service to these standards. Also, the Pro Board began issuing National Certificates to individuals certified by an accredited agency and maintaining a Registry of individuals receiving National Certificates. The Pro Board began accrediting certifying entities in 1982.

In 1990, the National Association of State Directors of Fire Training and Education (later to become the North American Fire Training Directors – NAFTD) established a second fire service accrediting entity called the Fire Service Accreditation Congress. The name was later changed to the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) to reflect the fact it would accredit certifying entities from around the world, not just those on the North American continent.

Pro Board and IFSAC only accredit fire service certifying entities that utilize written and skill testing as the basis for certification. They do not accredit certifying entities that use other forms of assessment, for example, task books. For a certifying entity to be accredited, it must demonstrate it can test 100% of the NFPA professional qualification levels for which it is seeking to be accredited. Neither the Pro Board nor IFSAC accredits training. However, there are certifying entities accredited by the Pro Board and IFSAC that require specific prerequisite training before candidates can take a certification examination. There are other entities accredited by Pro Board and IFSAC that permit candidates to take a certification examination without having taken a specific training course. In both cases, candidates must demonstrate competency by passing the written and skill testing.


PCC Fire Protection Technology Program received a letter of support from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) to pursue accreditation for those members of the Oregon fire service seeking to obtain certifications recognized nationally and internationally.

Following an on-site visit in May 2012 by three IFSAC members, the IFSAC Certificate Assembly Board of Governors voted to accredit PCC’s Fire Protection Technology Program on September 22, 2012.

IFSAC member entities include 43 states and Washington D.C., all branches of the United States Department of Defense, 9 Canadian provinces, Canadian National Defence, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Malaysia, Namibia, Botswana, and Dubai.