IPSQA CertPubS® – Any Training, One Certification

Aligned to ISO 17024, IPSQA’s flagship solution CertPubS® is the world’s only multi-disciplinary public safety role certification requiring knowledge, skills and experience. 

As IPSQA does not provide training, this gives agencies the flexibility to manage their training as they deem appropriate, from internal or external training, accredited with national or state bodies or not. Training prior to certification does not have to be provided by an IPSQA certified professional, nor are there any membership requirements for candidates.

This approach makes the IPSQA Certification Scheme attractive to many government agencies who look to manage their own training, but ensure an independent process is available to give confidence their training is benchmarked against other public safety agencies around the world.

For the IPSQA Certificate in Public Safety (CertPubS®) Certification Scheme, there is a corresponding IPSQA Standard. These standards are available to those registered with IPSQA.

Certification Scheme

The IPSQA Certificate in Public Safety (CertPubS®) is IPSQA’s flagship certification scheme, and is available against a wide range of standards including:

  • Rope Rescue
  • Swiftwater Rescue
  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Structural Collapse (USAR)
  • Emergency Response Driving
  • Exercise Management
  • Emergency Medical Responder
  • Law Enforcement
  • Hazardous Materials 
  • Public Safety Instruction/Adult Education

We also work with government and industry to develop new standards. 

The Certificates are awarded against an IPSQA standard which aligns with a specified public safety role.  The Certificates are also mapped against an academic level (1-10), aligning to qualification levels used in Australia, New Zealand and UAE.

For example: 

IPSQA Certificate in Public Safety (Steep Angle Operator) Level 3, abbreviated as CertPubS®(SAO)L3.

The certification endorsement (also known as major or suffix) is based on an index of standard codes

Certification Process

The certification process is a simple three part process.

  1. Part A: Theory examination 
  2. Part B: Practical skills assessment
  3. Part C: Professional requirements 

These three parts must be undertaken in order, commencing with Part A. 

Part A: Theory examination 

The candidate completes an examination to ensure they have sufficient knowledge against the theory requirements of the standard being certified. A statement of completion is issued (i.e. John Smith has successfully completed the requirements of IPSQA 3002:2012, Part A (theory)). 

This is generally provided through an online examination available in over 60 languages and easily verified. Where a supervised exam is used, it shall be assessed independently and be approved prior to use. 

Theory examination questions are based on Approved Industry References

Part B: Practical skills assessment

The candidate completes an independent practical assessment of the skill requirements of the standard being certified. 

A statement of completion is issued (i.e. John Smith has successfully completed the requirements of IPSQA 3002:2012, Part B (skills)).

Practical assessments must be consistent to Approved Industry References

Part C: Professional requirements

The candidate submits a portfolio of evidence to meet professional requirements of the standard. This includes experience, but may also include logged hours in specific functions, testimonials, educational and other requirements such as an approved first aid certificate.

The portfolio is independently assessed by a senior assessor (Levels 1-4) or panel of senior assessors (Levels 5 and above) designated by the Certification Commission; and where successful, the candidates is awarded the IPSQA Certificate in Public Safety (CertPubS®), endorsed in the standard/subject undertaken. An electronic certificate is issued with a real-time verification QR code. Formal certificates for wall mounting are also available. 

Part C is a distinct feature of the IPSQA certification scheme and ensures public safety practitioners have solid experience before they can be certified, that no one person has the authority to award the certification as a minimum of two independent assessors are part of the process and all parts are subject to internal audit, all in accordance with ISO 17024:2012. 

Quality Assurance

The IPSQA Quality Management System (QMS) provides robust processes for appeals, complaints, conflicts of interest, and internal auditing relating to the certification scheme. 

IPSQA randomly conduct telephone/online meeting validation with the candidate and/or reviews the evidence used (Parts A, B and C) to ensure integrity of the process. Assessments are conducted in accordance with the IPSQA Certification Scheme Quality Management System, available to registered users. 

IPSQA Certification fees are used as the primary revenue to operate the organisation, including quality management, administration, internal and external auditing, surveillance and monitoring.  


Recertification is achieved through the respective standards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. 

Further Information

Further information on ISO/IEC 17024:2012 Conformity assessment – general requirements for bodies operating certification of persons is available here.

The IPSQA Certification Scheme is overseen by the Certification Commission which is made up of global industry experts appointed as Commissioners who are responsible for the development and revision of new standards, appointment of assessors and portfolio panels, and other such matters as directed by the Chief Executive Officer. Commissioners are drawn from around the world and across multiple public safety disciplines to ensure the Certification Scheme is robust and remains relevant to industry. 

CertPubS is a trademark owned by IPSQA.

Certification Scheme Assessors

Registered Assessors are able to examine applicants under the Certification Scheme. 

They are selected and approved by the Certification Commission and serve at their will. 

The requirements for Registered Assessors, include (but not limited to):

  1. Fluent in English (speaking, reading, writing) 
  2. Computer literate (able to confidently navigate web based systems)
  3. Completion of the IPSQA Registered Assessor course and examination
  4. Has completed an approved mentoring, moderation and supervision programme as a Provisional Assessor, with consideration given to those holding competency based assessor qualifications such as:
    1.  NZQA Unit Standard 4098
    2. Certificate IV Training and Assessment (TAE)
    3. Level 7 or higher qualification in adult/tertiary education
    4. TAE Assessor Skillset 
    5. Highfield International Level 3 Award in Vocational Assessment  
  5. Holds the IPSQA professional certification being assessed, or at the discretion of IPSQA, been issued an exemption on the basis of holding a recognised qualification for the subject area of the standard such as:
    1. Nationally recognised qualification (i.e. Diploma in Technical Rescue)
    2. Qualified Instructor with ACA, Rescue 3, ITRA etc
    3. Graded Membership i.e. Member or Fellow of the Institute of Search and Technical Rescue
  6. Has identified and disclosed any known conflicts of interest
  7. Agreed to and abide by IPSQA Code of Conduct and Quality Management System.
  8. Have an official letter of support from a government public safety agency within the jurisdiction of their domicile.    

Provisional Assessors 


  • New assessors under supervision of a registered assessor (who is accountable for assessment decisions under such supervision).
  • Assessors who are unable to meet English fluency requirements and have a translator condition in place
  • Assessors who have not maintained or fail to maintain Registered Assessor requirements.
Senior Assessors

Senior Assessors are assessors that have exceptional technical expertise in the subject matter and authorized to carry out the assessment of Part C requirements of a standard, either individually (for levels 1-4) or as part of a panel (for levels 5 and above).

Parameters of Assessment

Underpinning the IPSQA Certification Scheme are the 7 Parameters of Assessment. These are:

  1. Impartiality
  2. Validity
  3. Fairness
  4. Consistency
  5. Currency
  6. Sufficiency
  7. Authenticity

Impartiality ensures the assessment is truly independent

Validity ensures the candidate is assessed to the certification requirements, nothing more nothing less. 

Fairness means the process is free from favouritism or discrimination.

Consistency means level of performance required between candidates does not greatly vary.

Currency means the evidence used in assessment or re-assessment is recent enough to be considered relevant for inclusion. 

Sufficiency means that the evidence used in assessment demonstrates competency more than in a once off occasion. 

Authenticity means the evidence used in assessment is verified as that of the candidate’s.