BPA Requirements

Discussion in 'Professional Fireworks' started by Sonic Fireworks, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. It used to be £50k it was actually increased I believe.
  2. Jon

    Jon Pro Firer/Crew

    Oh really? I thought at one point (I am talking 8 years ago possibly) it was closer to 100k
  3. I have to admit I thought the same, but I'm sure I was corrected in the past too.
    Jon likes this.
  4. AtomFireworks

    AtomFireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    It is a big shame they set the turnover bar so high, I have over the past 9 years risk assessed, prepared, transported, set up and fired hundreds of shows, from small hand fired to championships.

    It is almost laughable I am not considred a " Professional" based on turnover alone, more so when you have witnessed bpa member companies taking huge safety risks that have infact led to incidents, yet I have never had anyone injured at any show we have provided (apart from a few sore thumbs from the old lump hammer!)

    GTRpyro, argentc, Ozzieuk and 8 others like this.
  5. Arthur

    Arthur Pro Firer/Crew

    I'm not sure that turnover is the best or only measure of "professional", however it is one measure that's reasonably easily to measure.
  6. littlegs

    littlegs Pro Firer/Crew

    I read this thread with great interest as I work as Freelance Production in the entertainment industry as well as crewing for Firework companies.
    I checked with my insurance company on my PLI as they supply to a lot of big Tours and shows and they said:

    Fireworks and Pyrotechnics:
    Liability arising directly or indirectly in connection with the installation, erection, supply, repair, maintenance, display, alteration, treatment, sale of any fireworks or pyrotechnics, other than any stage pyrotechnic devices or stage special effects installed and/or erected as part of any entertainment show or event.

    This will only cover you for stage pyrotechnics and special effects.

    So I checked with the firework company I work with a lot, as this seems a bit specialist and they double checked with Precision and the reply from the fireworks company was:

    The Fireworks Company Insurance policy takes priority in the cases where we ask a freelance / subcontractor to work for us, under our direction.

    Liability insurance ignores the tax situation. A freelancer working on a firework display is working as part of a firework company’s team.
    The only difference would be a sole operator running a show on his own for you.

    Hopefully that clears that up?

    On the BPA, they should look at what other trade bodies do like the production services association and step up to be a bit more professional. They do a good job but needs to be tighter.

    The BPA card design is poor, the exam is badly written and they try to push Shell Calc too much during the training, its good but its also a private business.

    I also question why you have to resit the exam every few years, that isn't a H&S requirement and just seems a money making exercise?
    If you sit the NEEBOSH exam for H&S you don't have to re sit it ever again. HSE say you need to be competent and don't lock you down on how that needs to be.
    Maybe they just need to support the whole firework industry, not just the big boys that can afford to be in the club and making money out of the small guys on training?
    Pyro Ed, Jon, Da Main Mouse and 6 others like this.
  7. Komodo Fireworks

    Komodo Fireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    An interesting thread here chaps,

    I think the fundamentals are agreed - A united industry voice is essential, but the current requirements for membership are not inclusive or perfect.

    As a business we have been members of the BPA for the past 10 years and to be frank its an expensive certificate to hang on the office wall and offers little in return to our business for our subscription. To that extent, we made the decision this year not to renew our membership until things change, & I hope at some point it will.

    My own personal opinion is that a tiered membership scheme would be far more inclusive for our industry and would allow companies aspiring to grow or even companies who are only carrying out a small number of displays to be a part of a unified association with a common industry voice where we can ALL learn from best practice and experience in delivering safe professional displays.

    Quite why the BPA also places a time restriction on a firers qualification also baffles me, particularly if the individual can demonstrate that they continue to work on displays and by that point alone are continuing to increase their experience as a person of specialist knowledge. We don't forget to drive overnight (although I probably have opened myself upto various comments here!?) so why should a time limit be placed on a qualification - unless- could it be- financially related ???? hmmmm..... Hey lets blame it on BREXIT.