Toe-in manoeuvre, Hope, BC, Canada

The International Rescue Instructors Association (IRIA)  Standards are based on the objective: Risk Management Matrix®

The IRIA defines a Standard (Professional Standard) as set of fixed, objective criteria (facts / proven truths), against which something can be quantitatively and qualitatively measured to meet (or not) and are verified, tested and defended by court recognized, subject matter experts.

IRIA Professional Standards are established requirements which have clearly described definitions, specifications, testing methods, and policy and procedures.

For instance  in training, the IRIA Specialist Stream is based on “Professional Standards” including students being examined (third party, performance qualified) and after meeting these Standards the student receives a “Professional Certification or License” .

The IRIA defines a Guideline as a set of flexible, subjective, perceived truths (recommendations, beliefs / understandandings) against which something cannot necessarily be quantitatively and qualitatively measured to meet (or not).

Industry Best Practices are a set of established guidelines that describe accepted industry practices regarding a topic and are agreed to by experienced industry representatives through collaboration and consultation.

Best Practice is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000.

In the era of deregulation, the term Best Practice is has come into vogue and is used to describe a quality assurance process as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be a basis for assessment or bench marking. For those who have been around in the industry, this may appear as a diluted form of the phrase “state of the art”.

For the IRIA Best Practice is about standards, policy and procedure and a sum product or the following activities:

  • SME working groups
  • Research, literature and Internet reviews
  • Workshops, testing, training
  • Audits
  • Liaison with equipment vendors
  • Meetings conferences and conference calls
  • Consulting/business/agency expertise

For instance in training, the IRIA Technician Stream is based on industry “Best Practices” and, after being assessed by the instructor as understanding these practices, receives a “Certificate of Achievement”, of either ‘Attendance, Participation or Completion”.

These two systems cover all elements of instruction and training with a composite view to quality assurance. They are future-oriented — many of the standards imply change to current practice and sustains a quality improvement culture.

ISO compliant IRIA Professional Standards and Best Practices categories include:

  • Mandate, Tasks, Environment, Occupational Streams, Organizational Types
  • Training Courses, Instructors, Equipment, Operational Procedures
  • Certification, Accreditation, Best Practices Protocols
  • Audits