The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Designation Program was created to recognize fire officers who have demonstrated excellence and outstanding achievement throughout their career. The designation demonstrates that individuals have developed a strategy for continued career improvement and development. The highly competitive CFO designation assures departments that their leaders have the educational and technical competencies necessary to meet the demands of today's society.
The National Professional Development Model, supported by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Program, maps an efficient path for fire service professional development. It is supported by collaboration among fire-related training, higher education, and credentialing. The model shows CFO designation as a credential to consider in the career progression to fire service executive.
The CFO designation is open to any chief fire officer deemed appropriate by the CPC, including:
- Assistant fire chief
- Battalion chief
- Chief coordinator of a mutual aid association
- Chief engineer
- Chief of department
- Chief of state forest protection
- Chief engineer
- Chief fire ward
- Deputy fire chief
- Deputy state fire marshal
- Director of state fire training
- Fire chief
- Fire commissioner
- State fire marshal
The CPC has a reciprocal agreement with the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE). Because IFE's certification criteria are similar to the CFO's academic, fire service and professional qualifications, IFE members (member or fellow grade) who are active Chief Fire Officers in a recognized fire brigade or fire department are eligible to complete a streamlined CFO designation application.
In 2011 the Center finalized a cooperative agreement between the California Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Commission on Professional Credentialing. To utilize this streamlined process, candidates must be a Certified Fire Chief through the CA OSFM and are required to be an active Chief Fire Officer in a recognized fire department or fire agency. Click here to download the application.