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 Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation is open to chief officers serving at the Battalion Chief level or above. Candidates are required to provide an organization chart verifying position with their department.
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.