Advanced Programs Overview

A suite of Advanced Programs has been developed based on individual topic areas – Navigation, Crew Safety and Welfare, Hydraulics and Pumping, Wildfire Behaviour, and this Advanced Programs Introduction.

  • Train members in the key technical knowledge and skills required by a member in order to work at incidents and in functional areas without constant supervision
  • Allow for modular delivery of the topics, to support flexible training – not all members will want to train in all modules
  • Support the implementation of flexible membership within the NSW RFS – not all members will want to work as a firefighter.

The target group for these Advanced Modules are those members seeking to develop their skills and knowledge, in line with any operational experience they gain, in one or more areas covered by the programs. Members need only undertake the programs relevant to their specific roles and interests or all of the required modules if they wish to achieve Advanced Firefighter certification.

Career/Service Progression


In terms of progression to the Crew Leader (Wildfire) (CLW) program, the required minimum skill set is identified below. 

Advanced Programs Introduction (API)

Advanced Programs Introduction (API) is an introduction to the internal NSW RFS suite of advanced programs. This program is intended for individual members to carry out firefighting and associated functions for periods of time without the need for constant direct supervision, while working as part of a team or as an individual.

The program is also intended to inform members of the various training pathways within firefighting and other areas of service delivery across the NSW RFS.

The pre-requisite for API is:

  • Be certified as competent in Bush Firefighter (BF) or Bush Firefighter Support (BFS), or have otherwise been inducted in working safely in the vicinity of bush fires

Crew Safety and Welfare (CSW)

The Crew Safety and Welfare (CSW) program develops a member’s ability to recognise potential health and safety risks and take action to eliminate or control those risks at incident scenes, to prevent injury to self, other members and members of the public.

The pre-requisite for CSW is Advanced Programs Introduction (API)

Hydraulics and Pumping (HYD)

The Hydraulics and Pumping (HYD) program is designed to enable firefighters to operate pumps by delivering required flow rates and pressure safely and effectively while working under orders, but without constant direct supervision.

The pre-requisite for HYD is Bush Firefighter (BF)

Navigation (NAV)

The Navigation (NAV) module is targeted at members who must understand navigation in order to work at incidents and/or perform roles requiring navigation and advanced mapping skills.

The pre-requisite for NAV is Bush Firefighter (BF) or Bushfire Support (BFS)

Wildfire Behaviour (WFB)

Wildfire Behaviour (WFB) develops a member’s ability to interpret weather data, assess topography and bushfire fuels, predict fire behaviours and apply appropriate firefighting tactics.

The pre-requisite for WFB is Bush Firefighter (BF) or Bushfire Support (BFS)

Certification and Badges


When a member has successfully completed the following Advanced Modules, they will be eligible to receive Advanced Firefighter (AF) certification and a uniform badge.

  • Advanced Programs Introduction
  • Crew Safety and Welfare
  • Hydraulics
  • Navigation
  • Wildfire Behaviour

Progression to Other NSW RFS Training Pathways


The Advanced Programs listed above are also the pre-requisites for a number of other training pathways in the NSW RFS. The details of which Advanced Program is a pre-requisite for other training programs can be found in the NSW RFS Training and Assessment Strategy for the relevant training program. These strategies can be found on the NSW RFS Intranet and on MyRFS.