Have It Your Way: Training and Education

AFSA offers the best education and training programs in the industry, including hydraulic calculations.

Reach Your Goals In-Person, Online, or Both!

Have you set some New Year’s resolutions or goals for your company? The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) can help members succeed with a wide variety of programming offered in several ways to best suit your needs. Do you want to expand your design department? Find a better way to train your apprentices? Open an inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) division? Look no further than AFSA! We’ve listened to our members and developed programs taught by industry experts to help you achieve your goals in 2023.

“In an effort to help members plan and budget, AFSA published our 2023 training calendar during the 2022 convention,” says AFSA Director of Education Services Leslie Clounts. “Between install, ITM, and design, hopefully everyone finds the training they are looking for.”


Beginning January 1, 2023, AFSA will offer two different opportunities to select the training that best fits the needs of your office and apprentice(s). They are curriculum and virtual instruction program (VIP). Either of these support the apprentices’ education across the four years of their apprenticeship.

The first training option is the curriculum. This is the option AFSA has offered for many years. These texts are produced through a partnership between AFSA and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The exciting piece for this opportunity is the textbooks have just been updated. The Sprinkler Fitting books are now in their 4th edition. Levels 1, 2, and 3 are available now; Level 4 will be available during the second quarter of 2023. Levels 1 and 2 correlate with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, 2019 edition. Levels 3 and 4 correlate with NFPA 13, 2022 edition. Supporting instruction for the education of apprentices remains with the employer as this option only includes the curriculum. It also includes updated assessments via an improved platform.

New this year is a virtual instruction program (VIP) for the apprentice curriculum. The Sprinkler Fitting curriculum discussed above is the same updated subject matter, but it will be taught by AFSA’s expert instructors. This training option provides 10 months of education to accompany the On-The- Job Learning (OJL) conducted by the employer. The education includes the newly updated Sprinkler Fitting textbooks, two live sessions each month, performance tasks to reinforce the modules, self-study components, and assessments.

Let AFSA handle the related technical instruction (RTI) portion, so you can focus on apprentices’ field training. Level 1 registration is now open for the inaugural VIP, which begins with a launch on February 1, 2023. Additional levels and sessions are being planned. Check the website for updates as these develop over the next months. For more details about the AFSA’s new apprentice training packages and to register, visit firesprinkler.org/sprinkler-apprentice-training/.


AFSA offers the best of both worlds for its Beginning Design School—a blended-learning format and an in-person school! The first school offered for 2023 will be February 7 – March 3. The school presents a comprehensive, practical approach to preparing fire sprinkler system drawings. Over a three-week period, students will attend six live webinars studying and reviewing the installation and design approach requirements of NFPA 13 (2019) while completing self-paced exercises and module assessments. Q&A sessions and open discussions will also be included as part of the online instruction. The second part of the class will be a week of in-person training preparing fire sprinkler system layout, shop drawings, and hydraulic calculations by hand. The course concludes with a comprehensive exam of the class content, including the installation requirements and hydraulics. There is no CAD or third-party software taught in this class.

Two additional sessions will be presented in 2023. April 25 – May 19 (blended format of virtual and in-person training) and August 14 – August 25 (traditional format of in-person training). For more details on this school, visit firesprinkler.org/programs/beginning-fire-sprinkler-system-planning-school/.


Experienced layout technicians will find this blended learning course useful to understand the tools they utilize in-depth and gain a deeper knowledge of layout standpipe, fire pump, seismic protection, and the design requirements for general storage. In addition to mastering requirements in NFPA 13; NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems; and NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection, students will utilize computer modeling software to apply design requirements learned throughout the course, becoming familiar with the BIM process.

This course begins with an orientation and two three-hour online classes followed by five days of in-person instruction. Schools currently scheduled for 2023 are March 20-31 and October 9-20. Visit  firesprinkler.org/programs/intermediate-fire-sprinkler-system-planning-school/ for full details and to register.


In AFSA’s three-day, in-person Sprinkler Hydraulic Calculations Workshop, students will understand and apply principles of hydraulics, including the different types of pressure, calculation changes in pressure (elevation and friction loss), and node analysis. Students will apply factors for equivalent length adjustments based on pipe type, size, and system arrangement. Using the principles of hydraulics, students will select a remote area, perform hand calculations for tree systems, and identify and understand the different sections of the detailed hydraulic worksheet and where to place the appropriate system information. Examples of calculations for sprinkler systems, water supply analysis, and simple loops are provided with a hands-on approach. Students will apply their knowledge to perform hand calculations. Then, students will utilize computer-based calculation software to demonstrate the impact of choices on system characteristics to determine effects on system demand and performance and validate the results.

The next Sprinkler Hydraulics Calculations workshop will be held February 8-10 in Dallas, Texas. A second course will be offered June 28-30, and an advanced class will be offered May 3-5. Visit firesprinkler.org/calculations for more details and to register.


AFSA offers a three-day, hands-on review of the inspection, testing, and maintenance (ITM) requirements for sprinkler systems, standpipe systems, fire pumps, and common components for water-based fire protection systems through classroom-based review and hands-on demonstrations and practice. This class is ideal for ITM technicians, building engineers, facility managers, insurance representatives, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).

Half of the course includes a classroom-based review, and the other half consists of hands-on demonstrations and practice. Specific hands-on tests will vary and may include main drain test; valve status test; dry system trip test; preaction/deluge trip test; resetting dry and preaction/deluge valves; weekly, monthly, and annual fire pump tests; and air supplies (air compressors and nitrogen generators).

Upon completion, participants in AFSA’s NFPA 25 Hands-On ITM will be able to:
• Identify the required periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements for water-based fire protection systems and system components.
• Interpret the results from periodic inspection, testing, and maintenance activities.

Participants are encouraged to have at least one year of relevant ITM experience, equivalent to NICET Level I, and an understanding of water-based system components and other basic concepts. However, inspection trainees may also benefit from this course.

The first course for 2023 will be held at AFSA’s training center, July 28-29. For more information, visit firesprinkler.org/programs/nfpa-25-hands-on-itm/.


AFSA is an ASSE (American Society of Sanitation Engineers) Approved Provider of the 15010 Certification Course. Individuals who are certified to ASSE 15010 have the ability to knowledgeably and skillfully inspect, test, and maintain water-based fire protection systems to the satisfaction of the fire protection industry and beyond the minimum requirements of NFPA 25. The evaluation of fire protection systems for conformance to codes and standards based on building evaluations and uses is beyond the scope of NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. A person certified in ASSE 15010 will have the qualifications to perform such evaluations in consultation with a licensed engineer in some states. For more details and to register for the July 31– August 4 course at General Air Products in Exton, Pennsylvania, visit firesprinkler.org/programs/training-course-for-asse-15010-certification.


Have questions? To learn more about all of AFSA’s education and training options, visit firesprinkler.org/education-training/ or email training@firesprinkler.org.

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