Alternative Pathways to NWCG Qualification

The NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Position Qualifications, PMS 310-1, establishes minimum NWCG position qualification standards for training, experience, physical fitness, and currency for national mobilization to wildland fire incidents. Position qualification requirements are located on the individual position pages of the NWCG Position Catalog.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL), NWCG position endorsements, and the National Fire Academy (NFA) Structural Fire Skills Crosswalk are methods for attaining NWCG PMS  310-1 positions outside of the qualifications pathway through formal processes and recognized programs. Use of these processes and programs are determined by each agency independently and only apply to positions identified in the NWCG PMS 310-1. The use of these alternate pathways ensures the critical knowledge and skills needed to perform on wildland fire incidents is attained while increasing response capacity through a shortened path to qualification.

Group of wildland firefighters walking through low hanging smoke.

The NWCG Standards for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), PMS 309, establishes the use of a formal competency-based qualification process that allows any credentialing authority to recognize and account for competence acquired through life-long learning and experience. RPL is a process that evaluates an individual’s formal and non-formal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required competencies to perform effectively in a specific emergency management or responder position. It is widely recognized that a standardized NWCG RPL process will reduce redundant training, support efforts to increase speed and time to competency, and support efforts to boost national resource surge capacity.

The NWCG Executive Board is developing NWCG position endorsements for the 45 common positions shared with National Incident Management System (NIMS) National Qualification System (NQS). A position endorsement is defined as “Documentation validating specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that an [Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)] establishes beyond the minimum qualifications for a given position.” Endorsements allow utilizing NQS all-hazards qualified resources on wildland fire incidents. This process is not designed to review specific NWCG positions for use in all-hazards incidents.

Position analysis is underway. See analysis process for additional information. As recommendations are approved, they will be posted below. Target completion for analysis of all 45 positions is June 2022. 

NWCG Position Catalog 

Title Position Code Endorsed? Endorsement Approved Link to Recommendations

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Communication Unit Leaders will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Communications Unit Leader COML No 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. Demobilization Unit Leader will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Demobilization Unit Leader DMOB No 2022-04-20

DOCL Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

  • Review NWCG Standards for Electronic File Documentation, PMS 277, prior to assignment [note: publication nearing finalization].

Required Additional Experience

  • Successful performance as a DOCL trainee on a wildland fire incident (no position task book required).

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Documentation Unit Leader DOCL Yes 2022-04-20

FACL Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

  • None Required

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Facilities Unit Leader FACL Yes 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Food Unit Leaders will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Food Unit Leader FDUL No 2022-04-20

GSUL Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

  • None required (NQS and NWCG are identical)

Required Additional Experience

  • None required (NQS and NWCG are identical)

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Ground Support Unit Leader GSUL Yes 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Incident Communications Technician will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Incident Communications Technician COMT No 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Logistics Section Chiefs Type 1 will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Logistics Section Chief Type 1 LSC1 No 2022-04-20

LSC2 Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Logistics Section Chief Type 2 LSC2 Yes 2022-04-20

LSC3 Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

  • None Required

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Logistics Section Chief Type 3 LSC3 Yes 2022-04-20

MEDL Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Medical Unit Leader MEDL Yes 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Planning Section Chief Type 1 will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Planning Section Chief Type 1 PSC1 No 2022-04-20

PSC2 Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Planning Section Chief Type 2 PSC2 Yes 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Planning Section Chief Type 3 will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Planning Section Chief Type 3 PSC3 No 2022-04-20

PIOF Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

  • No additional experience required

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Public Information Officer PIOF Yes 2022-01-19

PIO1 Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

  • No additional experience required

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Public Information Officer Type 1 PIO1 Yes 2022-01-19

PIO2 Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

  • No additional experience required

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Public Information Officer Type 2 PIO2 Yes 2022-01-19

RESL Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

  • Review NWCG Standards for Electronic File Documentation, PMS 277, prior to assignment [note:  publication nearing finalization].

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Resources Unit Leader RESL Yes 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Safety Officers need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Safety Officer Type 1 SOF1 No 2022-01-19

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Safety Officers need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Safety Officer Type 2 SOF2 No 2022-01-19

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Safety Officers need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Safety Officer, Line SOFR No 2022-01-19

SVBD Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Service Branch Director SVBD Yes 2022-04-20

This is an inherently wildland fire position and has no endorsement. All-hazards Situation Unit Leader will need to meet the wildland fire position qualification requirements.

Situation Unit Leader SITL No 2022-04-20

SPUL Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

  • None Required

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Supply Unit Leader SPUL Yes 2022-04-20

SUBD Position Endorsement Requirements, 2022

Required Additional Training

Required Additional Experience

Physical Fitness Level: None Required

Support Branch Director SUBD Yes 2022-04-20

Structural firefighters meeting NFPA 1001 or 1021 qualifications may utilize the Skills Crosswalk identified by the NFA to apply their existing fire suppression knowledge and skills towards qualification in three NWCG incident positions: Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1), Engine Boss, Single Resource (ENGB), and Strike Team Leader Engine (STEN).

Refer to NFA for additional information.

The Gap courses have been designed to fill the knowledge gap between structural and wildand fire. The course, along with the associated position task book are required for structural firefighters prior to obtaining qualification in each of the three NWCG positions.

 

 

          

Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2022-02-14