Monthly Archives: February 2016

New hot work training system in Finland

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From the beginning of 2016, hot work training and hot work training relating to roofing and waterproofing have been combined to form one complete training set in Finland. The new combination is part of the Nordic harmonization of hot work training. The Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK owns the hot work certificate trademark and the copyrights to the related training materials.

In Finland, hot work safety training has been offered since 1988, and consequently hot work training and licencing have been major factors in decreasing the proportion of major fires caused by hot work in the last 30 years. Both the issuer of the hot work permit and the hot work operator must have a valid hot work licence and thus the number of completed hot work training and hot work training relating to roofing and waterproofing is an impressive 1.5 million. For those with a valid certificate, training completed before 2016 will remain valid until the expiration date marked on the licence, and entitles the licence holder to do only the tasks specified on the licence.

Hot work training is going with the flow

Hot work safety training is also continuously developed to adapt to the changes in the society.

Hot work training is becoming more international: it is being developed in cooperation with Nordic fire prevention associations. A hot work licence issued in Finland is valid in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and correspondingly, a hot work licence issued in any of these countries is also accepted in Finland. However, all parties involved in hot work must be familiar with and follow the regulations and instructions of the country in which they work.

Another recent development is making the certificate mobile. Holders can download a hot work certificate on their mobile phone for hot work training that is completed after 1 January 2016. Mobile certificate is thus easier to take along, it enables information to be checked from SPEK’s register, specifies the tasks that the licence entitles the holder to do and even reminds the holder of the certificate’s expiration date.

You can read more about the training system in the attachment.

Cyber Security: Fire protection of the 21st century

Eye on technology background.

VdS 3473 protects SMEs against cybercrime. // Multi-layered processes ensure required levels of protection. // New Standard creates an important foundation for insurers issuing cyber policies.

Cologne, February 2016. Cybercrime and attacks on IT systems are now sadly commonplace for most businesses. “In particular, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are often in the sights of cybercriminals because they are mostly highly innovative, but have at the same time insufficient protection in the field of IT security,” says VdS-CEO Dr. Robert Reinermann. A major reason is the conventional security standards, which often overwhelm SMEs.

With the publication of the guidelines “VdS certified cyber- security” (VdS 3473) and a corresponding range of new services VdS is responding to this security risk in the SME sector. Behind the industry-neutral guidelines are underlying measures specifically tailored to SMEs, by which the information security status of a company can be audited and certified. The minimum requirements for information security are designed so that SMEs are not organisationally or financially overwhelmed. With about 20% of the outlay in comparison to ISO 27000, SMEs can divert to the upward compatible VdS guidelines, measures and processes, as they ensure the required level of protection in the IT sector. In addition, a certification in accordance with VdS 3473, can also at all times be the entry into the ISO 27000 series certification, to which VdS also offers certifications.

VdS-certified cyber security generates a high level of trust with customers and suppliers and lead to competitive advantages for certified companies. To pave the way for certification to VdS 3473, VdS offers two practical tools: The VdS Quick Check – a free web tool that is available on the Internet at (soon also in English) which enables companies to gain a first impression of the status of their cyber security. The results can be subsequently verified on the spot by VdS in a so-called Quick-Audit and the client provided with measures that if required, need to be taken. In addition, VdS has within the training courses “Information Security Officer” and “VdS 3473” – Guidelines for “information security” supporting educational opportunities in the program.

The guidelines VdS 3473 and further information on cyber security can be found for free download at An English version of VdS 3473, like the English VdS Quick-Check will soon be available.