Every course delivered through State Fire Training (SFT) falls into two categories; the California Fire Service Training & Education System (CFSTES) which has become synonymous with certification and the Fire Service Training and Education Program (FSTEP) which does not lead towards certification.
How To Request & Schedule a Course
- Complete the Request for Course Scheduling form (either PDF or MS Word)
- Verify that your class criterion meets the prerequisites found in the course plan or the Course Information & Required Materials manual (PDF). This is important because some classes require site accreditation, while other classes may require a student to instructor ratio.
- Submit. There are a few ways to submit your class request. Choose from either email, U.S. mail, or in-person. Email is the preferred method and all emailed requests can be delivered to the Course Scheduler at SFT.CourseScheduler@fire.ca.gov.
Approval will not be granted after the fact; approval must be obtained before beginning the class. More information can be found in the SFT Procedures Manual (PDF) Section 5.1: Course Delivery.
Tips for Scheduling a Course
- Download and use current Requests for Course Scheduling forms; older forms delay your request.
- Verify that the listed instructor(s) are approved to teach the class. This can be done by looking them up in the on-line Registered Instructor Database.
- A Senior Instructor cannot also be the Primary Instructor for the delivery of a course.
*Except for one- and two-squad Confined Space Rescue Technician class deliveries
- Fill-in the name of the "Training Facility" even if it is the same as the sponsor.
- Urgent requests must be discussed first with the Course Scheduler. Approval will only be granted on a case by case basis.
The Registered Instructor or the host agency, shall notify SFT in writing of any changes or cancellations in course delivery. Class changes or class cancellations can be emailed to the Course Scheduler at: SFT.CourseScheduler@fire.ca.gov. When emailing to request a change/cancellation please include the class approval number, in addition to the old class information (i.e. dates, instructor, location) as well as the new changes that need to be applied.
Courses with Less than Five (5) Students
All courses with less than 5 students must be approved by SFT prior to delivery. More information can be found on the Course Enrollment Reminder bulletin.
The Registered Instructor, in conjunction with the host agency, shall:
- Verify student eligibility and prerequisites for course enrollment
- Ensure the maximum student limit for the course is not exceeded
- Ensure the appropriate instructor-to-student ratio
- Ensure the safety of all students participating in the course
- Ensure that absenteeism and tardiness does not exceed 10% of the required course
Returning a Course
Beginning January 1, 2019, SFT no longer utilizes the green Scantron forms to collect student roster information. Instead, Instructors now collect student roster information by using the SFT Course Roster Template (Excel) and submit it through the SFT User Portal.
Course credit will only be awarded to participants being reported with their assigned State Fire Training Identification Number (SFT ID) and the email address related to the SFT account. Instructors are required to return completed courses within fifteen days of the approved course end date. Once SFT staff electronically processes the course, students will receive an automated email with instructions on how to access their diploma(s) through their personal SFT User Portal account. New student accounts will also receive a welcome email with account activation instructions – in some cases, this email notification may be flagged as spam; therefore, remind new users to check their spam folder.
NOTE: As of January 1, 2019, all CFSTES and FSTEP course diplomas will only be issued and made available through the on-line SFT User Portal.
Course Evaluation Form
Class evaluations can now be completed on-line via the Class Evaluation Form (PDF). Students will be required to list the class approval code, instructor name, date and course name therefore it is important to share this information with students prior to the course completion.
Although class feedback is submitted directly to State Fire Training, Primary and Senior instructors of record may request to review submitted class feedback via the Class Feedback Request Web Form from within the SFT User Portal. Requests may take up to 2 weeks to process and will be delivered in PDF format via email. Instructors who wish to see feedback on a regular basis are encouraged to instead provide their own class feedback survey.
What is an SFT ID Number
Every new user account in the SFT computerized records management system is issued a unique 8-digit number called an SFT ID number. This SFT ID number is required for reporting course completion information and is also required anytime an applicant applies for certification or an instructor is requesting to teach a course.
SFT no longer accepts or uses full social security numbers – only SFT ID numbers. If you do not know your SFT ID it can be looked up through the Retrieve My SFT ID feature on the SFT User Portal web page or in some cases on the Legacy SFT ID lookup.
NOTE: As of April 2017, all CFSTES course completion certificates and certification certificates now include your SFT ID number printed within the bottom right corner. If you have questions, contact the current Manager of Certification and Registration listed on the SFT Contact List (PDF).