B. Description of System
C. Certification & Re-certification
D. Currency Req'ts.
E. Required Training / Prerequisite
F. Additional Training
G. Fitness Standards
H. Incident Complexity
I. Review and Update
J. Position Categories
K. Type 1 & Type 2 IMT's
L. ICS, Skill and Expanded Dispatch Position Qualifications
Appendix A: Position
Task Book Admin.
Appendix B: Qual. Flow
Appendix C: Training
Appendix D: Glossary
An Adobe PDF version of this document (117 pages, 213 kb) can
be downloaded from the NWCG Publications
Management System (PMS) website.
Prescribed Fire Qualification System Guide
PMS 310-1 (NFES 1414)
Position Task Book Administration
I. TASK BOOK DESIGN AND USE
Each section and page of the PTB are important to the process.
- The cover includes the title of the position and,
if applicable, states that a “wildland or prescribed fire assignment
is required” prior to certification. The cover also contains
a block of information that includes the name of the individual (trainee),
the person initiating the PTB, and the date that it was initiated.
The home unit or Training Specialist, when appropriate, (see Section
II., A., 3. of this appendix) on an incident will enter this information.
- The Verification/Certification of Completed Task Book
on the reverse side of the cover provides a record of the final evaluator’s
recommendation and agency certification. This should be kept on file
by the agency to support certification. The final evaluator will complete
the verification section recommending certification and the home unit,
when appropriate, will complete the certification.
- The introductory information on pages 3 and 4
provides a brief description of how the PTB is to be used and the
responsibilities of those involved. More information is provided in
- The Qualification Record includes:
- The left column contains a listing of the tasks which must
be performed. If a specific standard (quality or quantity) is
required, it will be specified in the task. Sub-items of tasks,
identified as bullet statements, further define what is included
in the task and how the task is to be performed.All bullet
statements within a task which require an action (contain an action
verb) must be demonstrated before that task can be signed off.
- The column labeled CODE will contain a code that specifies
the type of situation in which “O” (other)
is the least restrictive. Tasks labeled with an “O”
can be completed in any situation. Successful completion of a
training course which tests knowledge/skills associated with the
task is acceptable, as is evaluation of performance under simulated
or on-the-job situations. Assignment to an incident is not required.
An example of an “O” situation is one in which an
administrative officer, as a part of their regular job, may perform
many of the tasks associated with a finance/administrative position
for which they have been identified as a trainee. In this case,
an evaluator may observe and document performance of the “O”
task in the regular job setting.
“I” (incident) must be performed
on an incident of any type (wildland fire, prescribed fire, structural
fire, search and rescue, hazmat, oil spill, emergency, non-emergency,
planned or unplanned) which is managed using the ICS.
“W” (wildland fire) must be performed
on a wildland fire incident. “Rx” (prescribed fire)
must be performed on a prescribed fire incident.
“/R” (rare event) when added to
the above codes this means that this task would rarely occur and
opportunities to evaluate performance in a real setting would
be limited. This label applies to tasks which are required in
such situations as accidents, injuries, aircraft crashes, etc.
The evaluator must use some discretion in evaluating these tasks.
The evaluator may be able to determine, through interview, if
the trainee would be able to perform the task in a real situation.
Also, the trainee’s home unit may need to arrange for another
assignment or an evaluation under simulated conditions.
Tasks which carry both “W” and “RX”
codes, may be demonstrated on either a wildland fire or a prescribed
- The column labeled “Evaluation Record #”
refers to the evaluation records at the end of the PTB (see E,
“The Evaluation Record” below). Each evaluator will
complete an evaluation record and use the number of that record
when they evaluate the tasks.
- The right-hand column provides space for the evaluator to initial
and date when the task is completed. All tasks must be completed,
initialed and dated before the trainee can be recommended for
certification in the position.
- The Evaluation Record (four blocks at the end
of the PTB) is for recording information about the type and complexity
of the incident on which the evaluation was made and the recommendations
of the evaluator. There are specific instructions for completion of
the evaluation record included in the PTB.
A. The Home Unit
The home unit is the designated agency that employs the individual.
This could be a district, county, state, park, reservation or similar
entity, and/or the administrator who manages the qualification system.
It is the responsibility of the home unit to:
- Select trainees, based upon the needs of the home unit and agreements
- Ensure that individuals selected as trainees have met all required
training and prerequisite experience for the position as stated
EXAMPLE: An individual selected as a trainee for the position
of Single Resource Boss Crew (CRWB) must have documented, satisfactory
performance as an Advanced Firefighter/Squad Boss (FFT1) and
must have successfully completed the required training courses
prior to: obtaining an initiated PTB; performing on-the-job-training;
or filling position performance assignments.
- Initiate and issue the PTB to the trainee, explain the purpose
of the PTB and the training, qualification and certification process
to ensure that the trainee clearly understands the responsibilities.
PTBs can only be initiated by the home unit or a training
specialist on an incident. The training specialist may only initiate
and issue a PTB if there is a clear indication from the home unit
that such an action is acceptable. Clear indications include
a designation of “trainee” for the position on the incident
qualification card or direct contact with the appropriate official
at the home unit.
- Ensure the trainee has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge/skills
necessary to perform the position. This includes completion of training
courses and on-the-job training assignments. It is important to
ensure that the trainee is fully prepared to perform the tasks of
the position prior to undertaking a position performance assignment(s).
- Provide opportunities for non-incident (“O”) task
evaluation, for position performance assignments on local incidents
and/or make the trainee available for assignments to larger incidents.
The home unit must provide an evaluator for local incidents. Evaluators
must be certified in the position they are evaluating. The only
exception is when a subject matter expert is assigned to evaluate“O”
tasks by the home unit.
- Track the progress of the trainee. This is a responsibility the
home unit shares with the trainee. The PTB should be reviewed and
the training plan re-evaluated after each position performance assignment.
- Review and confirm the completion of the PTB and make a determination
of certification. This determination should be made based on specific
knowledge of the individual’s capabilities and local policy
as well as the completed PTB. Only the home unit has the authority
to certify an individual’s qualifications.
- Issue proof of certification as required by PMS 310-1. This proof
is normally an incident qualification card.
B. The Trainee
The trainee is the individual, approved by their agency, who is
preparing to qualify for a position. Trainee status requires that
all prerequisite experience and required training courses have been
completed prior to initiation of a position task book by the appropriate
agency official of the home unit. The trainee is then eligible for
on-the-job training, task evaluation and/or position performance evaluation.
It is the responsibility of the trainee to:
- Review and understand the instructions in the PTB.
- Meet with trainer/coach and/or evaluator and identify desired
goals and objectives for an assignment.
- Ensure that he/she is ready to perform the tasks of the position
prior to undertaking a position performance assignment. This includes
acquisition of the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job
tasks. On-the-job training assignments may assist in acquiring those
knowledge and skills.
- Provide background information (training and experience) to the
trainer/coach or evaluator.
- Complete the PTB within a three-year time limit. This is three
years from the time the first task is evaluated until the task book
is completed. Otherwise, the trainee must begin the process anew.
Note: Individuals that have 1993 edition PTBs, that were initiated
prior to December 31, 1999, may continue to complete those at
the discretion of the appropriate official of the home unit
within the three year time period established in this guide.
This means that 1993 edition PTBs will no longer be valid if
completed any later than December 31, 2002.
- Make sure that a qualified evaluator initials all tasks as they
are completed and completes the appropriate evaluation record.
- Safeguard the PTB. This is extremely important as the PTB is
the only record of task performance. A lost or destroyed PTB may
require additional position performance assignments. It is suggested
that a copy of the original be made following each assignment.
- Provide a copy of the completed PTB to the home unit. The original
is kept in the trainee’s personal records.
C. The Trainer/Coach
The trainer/coach is a position qualified individual who provides
instruction to a trainee. This may be in the classroom, on-the-job,
or on an incident. While many of the requirements of the trainer/coach
are similar to those of an evaluator, it is important that the roles
of training and evaluation remain separate as described in this guide.
It is the responsibility of the trainer/coach to:
- Be certified in the position being for which training is being
provided. The only exception is when a subject matter expert is
assigned to provide training for tasks marked “O”.
- Meet with the trainee during the first phase of an on-the-job
training assignment and determine past experience and training,
current qualifications, desired goals and objectives of the assignment.
- Review the tasks in the PTB with the trainee and explain the procedures
that will be used in the training assignment and the objectives
which should be met during the assignment.
- Reach agreement with the trainee on the specific tasks which can
be mastered during the assignment.
- Document training assignment according to the situation and/or
- At the discretion of the Trainer/Coach, it may be possible to
provide on-the-job training and then recommend a position performance
assignment at a later time during the same incident. (See note on
the functions of training and task evaluation under item D., 2.,
D. The Evaluator
The evaluator is the person who will actually observe for certification/re-certification
purposes the tasks being performed and documents successful performance.
It is the responsibility of the evaluator to:
- Be certified in the position being evaluated.The only exception
is when a subject matter expert is assigned to evaluate “O”
tasks by the home unit.
- Meet with the trainee as the first phase of a position performance
assignment and determine past experience and training, current qualifications,
desired goals and objectives of the assignment. If an evaluator
determines that the trainee does not meet the prerequisites for
the position or does not have the knowledge/skills to perform the
tasks of the position, then the position performance assignment
must not continue.
At the discretion of the evaluator or training specialist on
the incident and if the individual meets the prerequisites, it
may be possible to provide on-the-job training and reinstate the
performance assignment at a later time during the same incident.
NOTE: The PTBs are designed primarily for the evaluation of individual
performance or as a checklist for re-certification, but they may
also be used as a basis for on-the-job training. The trainer/coach
and the evaluator may also be the same person, however, the functions
of training and evaluation must remain separate. For example, a
trainer/coach may be instructing a trainee in pump operation tasks.
When the trainee appears to have mastered the tasks, the trainer/coach
can become the evaluator and observe and record performance of the
task. It’s similar to instruction in the classroom and taking
a test. The two functions are separate. They can be performed
in sequence, but not at the same time.
- Review the tasks in the PTB with the trainee and explain
the procedures that will be used in the evaluation and the objectives
which should be met during the assignment.
- Reach agreement with the trainee on the specific tasks which
can be performed and evaluated during the assignment.
- Accurately evaluate and record the demonstrated performance of
tasks. This is the evaluator’s most important responsibility;
it provides for the integrity of the performance based qualification
- Complete the appropriate evaluation record in the back of the
PTB. If more than one position performance assignment is necessary,
the evaluator for each assignment will complete an evaluation record.
- When all tasks in the PTB have been completed and signed off,
complete the verification statement inside the front cover of the
PTB. Only the evaluator on the final position performance
assignment (the assignment in which all tasks have been evaluated
and signed off) will complete the verification statement recommending
E. The Training Specialist
The training specialist can be the individual in the home unit who
is responsible for training and qualifications, or a person who holds
certification as a training specialist on an incident.
It is the responsibility of the training specialist to:
- Meet with the trainee and determine the type of assignment which
is necessary (position performance assignment or on-the-job training).
Consider past experience and training, current qualifications, desired
goals and objectives of the assignment. If the trainee does
not meet the prerequisites for the position or does not have the
knowledge/skills to perform the tasks of the position, then the
position performance assignment must not continue. If the
individual meets the prerequisites but does not have the necessary
knowledge/skills, it may be possible to provide
on-the-job training and reinstate the performance assignment at
a later time during the same incident.
- Identify opportunities for on-the-job training and position performance
assignments which meet the trainee’s needs and objectives.
- Work with the incident or home unit to identify and assign qualified
- Initiate a PTB only after acquiring authorization from the appropriate
agency official of the home unit.
- Document all on-the-job training and position performance assignments.
- Conduct periodic progress reviews to ensure that assignments are
proceeding as planned.
- Conduct a close-out interview with the trainee and the evaluator
to ensure that the PTB has been properly completed.
III. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND EXCEPTIONS
- Positions for which there are no NWCG Position Task Books:
The following positions perform tasks which vary depending on the
agency and/or the assignment.
Qualification and assignment will be determined by the agency.
- Agency Representative (AREP)
- Interagency Resource Representative (IARR)
- Air Tanker/Fixed Wing Coordinator (ATCO)
- Infrared Interpreter
- Functions essential for successful fire use activities.
- Planning: Essential for completion of prescribed fire activities.
Planning requirements are agency determined.
- Holding: The planning process will be used to identify appropriate
holding resources, and those resources will be obtained from positions
identified in this guide.
- Positions which require a performance assignment
on a wildland and/or prescribed fire are:
Identified in Section L, “ICS, Skill and Expanded Dispatch
Position Qualifications,” of PMS 310-1; designated with an asterisk
(*) in Appendix C; and also identified on the cover of each PTB.
- Positions which utilize the same PTB:
- The following positions perform the same tasks at different
levels of complexity and the same PTB is used. Trainees are required
to complete a PTB for each complexity level. When the PTB is initiated,
the appropriate level should be identified by crossing out the
inappropriate position identifiers on the PTB cover. These positions
- Incident Commander Type 1 & 2 (ICT1&2)
- Planning Section Chief Type 1 & 2 (PSC1&2)
- Operations Section Chief Type 1 & 2 (PSC1&2)
- Logistics Section Chief Type 1 & 2 (LSC1&2)
- Finance/Administration Section Chief Type 1 & 2 (FSC1&2)
- Safety Officer Type 1 & 2 (SOF1&2)
- Information Officer Type 1 & 2 (IOF1&2)
- Helibase Manager Type 1 & 2 (HEB1&2)
- Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 1 & 2 (RXB1&2)
- Prescribed Fire Manager Type 1 & 2 (RXM1&2)
- The strike team leader positions perform the same tasks for
different types of resources. The PTB need only be completed once.
The qualification in the specific resource is determined by the
prerequisite qualification in that resource.
- The PTB for the single resource boss positions differs from
other PTBs. The first set of tasks are common to all the single
resource boss positions. These tasks are the same as those required
for the crew boss position. Additional specific tasks are required
for the other types of single resource boss positions (Engine,
Dozer, Tractor/Plow, Felling, and Firing). When the PTB is issued,
the appropriate position(s) should be identified by crossing out
the inappropriate positions on the cover. The trainee then needs
to be signed off for all of the common tasks as well as those
additional tasks which apply to the specific resource. At the
discretion of the home unit, once qualified as a single resource
boss for a resource, it may not be necessary to recomplete the
tasks common to all single resource boss positions in order to
become qualified as a single resource boss for another resource.
NOTE: The course, Crew Boss (Single Resource) S-230, is required
training for all single resource boss positions. The course
was designed for those individuals who would manage any single
resource, not just a 20 person handcrew. More importantly, when
the current curriculum was designed, it was agreed to drop the
course Fire Suppression Tactics S-336 as required training,
and incorporate the tactics and fireline safety material from
S-336 into the new Crew Boss S-230, and Task Force/Strike Team
Leader S-330 courses. Therefore, it is essential that all Single
Resource Bosses receive the tactics and fireline safety material
contained in the Crew Boss S-230 course.
IV. COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
- Comments and recommendations on the PTBs and the qualification
process should be submitted through the appropriate agency official
to the Incident Operations Standards Working Team (IOSWT). While the
IOSWT may handle special problems at any time, the planned revision
interval will be five (5) years. Users may submit proposed revisions
as needs are identified. The IOSWT will review the proposal, consult
with subject matter experts, the other NWCG working teams as appropriate
and recommend adoption or rejection by the NWCG.
- PTBs which may be developed for positions not identified within
PMS 310-1, must be submitted to the IOSWT for review and consideration
for acceptance into the system.