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Guest Article: Passive Fire Protection training venture proves a game changer

About Jason McKnight

Jason McKnight

Jason McKnight

Jason McKnight is a partner and director of RECOM Solutions, a construction and project management business based in Salford Quays which operates across the north west and beyond.

He gained extensive previous experience of the built environment, including numerous construction, project management and senior management roles, before co-founding RECOM with Joseph Dillon in 2015.

Since then, the duo have built a thriving company employing almost 50 staff.

Jason, who recently gained an MBA with a distinction, provides strategic leadership to the RECOM team to ensure the company’s operational excellence, finding innovative ways for the management and delivery of projects across the private, commercial and public sectors.

RECOM has three strands to its operations, working on numerous national frameworks in project consultancy, passive fire protection and construction management to create smart, safe and sustainable places.

Its fastest-growing division is passive fire protection and a raft of contract wins have seen this expand into a nationwide operation, with a team of more than 40 installers.

RECOM is an approved contractor under FIRAS for its fire protection services, which include passive fire protection installation, fire door surveys and installations, repairs and upgrades, fire strategy reviews, compartmentation surveying, advice and guidance, training, development and support.

Earlier this year, Jason and Joseph set up trainingEXP as a sister company to RECOM. They have invested a six-figure sum in the venture and have recruited experienced fire protection professional Adam Steed from Warringtonfire to head its team of trainers.

Guest Article: Passive Fire Protection training venture proves a game changer

If you would like a free demonstration of our trainingEXP offering, please get in touch via

The Grenfell tragedy rightly led to a raft of measures to improve building safety, and the impact has been felt across the property and construction sector in many ways, including the need for vast amounts of remedial work, soaring insurance premiums, and lots more besides.

However, although a considerable length of time has elapsed since that awful disaster, there is still a lot of uncertainty across the industry when it comes to ensuring the safety of buildings throughout the country, in terms of their design, construction and management.

There is a sense that some property managers and owners are struggling to interpret some of the new legislation.

Furthermore, there is now a requirement for a ‘responsible person’ with training and experience to be appointed at high-rise buildings and ensure that fire risk assessments are carried out.

Even though many of the people appointed to these positions lack previous training or experience in these matters, they will still be held liable under the law. It’s a huge onus, and a 45-minute online course does not make them an expert.

Our new trainingEXP business, which is focused on passive fire protection and health and safety training, with virtual reality at its heart, fills a gap in the market.

We are providing in-depth passive fire protection training aimed at the residential, health and social care, commercial, leisure, education, heritage and industrial sectors, as well as fire and rescue services, and professionals such as architects.

The VR technology we use in our courses replicates live environments to raise awareness of common fire protection hazards in buildings, working in a similar manner to the hazard perception section of the driving theory test.

VR training at trainingEXP

All courses are recognised or accredited by industry bodies such as the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the Association for Specialist Fire Protection.

Due to our heritage and experience, the nuts and bolts of construction and training are in our DNA, and this makes our new proposition attractive to property owners.

Initially, we created a training academy for our own specialist passive fire protection operatives, supervisors, project managers and surveyors. However, in response to client demand, we decided to expand it into a full-scale venture.

We’ve brought in Adam Steed to head the training aspect of trainingEXP and he has a tremendous track record. He’s spent a considerable number of years fine-tuning his craft and is on a mission to provide quality safety training which will help prevent another Grenfell.

Adam Steed delivering training at trainingEXP

Our suite of courses covers areas such as fire extinguisher training, asbestos, design, the role of responsible persons, the responsibilities of executives under the law, passive fire protection, and understanding timber door installation, maintenance and inspection, as well as first aid and manual handling training.

We have the added advantage of running in-person workshops, where difficult questions can be asked and the answers provided by experts.

The virtual technology we’ve created is a game-changer which really enhances the training experience for people taking part in our courses, because we replicate live environments such as a hospital ward, where users can take virtual walks to carry out their own passive fire surveys and identify fire protection hazards in an immersive, interactive way.

It’s unlike anything else available in the UK and Europe.

The trainingEXP training suite also has mock-ups of fire doors, partitions and other infrastructure, so people can see for themselves what these look like and what they should be looking out for in their buildings.

This new venture is aimed at those at the coalface – responsible persons, estates and facilities management staff, senior managers and executives – and we offer bespoke courses as well as our regular programmes.

From the feedback we’ve received so far, participants value partnering with us, as it is more cost-effective than offering in-house training, and it equips and reassures responsible persons and others to enable them to perform their roles more effectively.

Perhaps just as crucially, our group is able to carry out fire risk assessments at large buildings in just a few days, providing a complete list of recommended works and helping to ensure that the ‘golden thread’ – the information which is required to be held about a building throughout its life-cycle and the action needed to keep buildings and people safe – is maintained.

Our team at RECOM also undertakes the project work itself to repair buildings and replace passive fire protection infrastructure.

We are committed to improving fire safety awareness, knowledge and skills across the built environment and to help raise standards. The provision of quality, hands-on training is needed more than ever.

During a period of seismic change for our industry, we are helping to improve competence and safety for those on the frontline, providing reassurance and preventing unnecessary stress.

Contact trainingEXP for a demo!

If you would like a free demonstration of our trainingEXP offering, please get in touch via