This European Standard specifies a test method for determining the ability of a vertical protective membrane, when used as a fire resistant barrier, to contribute to the fire resistance (loadbearing capacity R) of loadbearing vertical structural building members fabricated from steel, concrete, steel/concrete composites or timber. The method described is applicable to any type of vertical protective membrane, which can be associated with a separate bracing membrane. The vertical protective membrane can be either separated from or attached to the structural building member and is self-supporting. This test method is applicable to vertical protective membranes where there is a gap and a cavity between the vertical protective membrane and the structural building member, otherwise alternative test methods prEN 13381-3, EN 13381-4, EN 13381-6 or prEN 13381-7 should be used as appropriate. This test method and assessment is not applicable to the following: a) all situations where the cavity is to be used as a service or ventilation shaft; b) all situations where the vertical protective membrane acts as a bracing membrane. This European Standard contains the fire test which specifies the tests which shall be carried out whereby the vertical protective membrane together with the structural member to be protected is exposed to the specified fire. The fire exposure, to the standard temperature/time curve given in EN 1363-1, is applied to the side which would be exposed in practice. The test method makes provision, through specified optional additional procedures, for the collection of data which can be used as direct input to the calculation of fire resistance according to the processes given in EN 1992-1-2, EN 1993-1-2, EN 1994-1-2 and EN 1995-1-2. This European Standard also contains the assessment which provides information relative to the analysis of the test data and gives guidance for the interpretation of the results of the fire test, in terms of loadbearing capacity criteria of the protected vertical structural member. The results of the fire test and the assessment can be applied, with certain defined provisions, to vertical structural building members which can be beams, columns or a combination of both and / or which could form part of a separating element or partition. The limits of applicability of the results of the assessment arising from the fire test are defined, together with permitted direct application of the results to different structures, membranes and fittings. In special circumstances, where specified in national building regulations, there can be a need to subject the protection material to a smouldering curve. The test for this and the special circumstances for its use are detailed in Annex B. Tests should be carried out without additional combustible materials in the cavity.