Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority
Personnel Committee Item 12
8 September 2004
Three Year Business Plan for Human Resources, Training and Safety and Risk Management Function
Report of the Chief Officer
Contact: Temporary Assistant Chief Officer Bob Ratcliffe Tel: 023 80 626832
As part of the ongoing performance management process the functions of Human Resources (HR), Safety and Risk Management (S & RM) and Training (T), have produced three year business plans (Appendix 1). These provide the final link between the long range corporate objectives and the more operational key tasks which have a timeframe of 18 months.
Members will recall that at a previous Personnel Committee (21 April 2004) a paper was presented reviewing the key tasks of 2003/4 and setting the work for 2004/5. The now familiar timelines which underpin these key tasks have a medium term planning range of approximately eighteen months. Whilst each key task is specifically referenced to contributing to one of the Service corporate aims, there remains a considerable gap between the long term objectives and the relatively short term timelines. In order to provide a bridge between these important performance management tools, the three function heads for HR, Training and S & RM have been asked to provide a medium term three year business plan.
Given the extent of fundamental change planned for the Service, providing a clarity of vision for the next three years, as well as explaining the rationale for how and why particular projects will be executed, is critical. The business plans provide an auditable and coherent explanation to all staff, but particularly managers in the specific function. They also articulate the rationale for such key projects as the Integrated Personal Development System, transition from rank to role and provision of a new fire safety enforcement regime.
Importantly there are two themes which run through all three functional plans, firstly collaboration with others to provide a more effective service and structural reform within the teams to deliver the new agenda. In the former case the driver behind the collaboration is the requirement in the National Framework for Regional Management Boards to take responsibility for the development of regional training and HR practice.
In the latter case, restructuring is a manifestation of the need to align support functions with a service delivery approach which is based on a group structure. Moreover, support functions need also to reflect the increased importance of prevention and protection activities and the diminishing divide between the principal employee groups of wholetime, retained and Green book staff.
European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998
The proposals within this report are compatible with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 and considered in the light of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
That the Committee endorses the approach taken to establish three year business plans and notes the content of the plans for Human Resources, Training and Safety and Risk Management.
Section 100D - Local Government Act 1972 - Background Papers
The following documents disclose the facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of the report.
Note: The list excludes:
(1) Published works
(2) Documents that disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act
Appendix 1 - Business Plan for the Human Resources (HR) Function
Appendix 2 - Safety and Risk Management Business Plan
Appendix 3 - Business Plan for the Training Function
lajC/HFRA Personnel 8 9 04 3 Yr Business Plans JMW/31/8/2004
2004 - 2007
Government ministers are committed to improving all our public services. The White Paper - Our Fire and Rescue Service, June 2003 sets out a comprehensive programme of reform for the Fire Service and the agenda for change. Of particular note is the emphasis on changing fire service culture, including flexibility of working patterns, diversity, changing pay and personnel systems and increased career progression opportunities. The draft Fire and Rescue National Framework 2004/05, issued December 2003, lays out the Government's expectations for local authorities and will inform the Audit Commission's Fire and Rescue Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA), focusing on improving service delivery.
The first stage of the Service's Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) is now prepared. The next stage will be to make efficient and effective use of resources to implement our IRMP and address identified and potential risk. Key to supporting this will be the role of HR.
A regional approach to working is inevitable and by 1 April 2004 the Regional Management Board for the HR function must be established with clear aims and objectives. In addition, the Government is seeking to regionalise fire control rooms and this is currently being consulted on.
The Personnel function completed an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses against the key areas of modernisation. The views of the Personnel team and its customers were instrumental in the current realignment of the structure and focus of resources to ensure the highest standards of performance are achieved and maintained.
There have been significant workload increases and achievements that have impacted on the resources of the Personnel function over the last two years. These were identified and planned for in the Key Tasks and Timelines for 02/03 and 03/04 and include:
o far reaching changes to employment legislation impacting on our service orders, procedures, guidelines and training
o IPDS and the preparation of new processes and procedures in the absence of central guidance
o Service structure review to group management
o industrial action and aligning pay to IPDS principles
o a new Personnel and Payroll system (SAP) with the associated and on-going teething problems
o focus on reducing sickness absence and raising management awareness
o positive action initiatives and raising awareness about diversity, bullying and harassment
o optimising retained cover
o refocusing the Personnel professionals as `internal consultants', enabling and supporting other managers.
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These tasks will remain an important aspect of our on-going work, particularly regarding optimising attendance at work and careful management of ill health retirement cases.
STRATEGY FOR HUMAN RESOURCING (HR)
Given the shift from traditional personnel activities to a greater emphasis on strategic working with internal and external partners and the professional support role provided, the function now more accurately reflects Human Resourcing than the traditional role of Personnel. Initially, the strategic focus emanated from the HR role in implementing IPDS, but this now encompasses Integrated Risk Management (IRM) as part of the strategic planning process.
In preparation for this change, and at no additional cost, the function has re-structured to emphasise improved performance, joint working, greater cohesion between teams and better accountability of managers. The increased focus on organisation and development will ensure that the HR requirements are met through the development and application of regionally standardised procedures in line with IPDS, improved HR planning and forecasting, managing the establishment, positive action initiatives, networking with partners at a national and regional level and supporting e-government.
The Key Tasks and Timelines 04/05 for HR and Diversity and Equality are being developed. As part of the planning process, the sub-timelines and projects supporting each Key Task will be actively contributed to by all HR team members. This will encourage greater awareness and ownership of the Service's vision, mission, corporate aims and identifies where each team member contributes personally. Progress on individual time lines will inform individual appraisal meetings and focus performance monitoring, assessment and development. The overall progress of the HR and Diversity and Equality Key Tasks will continue to be monitored and reported at the monthly HR Performance Management Group (HRPMG) meeting. Performance will be measured through regular meetings with DCFO (TFS/P) and reported to the Personnel Committee and Fire Authority.
There will be closer partnership working with other functions. The joint IPDS timeline and HR's involvement in IRM will see HR playing an instrumental role in the strategic planning and implementation processes involving the Function Heads and Principal Officer group. The role of the Head of HR on the national People and Organisational Development Group (PODG), actively involved in the national HR Task Group and the Regional Management Board, HR (CACFOA P&T), will enhance communications and influence at local, regional and national level.
The focus for the 04/05 Timelines are driven by Government and national initiatives. The timetable for the revision to the Grey Book terms and conditions of employment will be largely dictated by progress on negotiation between the Joint Secretaries of the NJC with Government intervention. The ability to deliver the career opportunities afforded by IPDS, pay linked to competence, career progression opportunities, a more flexible working pattern and the Service's IRMP, ultimately rests on the outcome of these. The Head of HR will take a lead HR advisory role at a national level regarding
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the revision to Terms and Conditions and changing work patterns and this work will be linked to HR partners at a regional level and locally as part of a Key Task for HR.
Job evaluation of Grey Book employees will determine job size levels of responsibility or expertise identified in the IRMP and the appropriate pay point. The skills match of competent personnel from the pool of current employees to each post, together with the identification of development needs, will ensure the efficient delivery of the service. Concurrently, an operational justification for each post will provide an audit trail and defence against a legal challenge on Equal Pay or other grounds of discrimination. This exercise may see the deletion, revision or creation of posts and it is expected that there will be savings to the wage bill. Consideration will also be given to how operational competence will be defined, achieved and identified once the rank structure is dissolved. It is to be noted that this is Phase II of the implementation of the Pay Agreement within HFRS, facilitated by the HR function on behalf of the Service. As such, the total commitment and support from Principal Officers is expected once the process is agreed by SMT. It is envisaged that the work will be carried out by representatives from each function, Grey and Green Book employees, using an external consultant to apply objectivity, and in partnership working with the appropriate employee representatives.
The Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) emphasises people issues concerning community inclusion and empowerment, the strategic and operational competence of our managers and elected members and the inclusion and empowerment of our employees to deliver high quality services and strive continuously for improvement. Preparing the HR function for CPA, working closely with District Audit as a `critical friend', at this stage, will enhance the support available to the management team when the Service is scrutinised in 2005.
The task of planning and implementing IPDS is to be managed through a Prince Project Management process. Input from Training will be defined through the project board and tasks will be allocated between HR, Training and other functions as appropriate. In the absence of a national process, HR will continue to develop the firefighter Point of Entry (PoE) selection tests, Personal Quality Attributes (PQAs), Assessment and Development Centres for Supervisory and Middle Management in line with IPDS principles and draft recommendations received to date. `Green Book' employees will be moved to a role based structure on the back of a pilot of `Green Book' Fire Safety Inspecting Officers in Technical Fire Safety.
Diversity and Equality Key Tasks are driven by legislation. The plan is to submit the Service to an audit against the Local Government Standard Levels 1 and 2 by April 2005. The key to achieving this is our audit trail for our achievements and the evidence provided. The Levels are on-going and should not be seen in isolation. They will need to be maintained year on year whilst striving to achieve the higher levels.
To protect the Service from vulnerability regarding the Working Time Regulations, a plan is now in place to ensure compliance with this legislation should the promised national guidance not be forthcoming early in 2004.
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Positive Action enables the Service to legally implement special initiatives to attract minority groups such as women and ethnic minority people to be targeted for recruitment and retention particularly in hard to recruit to areas of service delivery. This includes retained firefighters or where specialist knowledge and skills are scarce. The outcome of Phase II IRMP is likely to impact on the current make up of establishment so where recruitment for firefighters does take place, this will necessitate a review of how positive action is targeted. The plan is to focus on training motivated and committed volunteers from all functions to support this.
13 January 2004
HAMPSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
SAFETY AND RISK MANAGEMENT BUSINESS PLAN 2004 - 2007
Occupational Health Safety & Welfare
Technical Fire Safety
Media Public Relations & Audio Visual
Safety and Risk Management (S/RM) is a relatively new function within Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service (HFRS). It was established following a recommendation of the Service management review that took place in 2002, the rationale behind it to link more closely those functions specifically dealing with risk issues, both within the Service and in the discharge of protection work in the Community. This new function, consisting of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare, Technical Fire Safety and Media PR and Audio Visual is responsible for the revitalisation agenda for Health & Safety, the introduction of new Fire Safety legislation and the implementation of a Communications Strategy to underpin the Government's modernisation agenda for the Fire Service.
Within HFRS, the Health, Safety & Welfare department had been evolving under its own identity since the mid eighties. As a result of specific HSE guidance and to the credit of those involved, the department took an ever-increasing role within the organisation as the wider aspects of Occupational Health were being introduced. The department now sits separate from the HR department providing a service to it and by combining delivery of Health, Safety & Welfare and Occupational Health (OHS&W) is able to focus holistically on health at work. In dealing with the reactive issues such as regulations, accident and injury investigations and the more proactive activities such as health screening, fitness monitoring and risk assessment, a dramatic cultural change has taken place within the organisation regarding corporate and individual responsibility for health, safety and welfare in the workplace.
The management review recommended, under the banner of Safety and Risk Management, an alliance of the Technical Fire Safety department and the Occupational Health Safety & Welfare department. Whilst traditionally each had a different approach to dealing with risk, the emergence of the Fire Safety RRO with a risk assessed approach brings a helpful converge of methodology for the two functions, particularly in respect of a unified enforcement strategy.
Together, Fire Safety and Occupational Health, Safety & Welfare, form the mainstream business of the S/RM function. The inclusion of Media PR & Audio Visual in this function was, in part, due to the balancing of managerial responsibility for Function Heads. However, as the pace of change within the Fire Service has accelerated to its current level, the importance of marketing and communications has come to the fore, not least in helping to support change and protecting the corporate image of the Service. To manage change and drive down risk for the Community we will have to provide clear, effective internal and external communications. In short, the provision of a Corporate Communications Strategy as a risk management tool. So in truth, as a department it now sits within the function where it can be utilised to best effect, in the context of a safety and risk management strategy.
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SAFETY AND RISK MANAGEMENT - DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
In line with the Government's drive to revitalise Health and Safety (Strategy Statement 2002), the time is now right to inject new impetus to our strategic agenda. We will actively seek to identify new approaches to reduce further the rates of accidents and ill health caused by work. Our approach must remain relevant to the changing duties and responsibilities placed upon the workforce to achieve all aspects of modernisation. We anticipate the need to focus our energy on the working environment, to educate staff in understanding their own responsibilities and the benefits of a Health & Safety culture during this era of change.
Particular attention will be given to maximising the benefits of Occupational Health and rehabilitation in line with the back to work programme launched by the Minister for Health and Safety in 1999. We aim to improve attendance and will explore every opportunity to meet the Governments targets for reducing the number of working days lost by work-related injury and ill health. Key areas of concern remain focussed on muscelo-skeletal care, stress and working practices. We are keen to ensure that health screening and health promotion is relative to the workplace and in line with the Working Time Regulations.
Currently we are working hard to establish partnerships with other Fire Authorities within the region, the aim being to optimise the impact of health and safety by sharing resources and agreeing best practice for joint initiatives. We hope to establish at least one joint initiative per year over the next three years, sharing lead responsibility between the participating authorities. The implementation of a stress auditing strategy is an example of this new and proactive approach, establishing benchmark occupational health, safety and welfare protocols.
The following activities are underway in support of these aims:
o Review of our employee assistance programme
o Development of a stress audit strategy
o Health and fitness monitoring programme
o Introduction of a nurse led care strategy
o The formal establishment of a fast-track physio service
Health and Safety
o Review of audit protocols for the health and safety
o Manual handling and risk assessment training programme
o Review of the Working Time Regulations - pilot trials
o Development of Display Screen Equipment assessments
o OHS&W promotion programme
o Develop performance indicators in line with modernisation agenda
The Government's Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, Integrated Risk Management Planning and the introduction of Integrated Personal Development Plans (IPDS) have imposed the need for radical change within Technical Fire Safety Service delivery.
This focus for change centres on four main strands of activity within the function:
The role of the Service will change from setting levels of fire precautions to that of monitoring, checking and where necessary, enforcing the requirements of this new legislation in all non-domestic premises. As we adopt a new risk based approach to enforcement, we will be able to target resources against high-risk premises.
This approach will undoubtedly lead to higher levels of enforcement activity than we are currently used to. Point of delivery enforcement protocols, in line with the HSE/Local Authority enforcement management model, have now been agreed. Staff training and development is well underway to enable this change in policy.
If we are to truly influence risk reduction, we will need to work closely with industry and commerce. The formation of partnerships, based upon established frameworks such as Lead Authority Partnerships Schemes (LAPS) will be pursued, as will the provision of publicity and education material, via all aspects of media, in order to reach all non-domestic premises across the county of Hampshire. In addition, we will have to identify ways of reaching high risk premises that we currently have no jurisdiction over, such as, Houses of Multiple Occupancy. This may be via agency partnerships, lobbying activity, publicity campaign material or just plain stubbornness, but what remains clear is that once we have more accurate risk intelligence, quantifiable risk reduction will be our aim.
To enable the introduction of the RRO the following activity is programmed for the next eighteen months:
o Cessation of Fire Certification
o Implementation of audit based risk inspection programme
o Regional approach to enforcement protocols
o Legal training for Fire Safety Managers
o Interactive Web site for risk assessment advice and facilitation
o Establish partnerships and links with industry and commerce
o Review of Service Orders, policy and procedures
o Delivery of seminars and workshops
o Publicity and education campaign for industry and commerce
o Liaison with CACFOA & ODPM
As part of the Service wide agreement, Technical Fire Safety has adopted a group management structure. Three groups have been established for Fire Safety Delivery, one each in the North, East and West of the County and one group for Fire Safety Support based at Service Headquarters. This is in line with the more general restructuring and move to a role based structure supporting IPDS.
By adopting a risk based audit inspection programme, Fire Safety Managers are now able to allocate their resources against identified high risk premises, actively reducing the premises' risk profile for the County in line with IRMP.
In targeting higher risk premises, enforcement activity will increase and we will use this to demonstrate our resolve in dealing effectively with high risk, as we become more sophisticated in our strategies, alternative risk reduction initiatives will emerge from the point of delivery. For example, integrated service delivery protocols are now being piloted and should enable usable risk intelligence to be fed back from other functions during their point of delivery activities.
Partnership agreements with other agencies such as Environmental Health and Trading Standards are also being introduced. A joint inspection agreement targeting Houses of Multiple Occupancy has already provided evidence of quantifiable risk reduction.
High profile campaigns and partnership agreements to encourage the use and installation of water sprinklers systems, for both commercial and residential premises will form part of the overall risk reduction strategy for the Service as indicated in Hampshire's IRMP.
The new management structure for Delivery and Support incorporates the following activity:
o Review of job descriptions and person specifications for all staff
o Accommodation and resource review
o Point of delivery enforcement and prohibition
o Development of partnership and joint working protocols
o Pilot for integrated service delivery protocols
o Introduction of customer surveys for Industry and Commerce
o Development of TFS audit and performance indicators
Previously, no specific strategy existed for staff training and development within Technical Fire Safety. One vital element of the new era for Fire Safety enforcement will be matching workforce competence against the level of premises risk inspection undertaken.
Point of entry assessment and development programmes for all inspectors will be established in line with Service and national guidance. Newly developed occupational standards for the fire safety industry are currently overdue. When these standards are made available, staff will be assessed against a benchmark standard, enabling workloads to be allocated according to an inspector's agreed level of competence, protecting both the individual and the organisation within our enforcement strategy.
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The reinstatement of Technical Fire Safety training for initial trainees and the introduction of integrated service delivery protocols are well underway. The focus of this training is to enable staff to feed back risk intelligence from the point of delivery to support and develop risk reduction strategies.
Additional posts within the TFS Support Group have been established to facilitate all staff training and development:
It is anticipated that it will take at least three years to train and develop staff and establish competence levels to optimise the delivery and enforcement strategies as planned. The following activities are currently underway:
o Review of National Occupational Standards
o A functional training needs analysis
o Development of staff induction and development programmes
o Delivery of audit and risk assessment training
o Regional legal and enforcement training
o Strategy for trainee & operational firefighters
o Coordination of regional training for RRO
o Functional workshops and seminars for all staff
4) Premises Risk Profile Technical Fire Safety Database - (IRMP)
In line with the needs of IRMP premises risk profiling, the RRO requires the targeting of resources against identified high risk premises to achieve quantifiable risk reduction. The need to match an inspector's competence to an appropriate level of premises risk inspection has highlighted the requirement for quality risk intelligence and procedural guidance to be available at the point of delivery to facilitate remote working. The current Revelation database used by Technical Fire Safety is now twenty years old and clearly not capable of providing the range of data or user specification required for this new era of risk management.
Therefore, the provision of a new database is essential for the future success of not only the Fire Safety function, but also delivery of the IRMP. Work is well under way developing a new user specification for tendering, it is anticipated that a new database be in use by December 2004.
Ultimately this database will provide an accurate premises risk profile of the county that can be accessed by all functions. For example CAD drawings, designed with tiered information, will be available to intervention staff at the scene of an incident or available for additional information to be added as a result of other delivery activities. The aim is for all premises' profiles to be dynamic, with a risk category rating that can be altered as information is received. The full potential of such a system is yet to be realised but much work is currently taking place at local and national level.
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The provision of a database that will meet the needs of the Fire Safety dept and Hampshire's IRMP is well underway and should be in use within twelve months, the following activities are planned:
o Review of user specification
o Review of applications and appointment of supplier
o Transfer of data form existing data base
o Training for users
o Review of pilot in tandem with existing data base
o Termination of Revelation system
The existing structure and provision of service from this department has evolved over a number of years and has adequately met the needs of the Service, prior to the current agenda for modernisation and change. To support and to underpin the complex marketing and communications aspects of this agenda, the Service will need to develop a more dynamic Corporate Communications Strategy. This must incorporate the means for effective internal and external communications alike.
It will be vitally important for all HFRS staff to be made aware of and understand the management of change throughout the coming years as we develop our IRMPs and effect real change in our Service provision. Part of which, will be to brand ourselves in the future to effectively send out messages of a widened role and professional service open to all, engaging with partners across the Community.
The evolution of the Media/PR & Audio Visual department is starting to take place, the following activities are integral to that process:
o Review current departmental workload case analysis
o Review departmental structure and job descriptions
o Consider requirements for a marketing and communications strategy
o Develop departmental structure in line with provision of internal and external communications
o Implement a Corporate Communications Strategy
HAMPSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
BUSINESS PLAN FOR THE TRAINING FUNCTION
2004 - 2007
The aim of this paper is to give a brief projection of the main areas of strategic development work for the Training Function over the next three years.
The national introduction of the Integrated Personal Development System (IPDS) from November 2003 requires a substantial amount of additional work for the Training and Personnel Functions. In addition to the co-ordinated work between the Training and Personnel Functions, it is important to continue working with the CFA IPDS Working Group to ensure that all Members continue to understand and be aware of the implications of IPDS.
The structural review of the Service and its phased implementation, along with the introduction of IPDS, has required the Training Function to review its own structure and the provision of training and development for all our staff in the future.
Whilst acknowledging the requirements outlined above, there are four main development areas which are recognised as requiring significant work to satisfy the requirements of IPDS and provide flexible, good quality training and development opportunities for all our staff.
o Integrated Personal Development System
o Training Delivery
o Training Facilities and Resources
o Training Collaborations and Partnerships
INTEGRATED PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM (IPDS)
The continued close working of the Training and Personnel Functions is key to the successful integration of IPDS throughout the Service. Specific areas still to be developed and introduced fully are:
o The eight major components of IPDS (as detailed in FSC 9/2002)
o The phasing out of the Statutory Examinations from April 2004
o The application of IPDS to the Retained Service and `Green Book' staff
o Continued collaboration and development of IPDS within our CACFOA region
o The development and introduction of new Training Strategies to meet the requirements of IPDS
In order for the Service to provide good quality training and development for its staff, we must be able to do this in a timely, flexible and cost effective manner. This will only be achieved by reviewing our existing provision and determining how best to deliver future training and development.
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Existing areas and new methods of training provision that will have to be considered are:
o Driver Training
o Wholetime and Retained Initial Trainee Initial Training
o The provision and delivery of training to the new Group structure
o Methods of training delivery, i.e. distance learning, modular training, further development of the MPUs and their application
o The use of Retained and `Green Book' personnel as Instructors/Assessors
o Training collaboration and partnerships within the region and with other Training providers
TRAINING FACILITIES AND RESOURCES
In recognising the requirements and developments within the areas detailed, it is essential that we review our existing training facilities and resources throughout the Service. Whilst we have sought to address the structure of the Training Function in terms of staff and their location, this area will need to be monitored as the development, demands and implications of IPDS and the Service re-structure become apparent. The facilities at the Training Centre are identified as not adequate for our existing requirements. Whilst acknowledging future collaboration and partnership opportunities, plans are being produced to improve this situation to provide new premises for the Supplies department and for the housing of new Civil Protection vehicles. Subject to planning and budget approvals, the following changes will be made:
o The existing Stores complex to be vacated and relocated on the Service Headquarters site as part of a new Civil Protection building.
o The vacated Stores complex to be refurbished and used by the Training Centre.
o The Driver Training Section and Commercial Services to be relocated to Service Headquarters site with the re-location of the existing Assessment and Development Centre.
o Consideration required regarding future training requirements/facilities in terms of Civil Protection and Urban Search and Rescue.
TRAINING COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS
It is clear from the Government's White Paper and draft Framework document, that collaboration and a regional approach to some aspects of Service delivery are essential for the future. Within the South East Fire Service's Forum structure including the newly constituted Regional Management Board, and in particular the Training group led by East Sussex, Brigades recognise the need to collaborate and adopt a more effective `partnership' approach if we are all to satisfy future training and development requirements.
Particular areas that have been discussed and agreed as possible areas for the future are:
o Initial Trainee Training - Standard Course and Training Venues
o Management Development Programmes (CMS/DMS)
o Specialist Training, ie Compartment Fire Behaviour Training, Urban Search and Rescue/Civil Protection
o Within the regional Training task group a scoping study has been completed by each Brigade of their existing training provision/facilities and anticipated trainee requirements for the next 10 years.