Agenda item

To consider Item 15


The Station Commander HR Projects advised Members that this report was a final update on the achievements to date of the Authority’s People Strategy 2016-2020, which was approved by Members in 2016. The People Strategy was currently being revised to ensure it aligned to the new Public Safety Plan and Corporate Plan. The revised strategy would be presented to the Authority in October 2020. The People Strategy demonstrated how the Authority captures the commitment and professionalism of all its people to achieve the vision, aim, priorities and objectives of the Public Safety Plan and Corporate Plan.


The Strategy had recently been incorporated into the new Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service website which facilitated a single point of entry for those interested in its work, which enabled an easy link to published news and updates from across the organisation. The People Strategy continued to be maintained and updated through stakeholder engagement. There were five key areas supporting the overarching People Strategy, each had its own strategy these were: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Employee Engagement; Resourcing; Talent Management and Employee Well-being. The main page on the website detailed the strategy’s Key Challenges, Assumptions, Employee proposition, Our Vision, Aim and priorities, and culminates at the bottom with links to the five key areas.


The Station Commander HR Projects advised Members that in January 2020, as part of the employee engagement project, the Authority carried out a follow up employee culture survey to the 2017 survey. The results were promising and provided an insight into the strengths and areas for opportunity. The results were currently being used to set actions at both service and team level. The results would also be utilised to inform the revised People Strategy and provide evidence for future HMI Inspections.


The Station Commander HR Projects advised Members that with regard to resourcing, there had been a number of targeted recruitment campaigns via social media and the DAX platform, attendance at many career fairs, all to encourage and attract more diverse applicants. The Authority had recruited some 84 apprentices across operational and support services to date, and recently revised its apprenticeship model to ensure it remained attractive and in line with other services. There were 17 new operational apprenticeship recruits, who were currently in training at the Fire Service College, to ensure the Authority was fully prepared for the impacts of the court of appeal pensions ruling.


Succession planning was undertaken as part of the performance management process and included a rolling organisational training needs analysis. The Authority’s talent management programme continued to ensure replenished development pools at each level, resulting in staff with the required skills to fulfil the roles when needed. A pilot scheme to identify and develop future leaders in the service was successfully employed and would be utilised later this year to validate the process.


A network of Mental Health Champions and First Aiders, who all received the appropriate training, was established. All Champions and First Aiders had been issued with a green mental health awareness ribbon pin so that employees could identify them and approach them for support where necessary. The Well-being Group successfully obtained funding for the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing team to be refreshed and retrained in trauma support which took place in November 2019. There were now 20 members of the trauma support team that could be called upon to deliver debriefs for employees who have been exposed to traumatic events.


A Member asked what was being done to attract more women into the service/apprenticeships.


The Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised Members that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate had commended the Authority on the work it had done, especially around social media and reaching out to underrepresented groups within its community, but it was work in progress. There were separate ‘have a go’ days, engagement with colleges, and many other areas, to help recruit people from underrepresented backgrounds. The Authority was doing well compared to many other fire and rescue services, but it would continue to work on this.




That the content of the report be noted.

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