We have always been passionate about training in Oxfordshire, be that operational or otherwise. Learning and development are obviously important for both personal growth and for enabling us to do our jobs to the best of our abilities; making our communities safer. However, competency is an absolutely critical area of risk management and, when done properly, one of the pillars on which a high performing fire and rescue service can be built.

Despite the importance we have always placed on training, as a predominantly on-call service, operational competence in Oxfordshire has always been challenging. Over the years our training systems became bogged down in bureaucracy as the service pursued operational assurance. We reached the point whereby in an average 12-month period, managers were having to sign off 482 separate operational competency ‘criteria’ for their staff with the inadvertent result being that training became a ‘tick box’ exercise.

National Operational Guidance (NOG) presented the service with a fantastic opportunity to review what we had learned over the years and implement a new operational competency framework for the service based on a nationally agreed system.


Read the full article on our digital issue, page 25.

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