Leading qualifications body NCFE recently launched a new pilot training scheme for fire fighters - here is the story of how they worked with the FBU to provide a "red-hot" qualification:
As part of the FBU's on-going Union Learning Fund programme, NCFE's Level 2 Certificate in Health and Safety at Work was trialed by 35 staff across the national organisation.
This marks the first time that the FBU (ULF) has offered a distance learning qualification to both members and employees throughout The Fire and Rescue Service.
The qualification explores and develops health and safety issues within the workplace and looks to expand the team's knowledge of legislation and regulations.
The FBU selected to run the programme from its North East Learning Centre and chose Wales to test the boundaries of long distance learning.
The bespoke NCFE qualification was trialed to the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service and enabled learners to study at a distance using workbooks and email as a way of communicating with tutors.
Claire Wealleans (pictured), Learning Centre Manager at Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The Fire Brigade Union works very closely with Fire and Rescue Services to look at learning opportunities that we can offer our members and employees.
"We were therefore very keen to trial the qualification as it helps to improve on the functional and personal skills of learners.
"We had great interest from members in Wales who were very keen to get involved, we therefore chose this area to truly test the ethos of long distance learning.
"It's great that they can come away with an increased knowledge and can work at a pace which suits their individual needs."
David Grailey, Chief Executive at NCFE, said: "We're delighted that the qualification has been very well received by the FBU and their learners, going forward we'll be looking to support and build on our strong relationship by providing additional qualifications.
"The Level 2 Certificate in Health and Safety offers the benefits of lifelong learning which is important to firefighters to boost their skills.
"They work in a dangerous environment so it's important that they can participate in a range of in-depth hazard and risk assessments including first aid activities and dealing with exposure to potential hazardous substances.
"Vocational learning can help learners advance within their chosen career and boosts their confidence which helps them to reach their goals."
For more information regarding this or other NCFE courses, visit www.ncfe.org.uk or call 0191 239 8000