The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Hub, Recruitment Hub, Talent Management Framework and Toolkit and Coaching and Mentoring National Portal are the culmination of months of hard work by National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) project teams and colleagues from across the fire and rescue sector.

Each tool champions best practice processes, showcasing sector-endorsed guidance to provide a consistent approach at a national level.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Hub contains a wealth of resources to help services ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are part of everything they do.

Designed in consultation with external professional organisations, the EDI Hub provides a range of information about different groups of people and ideas around the actions in which services could take to make a positive difference to them. Toolkits provide further advice to fire and rescue services and are also included as part of the EDI Hub.

NFCC EDI Project Manager Aidan Bartley said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion are top priorities for the NFCC. This project delivers a hub of guidance and tools that have been developed for the sector, by the sector.

“Whilst there’s more work to do to embed the learning, these tools will help to increase awareness for the benefit of all fire and rescue service staff and the communities they serve.”

The Recruitment Hub is a centralised resource for colleagues finding and bringing in diverse talent.

Collaborative in its approach, the Recruitment Hub provides the basis for a more unified national approach to recruitment for the sector and is designed to complement a modern UK fire and rescue service.

The Recruitment Hub provides a comprehensive collection of information, guidance, best practice and tools to support a service in developing its own bespoke selection and recruitment approach.

NFCC Recruitment Hub Project Manager Gaia Alexander said: “A review of the wholetime recruitment process back in April 2019 identified that nationally there were differing approaches to selection and recruitment across the sector.

“The Recruitment Hub is designed to provide a solution to this; offering an array of information and guidance in a simple-to-use way to ensure consistency to the candidate journey.”

The Talent Management Toolkit has been developed to provide support to fire and rescue services around the key talent management areas: attract, identify, develop, engage, retain, deploy and evaluate.

The Talent Management Toolkit dovetails with the national Talent Management Model Policy and Talent Management Maturity Model, forming the Talent Management Framework.

The Coaching and Mentoring National Portal allows a continuation of learning and connects individuals with coaches and mentors from within the sector.

Connecting with other mentors from other services gives a wider base of experience and can help to identify good practices, as well as an independent place to share personal goals or objectives.

NFCC Talent Management and Coaching and Mentoring Project Manager Jane Cork, said: “Both of these tools will enhance the development of our people in helping to support and nurture their growth and continuous learning.”

“We are grateful for the support received from services who helped to shape these products during their development. Already, 31 services have nominated champions, mentors and qualified coaches to sign up to the Coaching and Mentoring National Portal.”

The new tools have been developed in response to national recommendations made within the Fire and Rescue National Framework and the HMICFRS State of Fire and Rescue report and are supported by the NFCC People Strategy.

Ann Millington, People Programme Executive, said: “I am immensely proud of the work by members of the People Programme in conjunction with fire and rescue services, and the resulting four products.

“These products signify another significant leap forward by the NFCC in supporting the people already working in, and those yet to join, this exciting and dynamic sector.”

See next issue for exclusive interview with Ann Millington.