Building on its partnership with the Chief Fire Officers Association, the Local Government Association (LGA) has undertaken a Peer Review at The Fire Fighters Charity, the UK’s leading charity for the fire and rescue community.
The Peer Review took place from 4-6 February 2014 and consisted of a range of on-site activities including interviews, conference calls, observations and focus groups. The review team met with a broad cross-section of staff, beneficiaries, stakeholders, volunteers and partners.
Chief Executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, John Parry, said: "The Peer Review was not an inspection rather it was an invitation to a team of people with the appropriate skills to look at our organisation as ‘critical friends.’
"We provided extensive background information to the team, which provided evidence to demonstrate how effective we are in relation to the Charity Commission’s guidance that sets out the standards that help Trustees improve their charity’s effectiveness."
The “Charity Commission’s six hallmarks of an effective charity” are:
1) Being clear about our purpose and direction
2) Having a strong board
3) Being fit for purpose
4) Being open to learning and improving
5) Ensuring we are financially sound and prudent
6) Ensuring we are accountable and transparent
The Peer Review team was led by CFO Paul Fuller of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who is also the current President of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association. The team also comprised Marieke Dwarshuis, Board Member for Scotland Fire and Rescue Service, who has had a career in the charity sector as well as being a senior officer within the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), and Colin Chapman, Assistant Chief Fire Officer of Dorset Fire and Rescue Service with an expertise in HR matters. The Local Government Association Challenge Manager was Ernest Opuni.
The team discussed their findings and gave an initial feedback presentation to all those at the Charity’s Head Office in Basingstoke, Hampshire, which was both positive and encouraging. A comprehensive written report will be received within four weeks and will be featured on www.fire-magazine.com.
Mr Parry concluded: "We will use the findings of the Peer Review to improve our performance and efficiency, and to learn new and better ways of meeting the evolving needs of our beneficiaries in the fire and rescue community. Using our critical friends’ review of our performance and the impact and outcomes of our work, the findings will feed into the Charity’s business planning process to influence our future direction."
For more information visit www.firefighterscharity.org.uk