Fire Related ResearchProgramme Co-ordinator Dr Anne Eyre previews the research event to be held on November 12 at the Fire Service College:

The programme for RE15 – the Annual Conference hosted by the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Fire Service College, and supported by FIRE Magazine and Gore through the Research Excellence Awards – is now out and registrations are invited via the IFE website at Here is a flavour of the presentations:

Performance Management and Financial Resilience – A Smouldering Issue
In this year’s keynote presentation Peter Murphy, head of the Public Management and Governance Research Group at the Nottingham Trent University’s Business School, will evaluate and compare the current performance management regime for fire and rescue services in England with those currently extant in other locally delivered services. The research, commissioned by the National Audit Office, will inform the future work of the NAO Local Services team which oversees locally delivered public services.

New Tool to Assess Operational Preparedness
A number of presentations at RE15 will discuss research and recommendations relating to operational preparedness, communication and emergency response. In novel research conducted with West Midland’s Fire Service, Dr Gail Steptoe-Warren and Tom Evans of Coventry University have developed and reviewed a Situational Judgement Test to assess operational preparedness within bronze commanders to inform their development. They will talk about the study and its practical outcomes which includes the development of a further online tool for silver level commanders.

Operational Assessment and Peer Challenge for Fire and Rescue Services
The Operational Assessment and Peer Challenge process for FRS has recently been undertaken by all 45 FRAs. This is the only public service or public sector voluntary peer review that has been universally undertaken by the all of the eligible service providers in any sector. The current process is intended to be undertaken regularly by the LGA (on behalf of fire authorities) and CFOA (on behalf of fire services). At RE15 Jo Hayden, Planning and Performance Manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, will critique the current process and outline recommendations for its improvement. She has evaluated the current process against previous performance management and financial assurance frameworks for the FRS and against acknowledged good practice drawn from previous performance management and financial assurance frameworks for other public services in the UK.

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