Professional Workforce

Working under testing conditions including operating under limited resources; a reduced workforce; and loss of skills as a result of redundancy or retirement. As supervisors retire and replacements are needed, The Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) need to seize this as an opportunity to create a supervisor that is better equipped to manage in a more dynamic, knowledge based work environment.

Going forward, FRS will need to collaborate, share resources, and minimise costs whilst continuing to maintain and deliver front line services to the public it serves. Now more than ever, there is a need to maximise the skills and adaptability of the workforce to face any forthcoming challenges.

Focus must be applied on getting the most out staff by integrating elements such as leadership and strategy, people management, talent and engagement and performance management. This will allow the service to become ‘talent multipliers’, able to increase the productivity and impact of every employee.

Investing in skills today will more likely produce high returns in the form of improved productivity tomorrow and in the future.
Strategic workforce planning will help to get the best out of talent by providing an accurate picture of the availability, composition, age structure and capabilities of leadership and the workforce.

FRS need to develop valid supervisor assessment methods and tools that measure the competencies and skills required of the changing workforce and workplace. Supervisors of the future will possess the knowledge, skills and abilities required to supervise a highly skilled, diverse and internally motivated workforce.
Professional workforce guidance has been produced to give Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) a framework identifying and developing the core skills of their supervisory managers. It covers the core managerial skills and signposts routes to gain role specific competencies.

This will evidence the core generic managerial skills required for fire and rescue service professionals. These skills will form a developmental pathway for all staff within the fire and rescue service, in addition the project will develop signposting to enable role specific competencies to be identified and developed.

The outcomes of this work will provide the FPF with a clear framework which shows the standards and skills expected of fire and rescue professionals (uniformed and non uniformed) underpinned by appropriate National Occupational Standards (NOS). This together with signposting to role specific technical competencies such as Fire Protection and HR and the inclusion of good practice and alternative methods of developing and maintaining, these standards will enable individual fire and rescue services to build a professional workforce within their own context based upon sound foundations.

Sign Posting Competencies

Through interaction with aspiring and current supervisory managers, and in discussion with those individuals who manage them, we have explored both skills and knowledge requirements of the role. Supervisory managers have been engaged with from uniformed operational backgrounds and from non uniformed corporate areas of the FRS. The skills take account of the likely developments of the role in the future. The results of the workshop validated earlier work undertaken with FRS's to understand how they developed the skills in their supervisory managers to be able to undertake their role.

Benefits of using the framework

  • Enables individuals and their line managers to identify gaps and, prioritise learning and development needs for current and future roles.
  • Helps individuals to identify the knowledge required to support development of a skill
  • Helps career development and planning by showing the requirements of another role allowing gaps to be filled.
  • Supports the selection of people with the right skills for the role
  • Provides a single point for information, presented in a common format, which is simple to understand
  • Provides a foundation for developing the organisation
  • Increased flexibility for the deployment of staff and their employability in alternative roles.
For more information on the work contact Rick Hylton on
Skills For Fire & Rescue