The CPO uses industry standard portfolio, programme and project management methodologies to ensure that there is robust process and due consideration given to the efficient delivery of products. The CPO team is diverse. Many members of the CPO come from fire and rescue services and work on secondment. The programmes and projects are run by professional, qualified staff.
The head of the CPO is a member of the NFCC Steering Group. This provides direct line of sight from the leadership of the NFCC to the programmes and then on to the projects and products. This is critical to ensure that the direction provided by the members is monitored and delivered on the ground.
There are currently three main programmes and continued work taking place on operational guidance and operational learning. All of this is underpinned by benefits management activity to ensure that we make the improvements that we say we will when we start our work.
The CPO supports the work of the Fire Standards Board for fire and rescue services in England. The board comprises independent Chair and Vice Chair, the Chair of the NFCC, representation from the LGA, the Home Office and the College of Policing. The board started its work in 2019. The UK-wide defined good practice, as developed by the NFCC through the CPO, will form the basis for many of the standards offered to the Fire Standards Board for approval.
The CPO portfolio will rely on continued engagement and consultation, as appropriate, from across the sector. This collaborative approach worked well for NOG and will continue under the CPO. For each project within the proposed programmes, the stakeholders that need to be involved will be identified from both inside and outside of the sector.
To assist this consultative approach, the Strategic Engagement Forum is in place and chaired by CFO Mick Crennell from Avon Fire and Rescue Service. Its purpose is to support the CPO by soliciting a wide range of views about the work of the programmes, providing valuable scrutiny and insight before products are signed off by the NFCC governance. Representative bodies, fire sector organisations and appropriate private sector organisations are members and the forum meets at least three times per year.
The NFCC has developed the Strategic Improvement Model (SIM) to help inform its annual strategic planning process.