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Where we are now

IO9: Effective leadership


Inspirational leadership

Being clear about what needs to improve, as well as providing a framework and infrastructure for fire and rescue services to draw upon will not make change happen. Delivering improvement relies upon the unified, coordinated and sustained effort of leaders in the fire and rescue service both centrally and within every level in every fire and rescue service across political and officer roles. Leadership may well be the most significant and challenging aspect in delivering improvement within fire and rescue services. Achieving unity around what needs to improve as outlined in this proposal will act as a compelling vision and starting point to build on.

To support this, the expectations of leaders in the service at all levels need to be defined and used as a basis of their selection, training, development and advancement. Fire and rescue services need to seek out and create talented and inspiring people from the broadest, most diverse elements of society and empower them to take the service forward. 

A new Leadership Framework has been developed by the NFCC and needs to undergo further engagement and consultation including with employer interests. This could be developed to become jointly owned by stakeholders across the fire and rescue service. The endorsement of Government for such a framework would be welcomed and fit well with the current National Framework for England that says each fire and rescue authority should have in place a people strategy, one element of which is professionalism, skills and leadership1. The leadership framework cannot be allowed to be an academic exercise that people in the service know about and can recite. It would become a genuine driver for new service values, culture and behaviour.

Fire and Rescue Service National Framework for England, para 6.1