There are many benefits to the organisation from implementing National Operational Guidance (NOG) and National Operational Learning (NOL) and striving to achieve the Operational Response Fire Standards. Uniformity and currency of guidance across the sector will deliver a more consistent operational response. Service policy departments will be more efficient in the long term and spend less time on reviewing large amounts of information and more time on positive, productive and creative workstreams. The organisation will also have increased moral, legal, financial and health and safety protection, resulting in decreased organisational risk.
The aim is for firefighters to be extremely well-trained and outstanding risk assessors and decision makers, which will evidence positive changes in behaviour. The service culture will improve and there will be greater clarity in the information they provide. There will be confidence that maintenance of competence schedules is based on the most current guidance, which has been consulted upon nationally. The Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) operations syllabus is based on the NOG framework, providing an opportunity for firefighters to gain professional qualifications.
Communities will be better served by an evidenced competent and current operational response. This will be assessed and reported on by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
Internal and external standards
HMICFRS will inspect a service against implementation of NOG and NOL. The robust implementation of NOG and NOL will provide an evidenced narrative of how a service has achieved this, which will be reflected in inspection reports.
Implementation also provides internal assurance and gives the service an opportunity to dedicate resources to properly assess the breadth of hazards the service may encounter and the control measures required to deliver an appropriate risk-based response to those hazards.
The NOG framework and its ongoing development is more accountable to services in a way that GRAs or manuals of firemanship were not. Services can identify areas that they are unhappy with and directly request improvements in a way that has not been done before. Requests for improvements are consulted upon, pass through appropriate governance and responded to, and can result in change to guidance and continuous improvement.
The accountable model that the NOG framework gives allows services to measure themselves against the framework and gives the sector opportunity to present a true picture that nationally consulted upon guidance has been implemented and embedded in training, evidenced by the inspectorate.
The expected benefits of achieving the Fire Standards are detailed in the individual standards: