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Control measure
Consider operational competence

Control measure knowledge

Competence is the ability to achieve and repeat the necessary level of workplace performance. It links to the National Occupational Standards for Fire and Rescue Services in an individual's role map. National Occupational Standards (NOS) provide a structure that enables fire and rescue services to design and deliver a consistent level of training to a common standard, across all levels of command.

There are four levels of command underpinned by command qualifications that apply to the fire and rescue service. The CFOA Command Training, Assessment and Qualifications Fire and Rescue Service Guidance provides further information.

Commanding operational situations is different to managing controlled and defined situations or workplace scenarios. Commanders need a range of qualities, technical and non-technical skills to deal with the wide-ranging nature of emergencies.

Fire and rescue services should be confident that their selection processes ensure that people who perform command functions are capable of doing so under the expected pressures of emergency incidents. They should demonstrate the potential to deal with situations where there is sustained pressure and stress.

Fire and rescue services should ensure they train and assess their incident commanders. They should ensure incident commanders understand and have practised the skills they need for command. They should also equip them with the operational knowledge needed to resolve the full range of incidents.

Incident commanders should have adequate technical knowledge of incident command and operational procedures. They should also know the health and safety requirements and other relevant legislation. A fire and rescue authority or incident commander can face prosecution for not complying with a legal duty or requirement.

Relevant control measures include:

  • Simple and straightforward policies and procedures that identify legal considerations
  • Consistent and reliable selection processes that assess technical skills
  • Appropriate training and development
  • A system for gaining and maintaining technical knowledge


Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Design and put in place a framework of competence for their incident commanders
  • Have methods of assessing how effective their incident commanders are performing

Tactical actions

There are no tactical actions associated with this control measure.