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HMICFRS Round 2 Inspection

Progress against the HMICFRS recommendations made within our Round 2 inspection report as of May 2024. 

In January 2023, HMICFRS produced our Round 2 inspection report. The report contained 17 areas for improvement. Our response to these recommendations is detailed in this progress report.

Area for Improvement 1

The service should develop a clear prevention strategy targeting people most at risk and make sure activity undertaken prioritises people most at risk.

DFRS action:

We have produced our Prevention Strategy which is aligned to our Community Risk Management Plan (Our Plan 2023-2026).

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 2

The service should make sure it quality assures its prevention activity, so staff carry out Safe & Well visits to an appropriate standard.

DFRS action:

We have developed our Prevention Evaluation and Assurance Framework. This will enable us to gather reliable evidence to underpin decision making in relation to how we will deliver service to our communities now and in the future.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 3

The service should evaluate its prevention activity, so it understands what works.

DFRS action:

We have developed our Prevention Evaluation and Assurance Framework. This demonstrates our commitment to timely evaluation to inform decisions, alongside a schedule of assurance and evaluation prioritising areas of highest risk.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 4

The service should make sure it has appropriate plans in place to meet the risk-based inspection programme.

DFRS action:

Following comprehensive data collection and analysis, we have determined the capacity and capability of our Protection team. We have also considered staff development and vacancies within the department. Our Risk Based Inspection Programme (RBIP) is subject to continuous improvement to ensure that suitable properties are subject to audit by our team.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 5

The service should make sure it has an effective quality assurance process, so staff carry out audits to an appropriate standard.

DFRS action:

Our revised quality assurance process is now embedded within our Protection Authorisation and Competency Framework. We also review our quality assurance activity through Protection meetings on a regular basis.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 6

The service should evaluate its protection activity, so it understands what works.

DFRS action:

We have evaluated our previous Protection activity (last 10 years) and revised our audit frequency for specific property classifications. We have developed a Protection dashboard to provide further performance indicators and enable improved reporting to our Strategic Leadership Team.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 7

The service should make sure it has an effective process to monitor and assure commanders of operational incidents.

DFRS action:

We have reviewed our policies and procedures, and reintroduced incident monitoring across the service. We have provided training to managers to enable them to conduct monitoring duties and submit their findings through our incident monitoring system. Our revised system enables us to produce reports for scrutiny and feedback purposes.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 8

The service should ensure it effectively monitors, reviews and evaluates the benefits and outcomes of any collaboration.

DFRS action:

We have revised our Collaboration and Partnership Register, held on our service Sharepoint site. Our Partnership and Funding Officer has provided training for middle managers to enable all collaboration opportunities to be recorded and evaluated appropriately.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 9

The service needs to ensure it makes best use of technology to improve its efficiency and effectiveness and make sure staff can use the technology competently.

DFRS action:

We have produced our IT Strategy, which is aligned to our Community Risk Management Plan (Our Plan 2023-2026), detailing how we will improve our use of technology. We have conducted a review of our staff IT training and adapted our annual training plan based on risk and staff requirements.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 10

The service should take early action to monitor working hours (including overtime) to improve staff wellbeing.

DFRS action:

We have developed an electronic on-call availability form to enable us to monitor staff working hours and predict future availability.

Our response managers monitor this data through regular performance meetings. We are putting plans in place to monitor working hours of staff with dual contracts, this will be integrated into our Firewatch system and will be subject to the implementation of our replacement mobilising system during 2024-25.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 11

The service should make sure that annual fitness testing takes place consistently across the service.

DFRS action:

We have reviewed our quality assurance process for staff fitness testing, following a sample of fitness test across the service. Our fitness testing data is available to all managers for performance monitoring and scrutiny purposes.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 12

The service should make sure its workforce plan takes full account of the necessary skills and capabilities to carry out the integrated risk management plan.

DFRS action:

We are working towards the completion of our workforce plan, following a review of our service strategies and consultation with senior managers. We are working to establish our People Performance Profile, providing further performance measures and reporting functions.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 13

The service should make sure that there is a consistent method of recording and monitoring all non-safety critical training.

DFRS action:

Our provision of non-safety critical training has been reviewed and incorporated within our annual training plan. Our e-learning training planner has been revised and enables consistent recording and monitoring of staff training. Non-safety critical training data is reported via monthly managers meetings and quarterly performance reports.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 14

The service should identify and overcome barriers to equal opportunity, so that its workforce better represents its community. This includes making sure staff understand the value of positive action and having a diverse workforce.

DFRS action:

We have delivered Positive Action training courses for managers and will be providing e-learning packages for all staff during 2024.

We have improved awareness of our recent wholetime recruitment process through an online Q&A session with senior managers from across our service.

We are developing a Positive Action framework (incorporating attraction, recruitment and progression of staff) to deliver improvements in workforce representation. We will focus on engagement with community groups to better understand whether any barriers to diversity exist and how they can be removed.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 15

The service should make sure that all staff are trained in equality, diversity and inclusion.

DFRS action:

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training provision has been reviewed and prioritised according to staff requirements. All training has been incorporated within the annual training plan, a reporting and monitoring process is in place to ensure staff compliance.

Action: Completed

Area for Improvement 16

The service should ensure the selection and promotion process is fair and improve transparency to promote trust and confidence.

DFRS action:

We have considered feedback from our staff and will be conducting a corporate review of promotion processes within the service. We will create a consistent methodology for all processes and implement a quality assurance process to capture feedback and learning.

Action: Ongoing

Area for Improvement 17

The service should put in place an open and fair process to identify, develop and support high potential staff and aspiring leaders.

DFRS action:

We are considering options to support this recommendation. This will commence following the corporate review of promotion processes within the service.

Action: Ongoing