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VFBV Association Joint Committees

In early 2012, VFBV initiated a review of VFBV's and CFA's consultative framework, with the aim of strengthening the VFBV/CFA Joint Committee processes. The following is an excerpt from VFBV's submission to CFA entititled "Creating our future togther"

1.0 Introduction

VFBV has prepared this paper to assist with the shared development of a consultative framework that recognises the inexorable partnership volunteers through their representative body VFBV share with CFA as both organisations refine and optimise their structures and processes.

Through all layers of both organisations it is difficult to define examples of pure standalone influences or drivers that are not truly shared and in ‘Creating our Future Together’ CFA and VFBV must build on, refine and strengthen the strong networks long established, these defined by the depth and value of our people, their skills, knowledge, experience and wisdom.

In designing the way we implement robust and effective consultative arrangements for this future together, CFA and VFBV must build on extensive and mature networks that have served the CFA well to now, while recognising that the landscape and expectations from within and outside the Authority present opportunities and challenges.

CFA is truly a volunteer and community based fire and emergency service, unique in design and formation, a key strength being the imbedded nature of CFA in almost all communities across the State. This provides an enviable ability for CFA and VFBV to seek out opinions and make informed decisions that complement the partnership with Victorian communities when confronted with fire and other emergencies.

This paper sets out proposals to IN PARTNERSHIP:

  • define the OBJECTIVES that refine the consultative strategy;
  • develop PRINCIPLES that will guide such arrangements;
  • establish TERMS OF REFERENCE for each entity (Joint Committee) defining direct and resilient linkages through Regions, Districts to brigades in their respective communities;
  • agree on the ESTABLISHMENT & ALIGNMENT of Joint CFA/VFBV Committees to CFA’s refined organisational structure;
  • agree on a meetings TIMETABLE that aligns, informs and adds value to Government, CFA’s and VFBV’s planning timeframes;
  • develop an IMPLEMENTATION PLAN incorporating a communications strategy;
  • agree on a shared EXECUTIVE FUNCTION that supports this strategy

2.0 Strategic Aim

Commit to this strategy to ensure that:

  1. VFBV and CFA continue to strongly represent and advocate on all matters that affect the welfare and efficiency of CFA volunteers;
  2. Our shared structure, consultative and communication processes to all stakeholders is efficient, timely and effective;
  3. In contemplating change we recognise the strengths of our past and current structure, forums, networks and people and look to enhance them;
  4. Commit to a continuous improvement approach to effectively promote, manage and ultimately resolve issues;
  5. Strengthen Joint Consultative processes by implementing effective structures and communication pathways in support of our Joint Committees and Consultative processes.

3.0 Our Commitment

To redefine the objectives, structure and consultative processes of VFBV Joint Committees and Working Parties, to ensure we strengthen consultative processes with CFA through effective internal and external processes.

Our Joint CFA / VFBV Committees will continue to work collaboratively, meeting and working through issues with the following Terms of Reference in mind:

  1. Progress against specific issues as part of a culture of expeditious issue resolution;
  2. Engage in and foster discussion of Strategic Issues, Directions and Approach for CFA;
  3. Manage change through organisation, volunteer and staff involvement and effective implementation;
  4. Prepare for and make progress on emerging issues and maintain an ongoing stocktake of current issues;
  5. Monitor and report on progress of issues against plan; and
  6. Build and operate reporting mechanisms that fulfil the expectations of our members.

4.0 VFBV Committees – Process & Purpose

4.1 Process & Refinements

VFBV have undertaken a refinement of our issues identification and management arrangements including bolstering our internal and external consultation and communication processes. We have focussed the number and the representative arrangements for Joint Committees compared to arrangement that have existed to date. In doing so we have been mindful of the change management and functional changes that CFA is undertaking.

We have formalised our VFBV Committees to identify and workshop issues in preparation for meeting together with CFA. When we meet together the same volunteer delegates will make up our Joint Committee nominees, bringing to the table activated and informed participants that will work together with CFA nominees at the Joint meetings. Further strengthening of our internal consultative processes will see each VFBV District Council having direct links to the seven (7) VFBV Committees, each District Council activating key volunteers in focused roles liaising and briefing brigades and volunteers relating to their portfolios activities and progress of issues.

VFBV nominees for our Committees and subsequently our Joint Committees are drawn from all CFA Regions and Districts. An important change from the past being each volunteer delegate will have only one Committee role, their nomination based on their knowledge and capacity to contribute to the Joint Committee to which they are allocated. VFBV District Councils have an enhanced role with the potential for volunteers they nominate that have particular subject matter expertise to be appointed on all VFBV Committees.

Working Parties and Reference Panels support all Committees. CFA and VFBV have used issue specific Working Parties (WP) and Reference Panels (RP) to great effect and we see this need to continue.
We expect that each CFA/VFBV Joint Committee may activate issue specific and time framed WP/RP’s on a needs basis as per past practice. VFBV will also activate specific WP/RP’s to support our VFBV Committees, key to these arrangements will be that each WP/RP will be convened and facilitated by a VFBV Committee member.

Finally, our VFBV Board members will each take a liaison role with one of our VFBV Committees.

4.2 Purpose and Vision

The review of VFBV’s Committee and Consultative Arrangements will see us:


  1. Deliver refinements to the structure of VFBV Committees, Working Parties and their consultative timeframes in support of our State Council, Board and other Joint Consultative forums;
  2. Integrate issues identification, management and resolution processes across all levels and functions of VFBV;
  3. Establish strategic consultative processes through VFBV’s representative network, using linked and empowered District Councils, Groups and Brigade representatives;
  4. Set and report performance measures against issues.
  5. Build capacity at all VFBV levels to enable our people to develop and grow in effectiveness and profile; and
  6. Communicate the strategic intent of our VFBV Board throughout the VFBV representative and consultative networks.

VFBV Committee Workshops will be held to prepare advice for State Council and other Consultative meetings and drive issues analysis.

Each VFBV Committee will:

  • Gathering information and intelligence;
  • Validating the evidence and preparing options and solutions analyses;
  • Conducting engagement and communication with our broader membership;
  • Driving the issues process to resolution;
  • Prepare VFBV position papers for consideration;
  • Introduce performance reporting by preparing advice of action against plan. Success /failure and regular audit/issues scanning;
  • Developing a ‘Lessons Learned’ matrix to provide a reliable base set of historical and issues data;
  • Manage the documentation and organisational memory supporting each Joint Committee.


Read 37596 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 10:04
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