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Monday, 22 December 2014 00:00

Joint HR, Welfare and OH&S Committee - 2 Minute Briefing

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Issue 11: December 2014

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 30/11/14)


CFA have launched a new web portal that provides information and education on mental health for all CFA members. It has been designed to be accessed from any internet-enabled smartphone, tablet or computer, and can be accessed from http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/headsup

The portal provides information on Bullying, harassment & discrimination, potentially traumatic events, mental health, and interpersonal conflict. It includes useful tools and contact details for immediate assistance.

A new guidebook has also been launched called “Manage your mental health action plan” which is a small A5 sized easy to read guide aimed at CFA members, designed to gather information about the nature of the main challenges, issues, or problems facing CFA members. It helps members understand what triggers you and causes you stress in particular situations, and how you can communicate what your limitations are around your personal wellbeing.

For more information on what tools and guides are available, members can contact the Wellbeing pilot. Contact details are available rom your District office or via the CFA website Brigades Online.


Recognizing that over the years, CFA’s role has broadened to encompass emergency management and multi-agency response, and that this has resulted in a significant change to the roles CFA members play and the skills they need to develop to support service delivery, CFA is refreshing its People Capability Framework.

The framework intends on developing an enhanced understanding of the capability profile of the CFA workforce that will allow CFA to identify skill and capability gaps, particularly for critical job roles & recruitment strategies.

Whilst workforce planning sounds like it only deals with paid roles, the reality is CFA is a volunteer and community based organisation, and all members contribute to the organisations culture and workforce arrangement, which should be pay status blind.

The committee has been requested to provide feedback on the framework which covers; thinking capabilities, personal capabilities, people capabilities and practical capabilities. The committee has requested volunteer feedback be sought from the regional and district level.


CFA has provided a high level overview of results from its culture survey. The results show a decline in organisational culture away from CFA’s preferred culture. The preferred culture as identified by members in 2012 was a vision of strong focus on constructive styles such as encouraging & supporting others, resolving conflict constructively, helping others to grow & develop, treating people as more important than things, using good human relation skills, cooperating with others, and working to archive self-set goals and enjoying work. The results from the 2014 survey shows an increased reporting of Passive/Defensive and Aggressive/Defensive styles such as pushing decisions upwards and taking few chances.

The CFA Executive Leadership Team has taken personal responsibility for the culture results, and have embarked on a state wide roadshow to explore the recent culture survey results. Each ELT member has been allocated to regions and will be visiting each of the five CFA regions. A current schedule of locations and dates is available on Brigade online. The committee has requested assurance that volunteer friendly times will be incorporated into the schedule.

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CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.


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