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Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

2 Minute Briefing - HR, Welfare and OH&S

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Issue 14: October 2015

Quick snapshot of the priority issues and actions worked through at the most recent Joint Committee meeting between CFA and VFBV. (Meeting held 18/10/15)



A considerable amount of work & consultation has been undertaken by CFA in developing the new CFA Values (STAIR – Safety, Together, Adaptive, Integrity and Respect).

CFA has been actively promoting these values through presentations to Brigades, Groups and to Regional/District staff to promote a clear understanding and encourage their active implementation at all levels.

VFBV has agreed to a request by the Chief Officer to consider minor adjustments to the Volunteer Code of Conduct to incorporate the new values that complement the Fire Star Virtues which will be maintained. A draft update will shortly be published to seek volunteer feedback before the changes are formalized.

CFA and VFBV have agreed to use this refresh as an opportunity to remind members and staff of the importance of the volunteer code of conduct, and the corresponding code of conduct for Victorian public sector employees which covers paid staff. Anecdotal evidence continues to suggest that some members struggle in how to “call out bad behaviour” and manage it effectively.

Across all districts a great deal of time is taken up dealing with issues at all levels of the organisation as a result of non-adherence to the Volunteer Code of Conduct, the Employee Code of Conduct & CFA Values. VFBV encourages all brigades to engage with all members to further inform them about the CFA Values, thereby promoting the importance of them living out the values and demonstrating them when dealing with members and issues that they encounter in their roles.

CFA is undertaking similar discussions with its employees including line managers such as OMs and OOs to highlight the importance of leaders demonstrating and living by our new values. Brigades, Groups & VFBV District Councils wishing to arrange a presentation can contact CFA’s Michelle O’Sullivan at HQ for further information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Volunteerism Coordinators Fiona Martin (District 13) and Terri Johnson (District 22) were tasked with similar projects by their respective Operations Managers – Development of Leadership & Management Skill Development for Volunteers.

The Committee invited and received an update from each as to how their programs were progressing, and discuss scope for wider rollout. Both were able to build on work undertaken previously. Fiona spoke about the program that has been developed for Captains and Lieutenants that can be delivered in “a pipeline” that builds on their experience but uses similar concepts and language. The program is delivered using volunteer facilitators who have been very keen to be involved in developing current and future leaders. Funding has been provided to trial & test the model developed enabling any adjustments to be made before it is rolled out to other Districts. Online options are also being explored.

Kris spoke about the Captains’ Peer Mentoring Program. This program was initiated in District 14 four years ago. 2015 sees the expansion of the program to six districts. Many Captains have reported that they have more concerns about HR management rather than operational concerns, and the program has been built to provide them this support. Very careful pairing of a mentor with a mentoree with close monitoring & support from Operations Officers limits this program to 6 partnerships per District.

It is hoped that the professional development of volunteer leaders in CFA continues to expand, and the volunteer delegates to the committee commend the work thus far undertaken and encourage brigades to be on the lookout for future opportunities as these programs are refined and rolled out on a wider basis. Interested brigades should contact their Catchment Officer to discuss what opportunities there are to bring these programs to your District.

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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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