24May2024

You are here: Home Member Services Welfare Fund Introduction Displaying items by tag: efficiency
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 00:00

VFBV Survey Attracts Record Numbers

More than 2,500 volunteers have taken the 2015 VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey and the new VICSES version of the survey this year.

Volunteers’ responses are being studied for the survey report, which will go to VFBV and CFA Boards, CFA’s senior management, VICSES, the Emergency Management Commissioner and the Minister for Emergency Services.

You can see the 2014 report at www.vfbv.com.au

Each year’s results are compared with previous years' figures to show trends in how volunteers feel on each issue.

It is a co-operative process; VFBV and the CFA Board studied the first three years' results and continue to use the survey to highlight aspects of volunteer support that need attention.

The annual survey is making your association’s representation more effective and giving every volunteer the chance to be heard.

You can sign up for the 2016 survey by sending your name, Brigade/Unit and District or Region to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or request a posted survey on paper by calling (03) 9886 1141.

Published in VFBV News

The 2015 Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Surveyis now open until 31 August - to complete the survey now click here.

The Victorian Emergency Service Association (VESA) invites all VICSES volunteers to take part in a volunteer-run survey that will better equip your association to advise VICSES and Government on what’s most important to volunteers.

The survey as designed and road tested with emergency management volunteers, so it gets straight to the point on issues that matter to the people on the front line.  The survey includes 33 questions on those issues, and takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Each question asks how important the issue is to you, and how well you feel it is being handled by VICSES. 

Why a volunteer survey?

This annual survey began with the CFA volunteers’ association, Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) three years ago, and VFBV is how hosting the VICSES volunteers’ version on behalf of VESA.

The results will be compared year to year, to show trends in how volunteers feel on each of the issues.  It is a co-operative process; VFBV and the CFA Board both study the CFA volunteers’ version to highlight aspects of volunteer support that need attention.  VESA will put our survey to the same use, providing reliable facts and figures to support the association’s representation of all VICSES volunteers.

Your individual answers will be confidential, but the overall results will go straight to the decision makers.

The survey is designed to identify the factors that volunteers feel have a key impact on their welfare and efficiency, to establish ways of measuring whether things are getting better or worse, and to develop a process that uses these measures to ensure better support for VICSES volunteers and Units. 

Open to all VICSES volunteers

This survey is making our representation more effective and making sure every volunteer’s voice has the chance to be heard, whether you and your Unit are actively involved with VESA or not.

Last year’s survey drew more than 1,600 responses.

The survey will give VESA facts and figures we can use in working for the benefit of volunteers, Units and the communities they protect, so we urge all VICSES volunteers to take part. 

To complete the survey now, click here.

If you would prefer a paper survey sent by post, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or email the VESA Secretary at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The survey will remain open until 31 August 2015.

 

Published in Uncategorised

The survey is now open until 31 August - to take part now, click here.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) invites all CFA volunteers to take part in a volunteer-run survey that will better equip your association to advise the CFA Board and State Government on what’s most important to volunteers.

We designed and road tested the VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey with volunteers, so it gets straight to the point on issues that matter to the people on the front line.  The survey includes 33 questions and takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Each question asks how important the issue is to you, and how well you feel it is being handled by CFA. 

Why a fourth survey?

This year’s survey results will be compared with the first three years' figures, to show trends in how volunteers feel on each of the issues.  It is a co-operative process; VFBV and the CFA Board both studied the first three years' results and will continue to use the survey to highlight aspects of volunteer support that need attention.  Your individual answers will be confidential, but the overall results will go straight to the decision makers.

The survey is an important step forward in volunteer representation.  VFBV is established under the CFA Act to represent volunteers on all matters that affect their welfare and efficiency, and the VFBV Board commissioned this project to identify the factors that volunteers feel have a key impact on their welfare and efficiency, to establish ways of measuring whether things are getting better or worse, and to develop a process that uses these measures to ensure better support for volunteers and Brigades.  By repeating the survey periodically, VFBV can track trends in volunteers’ opinions.

Open to all CFA volunteers

Most Brigades are affiliated with VFBV, its officials are CFA volunteers and VFBV represents volunteers in dealings with CFA, the State Government and Opposition, and official inquiries, on everything from routine equipment and procedures to the future of the emergency services as a whole.  This survey is making our representation more effective and making sure every volunteer’s voice has the chance to be heard, whether you and your Brigade are directly involved with VFBV or not.

Last year’s survey drew more than 1,600 responses.

The survey will give VFBV facts and figures we can use in working for the benefit of volunteers, Brigades and the communities they protect, so we urge all CFA volunteers to take part. 

To take part in the survey, click here.

Published in Uncategorised

The report on the 2014 VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is now available - you can read it online here or download it below.

We encourage volunteers to read the report, and to register for the 2015 survey now (see below, the survey starts in July).

This annual survey looks at trends in volunteer opinion, and would not have been possible without the more than 1,600 CFA volunteers who took part in 2014.

The survey began in 2012 and is put to work as a productive tool by both VFBV and CFA.  This year’s results once again confirm some strong trends that are clear pointers to paths for improvement by CFA. 

VFBV will soon run several Drill Down Workshops with groups of volunteers, looking at the outcomes, the causes and possible courses of action.  To add your comments, talk to your District’s VFBV Delegates or call Cliff Overton at the VFBV office on (03) 9886 1141.

Please encourage your Brigade members to sign up for the 2015 survey - send your name, district and email address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you will receive an invitation by email.  Call (03) 9886 1141 if you require a printed copy of the survey by regular mail.

You can read the full report on the 2014 survey here or download a PDF copy below.

 You can sign up for the 2015 survey here.

 

 

Published in VFBV News

The 2014 VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is the third annual survey of Victoria’s CFA volunteers conducted by Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria.

Whilst there are areas for improvement, it is pleasing to see a trend of gradual improvement against many of the survey aspects. The survey’s intent and main benefit is in guiding effort and focusing energy on just such improvements.

The survey is a practical starting point for conversation and continuous improvement, and with the cooperation of all involved it continues to fulfil the hopes we had for it when we launched it three years ago.

The survey is run by VFBV, informed by growing numbers of volunteers and being put to work as a productive tool by both VFBV and CFA. This year’s survey results once again confirm some strong trends that are clear pointers to paths for improvement by CFA.

A practical and productive document, this survey would not have been possible without the support of CFA volunteers, and our special thanks go out to the more than 1,600 members who participated in 2014.

To all of the volunteers who read this report, I urge you to take part in the 2015 survey and to encourage other members of your Brigade and Group to do the same. By registering now, you can receive the survey by email or by post when it begins in July, and by doing so, you add your own voice to those of the more than 1,600 CFA volunteers who had their say last year.

Andrew Ford
Chief Executive Officer
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria

 

Next Page

Return to Survey Index

Published in Uncategorised

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) is a community and volunteer based emergency service, consisting of 60,000 volunteers and 1,300 paid operational and support staff. CFA Brigades protect 60% of suburban Melbourne, regional cities and all of country Victoria every day and night of the year.

CFA’s volunteer based resource model is the only approach capable of economically and practically dealing with the quantum, scale, spread and simultaneous occurrence of fire and other emergencies experienced in Victoria while still providing day to day emergency response.

CFA’s unique integrated volunteer and career staff operating model is fundamental to the surge capacity required to deal with large scale incidents while still providing professional standards of emergency response in Brigade service areas across the state.

The CFA volunteers’ contribution to the community is incalculable – the value of their labour alone is estimated at one billion dollars a year, without considering the replacement cost of their expertise, local knowledge, fundraising, leadership and the substantial losses that would be suffered through fires and other emergencies if the volunteers were not there.

CFA volunteers work at all levels of emergency response, from the frontline crews, through experienced volunteers in specialist and support roles, to the highest of senior incident management roles.

The need for that resource of trained, experienced volunteers is growing. Already one of the most wildfire prone areas in the world, Victoria faces the twin challenges of a rapidly growing population and increased urbanisation within an expanding metropolitan Melbourne and regional cities.

In 2012, the Victorian Parliament unanimously supported changes to the CFA Act to enshrine the requirements for volunteer support and recognition in legislation. 

These important changes recognise that CFA is first and foremost a volunteer-based organisation, in which volunteer officers and members are supported by career staff in a fully integrated manner.

Sections 6G, 6H and 6I of the CFA Act also reinforce the requirement for Government and CFA to encourage, maintain and strengthen the capacity of volunteers to provide the Authority's services, and to consult with VFBV on all matters which may impact upon volunteers.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) is the voice of CFA Volunteers. It is established under Victorian law, the Country Fire Authority Act, to represent the volunteers on all matters that affect their welfare and efficiency.

As an organisation made up of the CFA volunteers it represents, VFBV works in partnership with the State Government, Emergency Management Victoria, the CFA Board and Management, Members of Parliament, official inquiries, municipal councils and instrumentalities, business and the public to proactively shape the future of emergency management.

VFBV is active in partnering with Government and emergency management agencies to ensure that volunteers remain actively involved in emergency management decision making at every level; through day to day practical work in VFBV/CFA Joint Committees, through the Ministerial level Volunteer Consultative Forum, and in working to ensure positive, practical results from reviews such as the Jones Inquiry and the Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) report on Managing Emergency Services Volunteers.

The VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey takes this important work another step forward, by addressing a significant gap in the information available to the state’s decision makers.

The VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey, now in its third year, is designed to better understand the issues as volunteers see them, and is used by VFBV to bring the frontline volunteers’ opinions and advice on matters affecting their welfare and efficiency directly to the state’s decision makers.

The purpose of the VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is to ensure that volunteers’ needs and expectations are sought, analysed and available to Government and CFA so the very foundation of this volunteer-based emergency service continues to be recognised and supported to meet the future emergency services needs of the Victorian community.

The VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey presents an opportunity for Government and CFA to embed performance measures linked to volunteer welfare and efficiency into CFA organisational, departmental and individual work plans, to the benefit of the Victorian community.

Because volunteers are fundamental to Victoria’s emergency management capability, fundamental to community resilience and at the core of communities sharing responsibility for their own safety, it is vitally important to measure and deeply understand how satisfied volunteers are with arrangements in place to support, encourage and enable them to do their work.

If the CFA and State Government wish to retain what is a highly valuable volunteer fire service, the expectations of volunteers, identified by them through this survey, need to be understood and acted upon. A commitment must be made by CFA, VFBV and State Government to meet or exceed the expectations of volunteers on all 33 items. This is fundamental to ensuring the welfare and efficiency of volunteers and their continuing availability as an unpaid emergency service.

Sign up for the 2015 survey

Notes on Data Collection

Notes on Data Integrity

Next Page

Return to Index

Published in Uncategorised

Observations from the survey results that may warrant further investigation and possible actions include the following:

  1. Training needs and expectations.

 The 2014 survey results identify training by CFA as the biggest issue, with the survey gap at 3.0. This remains the most important issue for CFA volunteers and the issue least meeting volunteer expectations.

  1. Variation between brigades.

Brigades with an integrated volunteer/career mix of personnel are more concerned with performance in relation to people management within their brigade, cooperation and respect and professionalism. Survey comments point to ongoing issues at integrated brigades that require further attention.

The integrated volunteer/career survey responses consistently scored lower on importance and more so on performance. Integrated brigades scored poorly on performance in relation to workplace bullying, conflict resolution, volunteer consultation, morale and supporting new volunteers. These particular statistical results point to ongoing issues within integrated brigades that require specific attention.

  1. Equity, diversity and workplace behaviour.

Survey results show that equity and diversity across gender, race and religion are important issues to volunteers. Generally, female survey respondents rated CFA respect, professionalism, volunteer support and brigade support more highly than males across both importance and performance. The differences occur when the questions relate to CFA’s performance in conflict resolution, bullying and harassment, in which case, females rate the management of such issues lower than males.

When tested against gender – female respondents rated both importance and performance lower than male respondents in relation to the statement “there are no barriers to the roles women can occupy in my brigade”. The gap between importance and performance for female respondents was higher than male, signalling that male respondents are more optimistic about how gender, equity and diversity issues are being managed and may not realise areas of deficient approach.

Whilst CFA performance in this area is scored comparatively well against other areas, it remains an area that shows that a gender perception gap still exists in brigades and will require ongoing support.

  1. The importance of consultation with brigades.

The value volunteers place on consultation both within their own brigade and with CFA is expressed in the survey results where statements referring to consultation within brigades receive good performance scores. Conversely, statements regarding effective consultation at CFA District, Region or Corporate level, receive the lowest performance scores and high gaps.

Written comments from survey respondents refer to issues where inadequate consultation may be the root cause, further suggesting that more work is required to improve consultation between CFA and volunteers.

  1. The influence of volunteer length of service.

Volunteer length of service has created a distinct pattern across the question responses. Volunteers who have served with CFA for less than one year are the most positive about the organisation and their brigade on nearly every question. The gap sharply increases after their first year of service, i.e. their level of satisfaction drops sharply after one year and then again after more than five years’ service.

  1. Satisfaction.

80% of 2014 survey respondents are satisfied with their role as a CFA volunteer and 87% intend to continue their membership. The overwhelming reasons for being a CFA volunteer are “to help protect the community I live in” or “a sense of fulfilment in supporting my community in a meaningful way” (total 94%).

Only 59% of volunteers are satisfied with the way they are treated by CFA, this comparatively low satisfaction score suggests that the greatest potential impact on future volunteer welfare and efficiency sits with CFA in the success or otherwise of their partnerships with volunteer brigades.

  1. Overall.

Overall results across the survey themes (see the graph to the right) show the greatest gaps to be in the training and cooperation themes, and the smallest gap in the recruitment and retention theme. Specific responses within each theme are explained in greater detail in the body of this report.

The analysis of the survey results shows that there are still differences of opinion between genders as to how women are treated in CFA, between volunteer and integrated brigades on how CFA staff treat volunteers, and difference of opinion on how well CFA is performing depending upon how long the volunteer has known CFA.

These differences point to an ongoing need for CFA to improve its culture. The attitudes and norms across CFA need to become more inclusive and more respectful – in terms of volunteer value to the organisation.

Sign up for the 2015 survey

Next Page

Return to Survey Index

 

Published in Uncategorised

This report provides comment and detail on matters considered to be important to CFA Volunteers' welfare and efficiency, as measured through the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey.

The report uses survey data provided by a series of statements rated by volunteers for importance and performance. The report also uses information gathered from written response comments against the survey statements.

Observations against the 2014 survey results are presented by survey theme, with comments on both the survey scores and the written comments received.

As with the previous two years, survey data is collated and analysed for trends, outliers and exceptions that guide us to particular issues warranting further analysis. The survey results are compared against demographic profiles that include gender, age, length of time as a volunteer and brigade type.

The survey data is also compared to previous years' results to determine if changes have occurred and whether reasons for these changes can be identified.

Click on the links below to see each of the detailed sections of the 2014 VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey report;

The 2015 survey will open in July - you can sign up to take the online survey here or request a paper copy of the survey by calling (03) 9886 1141.  Your comments will be confidential.

Published in Uncategorised

To all participants in the 2014 VFBV Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey, thank you for taking part.

The Survey Report is available for download at the bottom of this page (Note: the top of the first page is white - if it looks blank on your screen, scroll down a little).

Now in its third year, this survey continues to grow in importance as it captures trends in CFA volunteers’ opinions on matters affecting their welfare and efficiency.

VFBV and the CFA Board have both studied past years' results and will use the survey to highlight aspects of volunteer support that need attention.

The survey would not have been possible without the support of CFA volunteers, in particular the 1,652 – another record number - who participated in 2014.

Please consider the trends revealed in the survey report and encourage your fellow volunteers to do the same. Printed copies are available by mail if you need them, call (03) 9886 1141.

Please also encourage the volunteers around you to sign up for the next VFBV volunteer survey, by emailing their name and Brigade to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling (03) 9886 1141 if they would like the paper version of the survey posted to them.

Published in Uncategorised

The third VFBV Volunteer Welfare & Efficiency Survey will be online in the middle of 2014. To pre-register to receive the 2014 survey via email, click here.

The survey is a total of 33 questions chosen by volunteers and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Your answers are confidential.

Last year’s survey was a great success with more than 1,400 participants. VFBV examined the results in detail to guide its own actions and briefed the CFA Board.  Download the full report below.

The third survey will show trends in volunteer opinions on issues chosen by your fellow volunteers and if you register today you’ll receive the survey automatically as soon as it opens.

Download the full report below

VFBV’s role under the CFA Act is to ‘consider and bring to the attention of the Authority (CFA) all matters affecting volunteer welfare and efficiency (other than questions of discipline and promotion).

Earlier this year, VFBV conducted its second survey to measure volunteer perceptions about key matters that volunteers feel impact on their welfare and efficiency.

There was again a tremendous response, with more than 1,450 participants – an 80% increase over the 2012 survey – with more volunteers responding from every District, and greater percentages of female volunteers, younger volunteers and newer volunteers.

The survey gave volunteers the chance to improve the future welfare and efficiency of CFA volunteers and to better equip VFBV for its work.

You can download the full results of the 2013 survey below.

The first survey was well received by CFA’s Board and senior management in 2012, and VFBV now looks to working with CFA in moving from identifying areas needing attention to actively working to achieve improvements in those areas.

Every person who has completed the survey and provided contact details will be sent a full copy of the survey.

The survey is designed to provide a benchmark assessment of CFA volunteers’ perceptions about key factors affecting their welfare and efficiency.

Ongoing surveys will allow us to compare results with the earlier surveys and identify ongoing trends.  To pre-register to receive the 2014 survey via email, click here.

VFBV will now continue work with CFA to explore reasons behind key performance gaps; recognise and promote good practice; find solutions to address identified weaknesses; and provide the starting point for future trend analysis and continuous improvement.

 

Published in VFBV News
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.

Newsletter

Contact Us