Progress of Action 1.3

Action 1.3: Complete delivery of the $22.7m Volunteer Support Package (VSP).

Action objective: CFA volunteers are supported in their endeavours to build capability, deliver services and have access to a range of practical support programs.

Lead agency: CFA

Year Two to Five Plan (November 2021) completion dateYear Two to Five Plan (updated May 2023) completion dateAgency reported status as at 30 June 2023
June 2024June 2024In progress – minor delays

Context

This action requires CFA to complete and deliver the Volunteer Support Package (VSP). The VSP enables CFA to enhance and improve existing volunteer experiences and develop new approaches to make positive, meaningful and transformative changes to the volunteer experience. The VSP comprises four projects, which CFA considers will deliver tangible benefits for volunteers, such as improving and enhancing volunteer support and arrangements. The VSP includes the following projects:

  1. CFA Pocketbook
  2. Brigade Capability Review
  3. CFA Volunteer Workwear
  4. Digital Stores Project.

Progress summary

As at 30 June 2023, CFA was progressing delivery of the VSP. This project has the potential to provide greater insights into brigade capability, contribute to efficiencies and reduce administrative burden for CFA and volunteers through digital solutions. The VSP will also take symbolic and practical steps to contribute to a CFA culture of belonging through investing in branded workwear.

The progress of the VSP projects as at 30 June 2023 is outlined below.

1. CFA Pocket Book

The scope of the CFA Pocket Book is to deliver a digital application that CFA members can access via smart devices such as smartphones and tablets. The CFA Pocket Book will include digitised copies of CFA documentation such as, but not limited to, Standard Operating Procedures, Standing Orders, Brigade Management Manuals, Operational Bulletins, Safety Bulletins and operational calculators and converters for use in the field. The CFA Pocket Book enables members to access key operational materials without internet connectivity as CFA members will, at times, operate in areas with limited to no internet access.

Throughout FY 2022-23, CFA has experienced difficulties sourcing staff to deliver the project. CFA has engaged an external software provider to scope the CFA Pocket Book. The CFA Pocketbook is due for completion by December 2023.

2. Brigade Capability Review

The Brigade Capability Review project aims to modernise the CFA brigade inspection process and provide CFA with access to data that informs strategic planning considering capabilities, performance, and future requirements. The Baseline Capability Profiling Application, a deliverable of the Brigade Capability Review, has been live since April 2023. The Baseline Capability Profiling Application is a planning decision-support tool, providing CFA with baseline capability requirements by brigade. This application enables CFA to assess brigade capability gaps, provides information on activity causation and calculates impact trends over time. It can also provide information on demographics, land-use and community characteristics that influence brigade capability. CFA is currently undertaking a project completion review before the project transitions to BAU.

3. CFA Volunteer Workwear

The CFA Volunteer Workwear project was expanded with additional funding sources from the Capability Measures Program. This workwear project addresses volunteer needs for branded workwear while carrying out non-firefighting responsibilities where PPC is not required. These responsibilities include community education programs, working in an incident management team, attending meetings, and performing duties on station or training activities.

COVID-19 supply chain disruptions impacted the progress of the CFA volunteer workwear project by affecting the manufacturers’ ability to produce and supply workwear to CFA.

As at 30 June 2023, CFA reported delivery of 7,500 VSP-funded volunteer workwear sets.

4. Digital Stores Project

CFA’s Digital Stores Project aims to develop a digital procurement tool that provides an end-to-end electronic ordering system for brigades, district mechanical officers, and training grounds. The intended project outcome is to improve efficiency for CFA members when managing and ordering supplies. This system provides users with online information on supply availability and estimated delivery times, reducing the administrative burden on volunteers and replacing a paper-based procurement process.

The Digital Stores Project is in progress. The work undertaken identified requirements, including finance system design and mapping procurement processes. The project team is currently exploring software solution options, which will determine project timeframes going forward.

FSIM has received evidence that each of the VSP projects is governed by individual steering committees and CFA members are engaged to contribute to the design and development of these projects.

Findings

FSIM finds action 1.3 is progressing.

Updated