Progress of Action 4.4

Action 4.4: Define FRV values and culture and deliver supporting programs of work: (a) Develop FRV values; (b) Strategy to embed FRV values; and (c) Leadership development and capability.

Action objective: FRV has defined values and programs that support leadership, relationships and the way it operates.

Lead agency: FRV

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 2022June 2023Completed

Context

This action requires FRV to define its values and culture and deliver specific programs, demonstrating that its values and culture are sustained through organisational programs, practices and behaviours, subject to ongoing monitoring and review, are owned by FRV people, and guide work, decisions, actions and behaviours.

Progress summary

As at 30 June 2023, FRV reported this action as completed but had not submitted the acquittal form. As noted in FSIM's Annual Report 2021/22, FRV settled and presented its final values package to staff in June 2022.[46] In Year Three of reform, FRV designed an “Outcomes and Values Program” to align what FRV does (outlined in the FRV Strategy – action 5.3) with its values. FRV’s intended outcomes for this Values program are:

  • providing Victorians with a relevant, contemporary fire and rescue service
    • integrating FRV values into recruitment, onboarding and retention, with a values statement included in job advertisements and position descriptions, and asking values-based questions in interviews
    • integrating values into performance appraisals, with Executive Officer performance objectives now linked to FRV Values
    • establishing the “FRV Values hub” with information for leaders and crews/teams to apply the new values practically. This Hub provides a starter set of tools and resources, such as a “Values in Action Guide” and a “Values Team Talk Tool” for staff.
  • a united FRV with shared values and a common purpose of serving and protecting the Victorian community.

FRV prepared a three-year roadmap for embedding FRV values as “Values in Action”. FRV also developed supporting project plans that outline milestones, risks, mitigations, and program ownership for the two programs under this action. Governance oversight is provided by FRV’s ELT and People and Culture directorate and includes two programs of work:

  • “Developing FRV Values” to establish FRV Values that underpin work, are owned and embraced by FRV staff, and guide FRV’s everyday work, decisions, actions and behaviours without compromise. The project was completed and signed off by FRV’s ELT and the Consultative Committee in June 2022.
  • The “Embedding FRV Values” program is currently underway, with an anticipated completion date of December 2024. The FY 2022-23 focus of this program was on enabling leadership and staff to lead and shape culture and model behaviours. FRV’s FY 2023-2024 focus will be on aligning policies, processes and systems, and developing metrics to report progress and share successes across the organisation. Specific deliverables include:

In Year Three, as part of the “Embedding FRV Values” program of work, FRV developed draft output metrics and targets to gauge the progress and measure the effectiveness of the implementation program. As these measures become more defined, FSIM may consider them as part of its effectiveness assessment in future years.

FRV undertook engagement with staff across all levels of the organisation to inform the development and delivery of these programs. FSIM notes that FRV:

  • convened three Senior Leaders Forums on FRV 'Values in Action' with senior leaders, including FRV staff seconded to CFA (84 participants), in September 2022. An additional online session was held for the remaining senior leaders in November 2022. These sessions reached 120 senior leaders (ACFO, Director and above)
  • conducted Values in Action Workshops with Commanders, Managers, and SO/SSOs from December 2022 to March 2023. These sessions engaged crews and teams across all FRV stations and worksites in developing FRV values and related behavioural descriptors
  • undertook dedicated secondee sessions to discuss leadership and values, Values induction, and workplace behaviour training. At the end of the reporting period, approximately 63 per cent of current secondees at ACFO and Commander level have participated in a workplace behaviour training session.

Findings

FSIM finds action 4.4 is implemented and notes delivery of the “Embedding FRV Values” program continues beyond the Year Two to Five Plan.

As noted in the FSIM’s Annual Report 2021/22, CFA and FRV values are broadly aligned. The operating context and organisational cultures of the two organisations are distinct. This can bring challenges, particularly for those secondees operating within both agencies.[47] FSIM recognises that FRV has taken dedicated action via workshops to provide secondees with clarity when working within both cultural and operational contexts. These workshops focused on organisational overview, processes for navigating FRV, practicalities of FRV Human Resources and systems, learning and development opportunities, child safety, and diversity and inclusion.

In the FSIM’s Annual Report 2021/22, FSIM noted a significant risk to the values project – FRV had not prioritised complaints management (particularly collecting data and reporting). FSIM further noted that the lack of transparent employee experience data to inform FRV’s identification and management of issues posed considerable risks to FRV’s ability to implement defined values and programs that support leadership, relationships, and the way it operates.[48] FRV advised that it needed to develop performance indicators and analytics for complaints management to enable reporting on themes and trends. This work will be undertaken by a think tank comprising members from across the organisation established for this purpose as part of FRV’s culture planning in Year Three.[49]

While the work of the think tank was in its early stages at the end of the reporting period, FSIM notes that FRV has recognised and is taking action to develop a streamlined and contemporary complaints management solution that meets the needs and expectations of employees, the community, and external bodies (e.g., WorkSafe, Gender Equality Commission) in its journey to a modern and progressive fire and rescue service. Given part of the objective of action 4.4 is to support leadership, relationships and the way it operates, an effectiveness assessment could not be undertaken until this program is complete and data is available.



Footnotes

[46] Fire Services Implementation Monitor, 2023, Fire Services Implementation Monitor Annual Report 2021/22, Victorian Government, viewed 8 August 2023, https://www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-implementation-monitor-annual-report-2021-22, pg. 95.

[47] Fire Services Implementation Monitor, 2023, Fire Services Implementation Monitor Annual Report 2021/22, Victorian Government, viewed 8 August 2023, https://www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-implementation-monitor-annual-report-2021-22, pg. 95.

[48] Fire Services Implementation Monitor, 2023, Fire Services Implementation Monitor Annual Report 2021/22, Victorian Government, viewed 8 August 2023, https://www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-implementation-monitor-annual-report-2021-22, pg. 98.

[49] Fire Services Implementation Monitor, 2023, Fire Services Implementation Monitor Annual Report 2021/22, Victorian Government, viewed 8 August 2023, https://www.vic.gov.au/fire-services-implementation-monitor-annual-report-2021-2, pg. 105.

Updated