Progress of Action 1.6

Action 1.6: Complete delivery of the $7.65m Enhancing Training Capacity for New Volunteers project.

Action objective: CFA’s training program for new operational members is fit for purpose, preparing and supporting members to safely meet their role and responsibilities.

Lead agency: CFA

Year Two to Five Plan (November 2021) completion dateYear Two Five Plan (updated May 2023) completion dateAgency reported status as at 30 June 2023
June 2025June 2025In progress - on track

Context

This action requires CFA to deliver the Enhancing Training Capacity for New Volunteers Project. This project includes a range of initiatives, including training new volunteers through the General fire fighters (GFF) course. In 2021, CFA replaced their minimum skills Wildfire Course for new operational members with the GFF course. The GFF course ensures new operational members develop the essential knowledge and skills to participate safely and effectively at turnouts under supervision. The available funding is sufficient to provide up to 4,000 wildfire PPC sets to new members upon GFF course completion. The project also includes activities to equip Volunteer Trainers and Assessors (VTA) with sufficient skills and resources to train new volunteers to keep them safe and effective on the fireground.

Progress summary

CFA has provided evidence to confirm the progress of the Enhancing Training Capacity for New Volunteers Project, outlined below:

1. General fire fighters course

As at 30 June 2023, 3,283 CFA members have completed the GFF course since 2021. 1,237 CFA members completed the GFF course in FY 2022-23. At the time of reporting, 3,528 were progressing through the course. COVID-19 restrictions on face-to-face training have impacted course delivery in FY 2020-21 and 2021-22. Consequently, CFA did not meet the target of 8,000 volunteers completing the course by June 2023.

At the time of reporting, CFA was reviewing the GFF course to ensure continuous improvement. CFA has employed program designers and officers to undertake course unit benchmarking and review the course from a compliance and usability perspective. In the process, CFA consulted with VFBV, course participants and VTAs for feedback on the course materials. The outcomes of this review identified that major changes were required to update the course so that it is fit for purpose. These changes include audio-visual content, course assessment approaches, learning management system usability, and further embedding continuous improvement processes. This work will continue throughout FY 2023-24. As of 30 June 2023, CFA reported that it had issued wildfire PPC to over 3,600 members.

FSIM notes that identifying and implementing improvements to the GFF course demonstrates alignment with CFA’s Operating Model (action 1.7) outcome of making training improvements to better meet the needs of volunteers and the community.

2. Volunteer Trainer and Assessor training and development

263 VTAs have completed training as at 30 June 2023. Training for VTAs is ongoing. VTA professional development opportunities, such as courses in complaints handling and assessment principles, continue to be made available each month.

Findings

FSIM finds action 1.6 is progressing.

Updated