National Fire Chiefs Council releases culture and inclusion report update

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Overview of the NFCC culture and inclusion update

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has recently published an update regarding its ongoing efforts towards culture and inclusion within the UK fire and rescue services.

This update marks a significant point in the NFCC’s journey to foster an open and welcoming environment, according to their Culture Action Plan.

Despite the progress noted in the report, challenges remain in achieving a fully inclusive sector.

The publication follows the first anniversary of the NFCC’s Culture Summit, which convened various sector partners to address these critical issues.

Post-summit developments have been guided by insights from the Culture Summit and a subsequent report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on values and culture within these services.

Progress and challenges outlined

According to the update, there have been notable advances in several key areas outlined in the Culture Action Plan.

These include the adoption of the Core Code of Ethics and the embedding of Fire Standards, which define high-quality practices across the services.

Additionally, new guidance and training on Safeguarding have been developed to support these initiatives.

However, the report also emphasizes the considerable work still required to reach the desired levels of inclusivity and safety.

Mark Hardingham, NFCC Chair, expressed his views on the matter: “Tackling poor culture remains the number one priority for NFCC.

“We have taken, and continue to take, concrete steps to root out poor behaviour and we’re beginning to see some of the impact this is having in the sector.

“Yet we are under no illusions about how far we still must go.”

Continuous efforts and sector-wide collaboration

Over the past year, the NFCC has been actively involved in various activities to promote cultural change within the fire and rescue services.

This includes presenting evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Senedd’s Equalities and Social Justice Committee.

Their collaborative efforts with HMICFRS, national employers, and trade unions have also been pivotal in supporting the ongoing inspections and the broader adoption of NFCC’s tools and guidance.

The report highlights the lack of a direct mandate for NFCC to enforce specific actions but notes the positive reception and implementation of their recommendations across the services.

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