Categories: Featured News
Tags: NFCC

NFCC’s direct entry scheme sees successful appointment of Station Managers


Share this content


In a recent update, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) reported that six individuals have successfully been appointed as Station Managers following their Direct Entry Recruitment campaign in April 2023.

A pioneering approach in the fire sector

While the concept of direct entry isn’t novel in the fire sector, this initiative by the NFCC stands out as the first national, quality-assured programme for direct entry.

This scheme offers an alternative path for individuals to take on the role of Station Manager, complementing the traditional firefighter route.

By diversifying entry routes, the NFCC aims to foster a more varied leadership within fire and rescue services.

Direct entry scheme attracts diverse talent

The direct entry recruitment managed to draw in experienced leaders from a myriad of industries.

These include education, leisure, military, retail, finance, and the NHS.

These leaders, with their unique styles and ways of thinking, are seen as assets that can introduce fresh perspectives to the fire service.

The recruitment drive, in association with Reed Specialist Recruitment, saw a whopping 842 applications.

These applications, interestingly, showed diversity statistics surpassing the national average, both in terms of ethnicity and disability.

The breakdown of gender statistics highlighted 77.76% male and 20.24% female applicants, with the remaining identifying as non-binary or preferring not to disclose.

Successful candidates underwent a Career Progression Gateway Assessment by VCA Ltd, following which they were interviewed by their chosen fire service.

Those who cleared these stages underwent medical, fitness, and DBS Checks.

New recruits set to embark on their journey

Mark Hardingham, the NFCC Chair, will formally welcome all the successful entrants on 15 November 2023, at Fire Service College.

The NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham, commented: “The best fire and rescue service is one that has a diversity of people and talent.

“Alongside the existing routes through which firefighters will continue to progress to senior roles, the national direct entry recruitment and appointments provide an additional and quality-assured route through which great people can join our fire and rescue services, bringing a diversity of leadership and approach in many different forms”.

Direct entry scheme participants will benefit from a comprehensive training programme, a collaborative effort between NFCC, the Fire Service College, and the new Station Managers.

Project Executive, CFO Dawn Whittaker stated: “A lot of people have worked hard in the development of the programme and through the recruitment process and it’s exciting to now start meeting the successful candidates for the services involved.

“I look forward to meeting everyone next month at the scheme induction day at Fire Service College.”

Echoing these sentiments, Project Executive, CFO Rob Barber added: “Direct entry will provide a well-structured and defined development programme for people joining the sector at Station Manager level.

“It will bring in people with skills and experience from other sectors, which is really positive and will provide different perspectives on matters that will support sector development”.

This project aligns with the NFCC Cultural Action Plan, a dedicated effort to nurture leadership, instill equality, diversity, and inclusion, and ensure the well-being of fire and rescue service staff.

IFSJ Comment

The NFCC’s direct entry scheme only offers alternative routes into the sector but also paves the way for a diversified leadership.

Drawing from a plethora of industries, the scheme is poised to bring in innovative solutions and perspectives that could potentially revolutionise the fire service in the UK.

With a successful recruitment drive and a comprehensive training programme in place, the future of fire and rescue services looks promising.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox