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Creating Our Future Together - next steps
Delivering business improvements and an effective operating model are two core goals of CFA's ‘Creating Our Future Together' strategy.
For a few years now, we've been exploring ways of making CFA more efficient and effective, and as a result, implementing changes accordingly, always with the aim of making CFA a more sustainable and agile organisation. As a business, we will continue living within our means now and into the future.
I know there's been uncertainty at times about the next steps in this strategy, however we don't say much until we really have something to say and now is the time to speak with you, our broader CFA team about our plans going forward.
There's a fair bit of information in what we're proposing, so I will only outline below the key proposed actions and why we think they're important - for more detail please watch this short video.
What are the proposed actions?
The actions we're proposing carry on the work we've already started around supporting the Chief Officer in service delivery. To date we've established service delivery capability under the Chief. We're now making sure we have the most effective support capability to best enable this.
Some elements of the new proposed service delivery and support model will already be familiar to you, such as the consolidation of support services activities. Others will be new.
We will see changed management and control of statewide support services at Burwood East Headquarters (which will become known as our State Support Centre) and in the regions. Support staff in districts, regions and the State Support Centre will focus on supporting service delivery. These changes will evolve through natural attrition and more consistent and modern systems and processes.
Keeping our members and communities safe remains our priority.
In summary, we're looking to:
- Consolidate support services activities and combine similar functions and resources. We have already been speaking with you about how this might work for Finance, People and Culture, and Asset Maintenance but now want to extend this to the administration and scheduling of Training and Development.
- Transfer responsibility for support services from Fire & Emergency Management (F&EM) to the relevant support directorates to free F&EM up to focus on service delivery.
- Allocate resources by workload, not location.
- Move from eight to five regions, with no change to districts. The regions would be:
- South West: Barwon South West renamed.
- West: Grampians renamed.
- North West: Loddon Mallee and Northern & Western Metro.
- North East: Hume and Eastern Metro.
- South East: Gippsland and Southern Metro.
- Revise our service delivery model so that responsibilities are as follows:
- Brigades: frontline service delivery.
- Group: brigade coordination and local command.
- District: service delivery and brigade support.
- Region: emergency management planning and coordination of service delivery.
- State Support Centre: strategy, policy and support service delivery.
These changes would be progressively implemented over a few years to give us time to get them right.
Any reduction in the number of roles as a result of these changes would happen through natural attrition.
We are going to create new Assistant Chief Officer executive roles to lead the regions. These will initially be interim appointments. After the fire season we propose to make permanent appointments to these positions and complete transition of Regional Director and Regional Commander responsibilities to Assistant Chief Officers. This ensures a very clear line of command and control.
Why the proposed changes?
As mentioned earlier, it's important to make CFA as efficient and sustainable as possible. We believe these changes will help us do that. They have also been designed to benefit our members as well. They should:
- Give all members a greater and clearer focus on core business.
- Make it easier for all members to get support where they need it, when they need it.
- Enable brigades to focus on doing their job, with support from the rest of the state.
- Ensure volunteers lead local service delivery.
- Reduce red tape and provide a clearer chain of command.
- Give greater clarity around the support role for operational activity.
Over the next few days the Senior Leadership Team will be out talking with you about these changes in more detail, including what they mean for you and your team.
From now until 5pm on Friday 9 August we would like to hear from you - what do you think about the proposed changes? In particular:
- How best to progress the move from eight to five regions.
- The move towards a Training and Development statewide support service model.
- The best way to make the revised service delivery model (including the transfer of responsibility for support services from F&EM to the relevant support directorates) work.
- We continue to seek your thoughts on the overall statewide service support model (Finance, People and Culture, and Asset Maintenance).
You can speak to any one of the senior leaders, or log-on to Brigades Online or the CFA intranet and click on the ‘Creating Our Future Together' button on the homepage to ask questions and send feedback for consideration.
In late August, the Executive Leadership Team* will review all your comments and finalise the model. We intend to share these outcomes with you, along with plans for next steps around early September.
Thank you all for your patience and dedication, and for your continued professionalism as we continue to work through these changes for the long-term benefit of our organisation, our members and the communities we serve.
* The Executive Leadership Team consists of:
- Mick Bourke, Chief Executive Officer
- Euan Ferguson, Chief Officer
- David Spokes, Executive Director Performance and Strategy
- Fran Boyd, Executive Director People and Culture
- Lex De Man, Executive Director Operational Training and Volunteerism
- Mark Sullivan, Executive Director Communities and Communication
- Michael Wootten, Executive Director Business Services.