Annual Brigade Review launched across the state

CEO and Chief Officer Steve Warrington announced the launch of the Annual Brigade Review (ABR) Pilot yesterday to the ACOs, OMs, Commanders, BASOs, RBASOs and VST in the involved districts.


The portal provides a space for all ABR related information, documentation and manuals.

The Pilot will include 244 brigades in four regions, and will be delivered over the coming financial year.

"This is one of the most exciting launches, as brigades will get the data they need," the Chief Officer explained. 

"We listened to our people in the field. The ABR will allow regions to plan and overcome challenges; it will allow our brigades to tailor their approaches."

The ABR enhances CFA's traditional annual s29 inspection process by exploring every aspect of the health and capability of volunteer brigades, which includes the traditional s29 criteria.  

It aims to give the whole of CFA a better understanding of the strengths of each brigade, and where they need additional support. 

"This is a monumental time for us, with a lot of improvements being made to the Annual Brigade Review," John Haynes, Executive Director Volunteers and Strategy said at the launch. 

"This is the only system in Australasia, and it will change the way we communicate and grow our brigades into the future."

The ABR will provide insight into a brigade’s strengths and support needs at local, regional and state level. 

The new technology solution known as the ABR Portal is an easy to use interface which captures data, generates reports and hosts a range of support resources for brigades and Districts participating in the pilot.

The ABR was launched across the regions at a video conference yesterday afternoon.

“It’s been a rewarding process working on the project," said project manager Deb Salvagno and co-ordinator Aleks Wakeham. 

“We’d like to thank both volunteers and staff in District 9 and District 11 for supporting the test phase. 

"Their feedback and the broader consultation we’ve done across CFA has enabled us to improve all aspects of the ABR. Of note is the supporting evidence now available in the new Brigade Capability Profile Application."  

The ABR has been in development since 2015. Kerry Laurie, Volunteer Sustainability Manager, worked closely with Assistant Chief Officer Trevor Owen and others across the region to develop the initial concept. 

"I’m really proud to see how far we’ve come with the ABR," Kerry said. “Thank you to everyone who has helped or supported the project in any way since 2015."

During the briefing, Commander Mick Hembrow, a representative of the CFA/UFU Joint Consultative Committee and S29 Working Group said feedback from the field would shape where it goes.   

"There's a chance for continuous improvement and updates will rely on the brigades that are taking part in this pilot," he said.

There will be ongoing evaluation of the Pilot throughout the next 12 months and this will inform the future direction of the Annual Brigade Review Project.

Further information and FAQs are available via the Intranet link here:

Author: Daisy Cleland