As part of the 'Fitness and Capability Consultation' process that was launched on 01 November 2013 the Fire Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, held a round-table meeting with a number of stakeholders, including RFU, FOA, FBU, CFOA, APFO, CFRA and the national employers.
The healthy debate that followed indicated that there seemed to be broad agreement for national guidance relating to fitness standards.
Our view is that the fitness standard needs to be role related and evidence based. At the present time we have had a standard thrust upon us by CFOA, without any debate or consensus of opinion prior to a standard being implemented.
We are yet to be convinced that there should be differing fitness standards in neighbouring FRS, while the national employers would want local autonomy to implement their own standard, we have yet to see any evidence as to why each FRS should be different.
However, this consultation is not merely about defining a specific fitness standard, it is also about whether there needs to be different standards that are dependent on role and duty, there also needs to be adequate support measures that are in place locally to ensure employees achieve and maintain the realistic fitness levels to undertake their role safely.
Our formal response will be available to members via our website next week.
The consultation ends on 06 December 2013.