The number of Career Progression Gateway (CPG) enquiries and demos we are delivering each week is really gathering pace.
Fundamentally it feels like there is a big shift in how services see their role in relation to promotions.
‘The CPG doesn’t assess the wealth of FRS experience our candidates have’
‘It doesn’t allow candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of our specific processes, structures or departments’
Technical knowledge/ experience are most practically demonstrated during the development programme and maintenance activities, which are regularly evaluated in role. First stage access to the promotions process (typically an appraisal/ portfolio, application form, technical exams or operations simulations) also provide insights into vital technical knowledge and experience. Once their technical ability/ experience has been identified, the next stage of assessment then needs to identify the behavioural characteristics and values to determine the most effective candidates from a leadership perspective.
‘It does not allow candidates to highlight their own experience or competence to deliver the roles they are applying for’
Knowledge and understanding of FRS specific processes have traditionally been part of the promotion process, but this isn’t necessarily the best indicator of successful performance of leadership skills or moving the culture of the organisation forward. For instance, someone might know the role from a technical perspective inside out, and be very familiar with policies and processes, but not be particularly effective in a more senior management or leadership role.
‘IT literacy varies hugely and some candidates would be hindered considerably by their slow typing speeds’
Candidates are welcome to have printed copies of the exercises to read if preferred and to submit their answers by hand. These are then typed up internally, scanned and sent across to us for marking, accommodating all candidates.
FRS’s are also getting huge value from the developmental feedback sessions. Yes, we cover CPG performance, but that only scratches the surface. From behaviour patterns to strengths, motivations to psychological blocks, these 45 minute sessions have proved invaluable for candidates to really see their full potential, what they can contribute, their role within the team, and what their career path could look like given the right steer and developmental opportunities.
In case you need a reminder about what we do, here is a quick summary… (if you know all this already, skip to the ‘2024 plans’ section as there is exciting new pricing-related news which you won’t want to miss!)
Promotions in a nutshell… the CPG is an online promotions process, uniquely designed for the Fire & Rescue Service, using role simulation exercises set in a fictious FRS context, measuring the NFCC Leadership framework and core behavioural markers. Want to work out which of your applicants are best suited to move up to the next level, using a fair, reliable, robust, valid, cost-effective, easy-to use, fully managed assessment process? That’s exactly what we do (and it works for green, grey book, control, direct entry and on-call staff too).
The CPG is managed on-line… which means the exercises (a Case Study and Video Roleplay) are completed via our bespoke internet-based platform and MS Teams. Exercises are available from Crew to Strategic Managers, with up to four sets per level, accommodating repeat candidates with ease. The candidates can complete the CPG exercises at an FRS venue or remotely i.e. the candidates’ Station or home, with an average time commitment of two hours (depending on level).
Huge reduction in resources… Timetabling, booking slots, assessing, results and feedback reports are all streamlined via our CPG platform, so no need for administrators to manage timetabling, print documents, create feedback reports or results tables- it’s all handled for you. We even provide an e-course for candidates to complete before their assessment to make sure all questions are answered and they can prepare for this important event in the right way. Plus we can give you briefing materials in case you’d like to run an in-house session for transparency and to support your candidates wellbeing and expectations.
Expert assessors and professional feedback… Occupational Psychologists handle all the marking and roleplaying, so all you need to do is be on hand to support candidates on the day (we provide all process guidance and step by step guides) and send their feedback reports on once you have received them (usually within 5 working days of the final assessment). Candidates can even book their feedback session slots themselves, which are done via MS teams with one of their psychologist assessors within a couple of weeks of the CPG. Candidate feedback is consistently positive, and grievances are reduced. Its efficient, streamlined, and there are even different options to fit with different service budgets.
We’re big on continuous improvement. So, what will we deliver in 2024? (Some of these are already in the process of being rolled out)