We have been running Best Practice Sharing meetings for Fire & Rescue Services since 2015.


  • So many of us work alone most of the time. Even if you do spend some hours in a shared office, with everyone so busy with their own tasks, regular time out to talk through challenges and brainstorm ideas is simply not possible.
  • With tasks and responsibilities piling up, finding out what a colleague is doing, often from an FRS you don’t typically have much connection to, can be a great way to stimulate ideas.

  • Even better than ideas are resources! If someone has already spent 6 months developing a process or programme, or writing complex documents about something you are about to start on, getting a look at those materials can be like striking gold!

  • Someone, somewhere in the FRS has just finished researching something you are about to look into. Getting you together gives everyone a warm fuzzy feeling (and a huge sigh of relief over hours saved).

  • There are services offered which you need, and that others already know something about. A heads-up on recommendations and contact details can be a big time saver.

  • Some problems seem impossible to solve. It can be helpful whether you simply find out that other services are facing similar roadblocks, or you gain a new insight into how it is being resolved.

  • If you’ve already started something new, and have learnt the hard way what the challenges are, why not share that learning for someone else’s benefit? Talking it through with independent colleagues can be a great help too.

  • There aren’t that many different directions we could take in our field, especially in line with shared values and organisational objectives. Reinventing the wheel can be neatly avoided the more connections you build in your professional field.

  • At times, neighbouring FRS’s can share projects and budgets in a very practical and efficient way. Opportunities arise from meetings like these.

  • Have you got something to shout about? A project or initiative which has made a big difference is worth sharing, so we can celebrate success and learn from great practice.

  • For VCA, these meetings are a wonderful way to meet existing and potential clients. Receiving emails or phone calls from someone you have met tends to go down better than when you don’t know who on earth we are!

  • Undeniably, meetings like these are a good way for us to talk about what services VCA can offer, and recent projects we’ve delivered. It’s not a sales fest- quite the opposite; I usually have to be asked ‘what’s the CPG?’ before I’ll start to talk about it (sales not being my strong point!)

  • Facilitating these meetings gives me a great insight into what’s causing you the most headaches. I see themes across FRS’s, and I make connections about what needs to change and how that can be built into existing offerings. So, it’s a great opportunity for market research, and to create products and services which are going to help where its needed.

What can we expect from the next two meetings in September 2023?

In January 2023 we met at two back-to-back meetings in 2 locations and talked about culture, promotions, development pathways, SLDP, NFCC updates and developments, high potential, on-call, neuro-diversity and learning styles, green book, selection, DBS, retention amongst other wide-ranging topics.

Initiatives discussed and resource sharing opportunities included a workshops on ethics; aspiring leaders programme with online modules; ‘front-loading’ development methods; portfolio-style promotional application materials; on-call sustainability initiatives; coaching culture and motivation workshops; in-house digital content; development materials on SharePoint; and OC to WT transfer process documents.

We’re currently compiling agenda items for our forthcoming meetings and will publicise these soon. You can help set the agenda! It’s not too late to join:

September 21st – Location: Hereford & Worcester FRS (Max 10 places)


  • Lancashire FRS
  • Staffordshire FRS
  • Derbyshire FRS
  • Nottinghamshire FRS
  • Devon & Somerset FRS
  • Scottish FRS
  • Avon FRS

September 22nd – Location: Oxfordshire FRS (Max 10 places)


  • Cambridgeshire FRS

  • Warwickshire FRS
  • Shropshire FRS
  • Bedfordshire FRS
  • West Yorkshire FRS
  • Katherine Lamb Associates.

Reserve your place now by completing the form below to join us in person or remotely.