Leading Assessment Solutions for the Fire Service

One of the best parts of our role supporting the Fire & Rescue Services is the relationships we build up with the people we work with, which sometimes lasts years. We hope this makes our clients’ jobs a bit easier, and it’s certainly a nice way for us to work. Here is some of our most recent client feedback:

Direct Entry Project – 7 Fire Services (48 Candidates) 2023

firefighters attending a scene

As part of the NFCC Direct Entry project, we agreed to procure an external provider to deliver the assessment and selection process. We were delighted that Hannah Vallance from VCA submitted a bid and successfully awarded the contract.

VCA worked with the project team and seven FRSs and provided an online learning session for candidates successful at this stage on what to expect in the assessment/Career Progression Gateway (CPG), ensuring they had all they needed before it commenced. They offered services the option to deliver the CPG assessment remotely at FRS HQ or the candidate’s home, working closely with the candidates.

Delivering the assessment this way eliminated the burden of identifying resources, travel, cost, and time required through an Assessment Development Centre. Results were received within one/two days, which meant services could make quick decisions on candidates going through to interview in service.

Throughout the process, VCA was professional, efficient, and always on hand to answer any queries. Their commitment and passion to deliver a more intuitive way of identifying candidates were clear to see and you felt safe in their hands that the candidates going through had the right behaviours for the position.

They went beyond the contract by offering advice for future DE Cohorts on aligning the recruitment interviews and VCA measures better.

We would welcome working with VCA again through any future national procurement process.

Jane Cork: NFCC Senior Project Manager: Leadership & GM Matt Head: NFCC Direct Entry Operational Training & Development Course Director.

CPG Assessments from Firefighter to Area Manager

We have been working with Shropshire FRS since 2019, and their consistent and thorough approach allows us to support them from firefighter recruitment through each level of assessment for promotion all the way to area manager level.

Our tools and services support Shropshire FRS from initial candidate briefing through to coaching feedback calls with our team of psychologists to help guide develop post-assessment. Through careful organisation by the HR team, assessment processes are planned up to a year in advance, allowing candidates plenty of notice and predictability of promotion windows.

Given a chance I tell others FRS’ just how much CPG has reduced my workload and pressure on my budget.

It genuinely is a pleasure. To have the opportunity to input into materials, trial them and then see them come to fruition is great. The whole team at VCA are friendly, efficient and prompt in their replies. Here’s to the next ones 🙂

Donna Trowsdale, Development Officer
FRS leadership qualities

CPG Assessments from Crew to Station Manager

We have worked with H&W FRS since 2013, initially with our paper-based assessment exercises, and in the last 12 months through use of the roleplay element of the CPG.

A great experience, as usual, and will continue to work with you.

Carl Smythe, Resourcing Manager

CPG Assessments from Crew to Area Manager

Northamptonshire have been committed to thorough behavioural assessments as part of their promotions assessments for many years, and we have supported them through exercise design and assessment delivery since 2013. More recently, the FRS has successfully adopted the online CPG system for their assessments.

line managers neurodiversity coaching

Excellent customer service, assessment relevant, report format simple but clear, technical support excellent.

Judith McQuaid, Development Manager
Chief officer selection

CPG Assessments from Station to Group Manager

VCA has worked with Oxfordshire FRS on their promotional assessments from Crew to Group Manager from 2011; assessor training, marking in-basket exercises and more recently, running full behavioural assessments using our on-line Case Study and Role-play exercises via the Career Progression Gateway system.

I have found the support, project management and communication first class from VCA throughout all of the processes I have requested their support on.

Will McPhail, Station Manager

CPG Assessments for Strategic Manager

In 2021 we supported Avon FRS with their selection of an Assistant Chief Fire Officer, providing an online case study for candidates to complete, and following up with a performance feedback and coaching call for each candidate.

deliver transformation in 2021

The process has been very smooth from my perspective. Everyone has been so helpful, so thank you for that. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending using your company in the future.

Liz Marchant , Development Manager

Leadership Framework Design

VCA advised on and contributed to revisions to develop London Fire Brigade’s new Leadership framework.

Working with VCA was extremely positive, they were extremely accommodating and constantly available to work within the LFB’s strict timeframes for this project. The external expertise and scrutiny was invaluable in delivering a final LFB Behavioural Framework”

Matthew Cook , Group Manager

Why Work With Us?

Trusted by the UK Fire Service…

  • We’ve worked with Fire Services almost exclusively since 2002, so we know a lot about the industry! From PQAs to Leadership Qualities, The National ADC Toolkit to the Career Progression Gateway (CPG), ADCs to online assessments, we’ve worked with them all and have the expertise that goes with it. You don’t need to explain to us- we get it already.
  • Our experience of listening to clients AND candidates means we know what the issues are- what works and doesn’t, what’s needed and what to avoid, to benefit everyone involved in selection, promotions and talent management.
  • We’re a small company; you’ll quickly get to know all of our team, and us, you. We can be agile to your needs because we don’t have a complex management structure; if you want something changed, we can do that for you without any drama.
  • We know budgets are tight and workloads a challenge, so we handle your problems without you needing to spend any more time, money or mental energy than necessary.
  • We know what recruitment and promotion means to your future and current firefighters. Succession planning isn’t easy and neither is managing the morale and expectations of the candidates. We prioritise their experience, as well as ensuring you get the best results available.
Bedfordshire FRS logo
Lancashire FRS
Oxfordshire FRS