Assessment Forum Events

VCA Ltd has been running informal group meetings for FRS assessment/ development professionals since 2011. These events have been held at Fire & Rescue Service venues from Lancashire to Surrey and been attended by a broad range of representatives from across the FRS.


  • To discuss and gain support for dealing with assessment, selection and recruitment challenges
  • To gain insights into how selection/promotion objectives are achieved
  • To share best practice and gain new ideas
  • To have in-person conversations, finding shared interests and opportunities for collaboration
  • To learn about new methods and practices, including early sight of new materials
  • To influence the development of new tools and exercises


From our regular discussions with FRS clients we have an idea what issues are current, what are causing you the biggest headaches and what can be done to resolve selection and assessment related problems. We propose an agenda for Assessment Forum Events for you to review, and you let us know if it’s relevant.


We ask for a volunteer organisation to provide a venue….then we just bring some cakes and will see you there!
Previous attendees have all agreed these are worthwhile events, interesting, informative and a great way to build relationships with other FRS colleagues.

Leadership Qualities and the next generation of FRS Assessments

Date held: 7th of February 2020 in Birmingham at West Midlands FRS

This year’s first Assessment Forum held at West Midlands FRS HQ in February was attended by 15 FRS, which showed a great level of interest and support for the event.

We enjoyed wide-ranging discussions on the topics we introduced, and it was interesting to learn more about the commonalities and differences in methods and practice across the shared challenges.

Assessment Methodologies/ Tools

We asked- What are you using to promote your managers?

The discussion covered the following issues:

  • Transfers
  • Best practice
  • Use of a core framework
  • The role of HR professionals and their ownership over assessment processes
  • How to overcome assessment accuracy objections
  • Collaborations across the FRS
  • Leadership- the role of senior officers in supporting best practice
  • Different models of assessment- from selecting for specific roles on a continuous basis, to using a mix of assessment exercises and psychometric tools, to using the VCA online assessment Career Progression Gateways.
  • Future leaders
  • How to get the volumes of applications needed.

Career Progression Gateway

A short presentation on VCA’s CPG

Currently used by four of the attending FRS.

To a view a short video explaining the CPG click here. Or if you would prefer to read about it, click here.


We didn’t have long to discuss this topic but we did learn that all FRS are using their own adapted values developed internally and specific to their organisation.

NFCC Leadership Qualities

We ran out of time for this topic! However, there was plenty of interest and notes of the planned session will appear in the Assessment Forum online portal.

The Assessment Forum online portal

We invited attendees to join our online forum. This is where;

  • promotion & recruitment information is shared
  • discussion topics are created
  • insight into organisational priorities is requested
  • insight into organisational priorities is requested
  • volunteers for exercise trialling are requested

All 15 organisations signed up.

If you would like to contribute to the conversation and find out about opportunities for collaboration you can also join this portal. Simply contact us here.

Next meeting – Autumn 2020

Topic proposed:

+ Talent identification
+ Succession planning
+ Candidate preparation
+ Practical use of the LQs.