Who is it for?

The programme is for existing volunteer managers/Chief Fire Officers (CFOs)/Controllers as well as emerging leaders. A Coaching and Mentoring programme will be run in each region.

What's the aim of the programme?

The aim of the programme is to invest in leaders to enhance their existing skills so they are able to lead and grow healthy, strong brigades and fire forces. The programme also aims to support integration and network building by connecting urban and rural volunteer leaders to shared, local development opportunities.

Why has the programme been set up?

Leaders plays a significant role in influencing the strength of a brigade or fire force. Research, good volunteering principles, and feedback from urban and rural volunteers, highlights the importance of the leadership attributes of people who manage volunteers. Our volunteering context is unique and our volunteers are motivated by different things. This requires different approaches to managing and leading volunteers. It is important that our leaders have the necessary skills to develop the brigades and fire forces they lead to ensure they are effective, strong, and healthy units.

What is the process for joining the programme?

Put yourself forward via an Expression of interest process. Applications will then be considered and prioritised by a small panel within each region. For further information on this programme you can contact your Volunteer Development Manager (VDM) or Area Manager.

Process documents

Background documents

In the workshop of managing a brigade you will face many situations that test your leadership skills. Your role as a leader within a brigade calls on you to build a strong team and work effectively within your communities. A number of short facilitated sessions have been designed to enable leaders to engage in leadership development. The workshop modules include:

  • Module One: Lead with a culture of respect and understanding
  • Module Two: Listen, communicate and lead
  • Module Three: Lead volunteers through changes in their volunteer journey
  • Module Four: Lead your team through conflict
  • Module Five: Coaching leadership style
  • Module Six: Building Community Relationships
  • Module Seven: The Next Generation - cultivating new leaders
  • Module Eight: Positive leading
  • Module Nine: Sharing what works
  • Module Ten: Watching for warning signs

See below for a more detailed explanation on the content of each workshop.

Attending the course

Contact your Senior Advisor Volunteer Leadership Development if you're interested in attending any of the workshops.


These courses are aimed at current and future leaders, e.g. Chief Fire Officers, Controllers, Deputy Chief Fire Officers and Deputy Controllers.

The objectives of the course are to:

  • provide support to brigade leaders on topics that impact brigade effectiveness
  • develop brigade leaders and give them tools to expand the scope of their brigade and/or address common issues
  • support leaders to promote a positive culture within their brigade and have highly engaged and committed members
  • enable brigade leaders to 'nip things in the bud' before they scale into issues
  • provide brigade leaders an opportunity to network with other brigade leaders in their area and give them an opportunity to learn from each others successes and challenges
  • support leaders to grow individuals ensuring brigade succession planning.

Module 1: Building Community Relationships

Involvement, morale, key relationships.

We often talk about the importance of being involved with the community, but it can be hard to know what we mean by community, and why community involvement is so important to brigade morale, brigade effectiveness and community resilience. This module will enable you, as a leader, to recognise the key relationships your community, and work on how to build stronger relationships across the community.

Module 2: Positive leading

Team environment, influence, meaningful work.

This module helps you to think about how your brigade is really running…does the atmosphere helps the team to come together, work effectively and enjoy what they do? As a leader you have a real opportunity to influence this and think about how you can make this a great place for people to volunteer, with meaningful work and a great team environment.

Module 3: Sharing what works

Brigade turnout, identifying challenges.

Do you need help with solving issues, such as brigade turnout times or how to increase training attendance? This module presents a practical approach which will step you though how to identify challenges that may arise and deal with them in a collaborative manner with the support of your brigade.

Module 4: Watching for the warning signs

Resolve conflict early, succession planning.

This module gives reminders and practical ways to recognise and resolve conflict early and at it’s lowest level. This is a great module for existing leaders within your brigade but also has a high relevance to those you have identified within your succession planning as a future leader within your brigade.

Module 5: The next generation

Identify potential leaders, good leaders, ensuring the future.

This module provides different succession planning techniques for brigades. It gives methods of how to identify potential leaders and how to develop those with potential. This module is great for ensuring the future of the brigade is maintained and that there is a better understanding of what makes a good leader and that more good leaders are being developed.

Q1. How did this course come about?

Research has identified that the main reason why volunteers leave brigades is due to poor leadership.

Leadership has an important role in creating strong and resilient brigades and these sessions have been designed to support brigade leaders with dealing with the complexity that comes with leading and managing people.

Q2. How did you design the sessions?

Leaders were asked what some of the most useful topics were when it comes to running a thriving brigade. The workshops were created to meet these needs.

Q3. Who will be facilitating these sessions and what sort of training did they receive?

The facilitators have been chosen from across the Region. They have attended a facilitator train the trainer course delivered by our Leadership Development team. The role of the facilitator is to allow you to learn from each other and share experiences around these key leadership development topics.

Q4. How long are the sessions?

Each session is approximately 3 hours, light refreshments will be provided.

Q5. If I'm interested in attending a workshop, who do I contact?

Contact your Volunteer Development Management.

Q6. Do I need to bring anything?

Everything you need will be provided for you.

Q7. What’s the dress code?

Smart casual.

Q8. Can I bring along other members of my brigade?

Yes. We encourage you to bring along anyone in your brigade who you identify as a future leader.

Q9. What’s expected of me after the session?

As a leader it is up to you to implement any learnings or new ideas that you take away from the sessions. There may be some ideas from the sessions that you want to take back to discuss with your brigade. We will give you some support and resources to help you do this.

Q10. How will the course content be relevant to my brigade? Our brigade is running fine? (I don’t think our brigade needs any of this stuff?) 

Good leaders are constantly learning to reflect the changing needs of their brigade and community. Learning from each other and sharing your own experiences is an important way of increasing skills and knowledge across all our volunteer brigades. You never know there might be one or two new ideas you can take away.

Q11. Will this help address a specific leadership problem in my brigade?

The opportunity for participants to share their experiences, as well as the session content may mean that you can find support for your individual problems within the sessions. If you do have specific concerns that are not covered in these session contact your area manager.

Q12. Can I claim loss of income and mileage to attend?

There will be no loss of income claims, but we can reimburse you for any mileage costs using the Volunteer expense claim form. 

Q13. Can I get facilitators to run a session at my brigade?

These sessions are designed for leaders, but you are welcome to take any module content or ideas from the sessions back to your brigades.

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