A range of initiatives as part of a package to better support volunteers were in place from 1 July including:

  • Safety, health and wellbeing initiatives
  • An improved intranet
  • A Volunteer Issues Process
  • An Interim Dispute Resolution Process
  • Advocacy and Support services.

Further Volunteer Support Year One initiatives are being implemented. Here's the latest update on what's happening and where we're up to (as at 14 December 2017):

 

What are we doing?

Working with volunteers who have submitted disputes into the Interim Dispute Resolution Process and gathering input for the design of the permanent statutory dispute resolution scheme

Where are we up to?

  • The Interim Disputes Resolution Process allows for disputes to be resolved with the assistance of FairWay Resolution Limited, a national dispute resolution service provider.
  • We are working with the UFBA to provide support to volunteers who are experiencing conflict or having a volunteerism related dispute.
  • As we begin the design process for the permanent dispute resolution scheme, we will be seeking the input of stakeholders, including volunteers. 

 

What are we doing?

New Volunteer Issues Process and Interim Dispute Resolution Process

Where are we up to?

  • From 1 July volunteers have access to free advocacy and support services for assistance in disputes, complaints or conflict.
  • These services are available from the UFBA and FRFANZ (by phoning them at Freephone 0508 832 269) and through a ‘by exception policy’.  These two avenues for advocacy and support are interim arrangements. Planning for the development of the Advocacy and Support policy has commenced.
  • This work will require consultation with a range of stakeholders and partners which includes a workshop facilitated by a Senior Advisor from The Government Centre for Dispute Resolution.
  • A High Level Design is scheduled to be completed in September.

What are we doing?

Revised rules

Where are we up to?

  • A working party was formed in June with representation from across the sector to review the model rules and make them fit for purpose.
  • Support has been gained for the concept of a single document for brigades and fire forces.

What are we doing?

New roles, coaching and mentoring, new courses

Where are we up to?

  • Additional funding is available within each Region for increased coaching and mentoring activity. Specific coaching and mentoring plans have started to be developed. A framework (toolkit) to assist implementation of coaching and mentoring activity at Regional level is in final production stage and will be distributed early in 2018 for use by all concerned. This important leadership development activity will be implemented throughout the rest of the financial year.
  • UFBA has added the fourth Leadership and Governance workshop to their training schedule of courses in September, November, March and May. Further details are available on the UFBA website.
  • A new leadership workshop, focussing on the wellbeing of brigade and fire force members ‘Supporting Psychological Wellbeing’ was piloted in mid-October 2017. Learnings are being used to refine subsequent workshops planned for February, April and June 2018. Further details are available on the UFBA website.
  • Regional visits for co-design of the new Volunteer Development Manager (pilot) role have been completed. The position description is under approval and job sizing action, with recruitment to start early in 2018 ahead of on-boarding at the earliest opportunity. This ‘pilot’ role is intended to focus on developing leadership capabilities of volunteers and their leaders. Approval has been gained to expand this pilot activity to one Volunteer Development Manager in each Region, and the tenure of the roles extended to June 2020.

What are we doing?

Streamlined reimbursements/payments processes

Where are we up to?

  • The reimbursement processes for urban volunteers has been retained, and can found on the Portal.
  • Standard processes for rural volunteer payments and expense claims, including relevant forms, have been developed and can be located on the Portal.  
  • These processes will be further reviewed as part of the project to reduce the administration workload.

What are we doing?

Project to reduce admin workload/provide quicker processes

Where are we up to?

  • By the end of December Daniel Vena (Business Analyst/Project Manager) will have visited all Regions and met volunteers from across various Brigades/Fire Forces gathering information on current challenges and issues with some admin processes.
  • Next steps include an initial draft of the findings and validation of analysis with volunteers (participants) and key stakeholders.
  • The findings will also be presented to the Volunteerism Workstream Control Group for consideration late 2017 ahead of seeking formal approvals and implementation of changes in 2018.
  • Feel free to contact Daniel Vena if you have any questions or would like to provide feedback on current challenges with admin type activities and related tasks.

What are we doing?

New roles to support volunteer recruitment

Where are we up to?

The new rural recruitment coordinator commenced duties within the volunteer recruitment team in late September 2017.  Refined volunteer recruitment processes have started to be implemented, and will likely be further addressed as part of the initiative to reduce administration workload.

What are we doing?

Increased regional/local training – people and new courses      

Where are we up to?

  • The first seven of 12 additional regionally-based urban capability trainer positions have been filled, and recruitment activity has commenced for the final five,  with on-boarding expected to be completed at the earliest opportunity in 2018.
  • The five new rural Regional Training Coordinator positions have been filled.
  • Rural training courses: a high-level training needs analysis has been completed, and development of the modules for the brigade training officer-type course adapted for rural has commenced.  The additional volunteer learning adviser position  is planned to be filled by late February 2018, for delivery of those rural training course modules.
  • UFBA has been contracted to deliver a financial management training and support package, as a pilot activity, and advise the following:
    • The implementation and roll out of the pilot activity will be a tiered approach. UFBA has already engaged five brigades to get a better understanding of the requirements and test the product in a controlled environment. Following testing early in 2018, UFBA will follow on with a further 15 brigades, who will be identified from across the Regions to implement a wider case study, in a variety of different scenarios. Once the system has been fully tested UFBA intend to offer training and support to an additional 30 Brigades by June 2018.
    • For anyone who is interested in being part of the large test group or the additional 30 Brigades involved in this pilot, we ask that they contact Jane Davie with an expression of interest. These members will be added to the database of interested participants and will be contacted as soon as the system is available. Priority will be given to those with the greatest need and from a variety of demographic regions and capabilities. UFBA will be selecting a mix of brigades from rural and urban environments. Those who are involved in the pilot project will receive the training, templates and subscription at no cost.
    • Further details will soon be added to the UFBA website.

 

What are we doing?

New roles established to support leaders and volunteers

Where are we up to?

  • All additional Volunteer Support Officer positions have been filled. The 13 Areas that have gained extra VSO support are: Muri Whenua; Whangarei Kaipara; Waitemata; East Waikato; Bay of Plenty Coast; Taranaki; Whanganui; West Coast; Canterbury; South Canterbury; Central North Otago; South Otago; and South West Southland.
  • Planning has commenced regarding how best to implement the additional in-field support personnel (pilot) and additional rural support personnel activities. These two initiatives are now being considered together. Noting the number of additional personnel being added to the structure through the package of volunteer support and other organisation-wide initiatives, the planning for the analysis of what residual gaps exist will be completed over coming months, and a lead business analyst (Hamish McDonald) has been engaged to complete consultations over coming months. Decisions will be taken by mid-2018 about how to best allocate additional resources in support of volunteers, their leaders and supporters. Note also that this initiative will also inform development of the Volunteer Strategy over coming months.

What are we doing?

Establishing future recognition requirements

Where are we up to?

  • Two key engagement initiatives are being planned to ensure that the organisation understands future recognition requirements, with specific dates for implementation still to be confirmed.
  • The insights gained will prove important for informing the development of two key Strategies: Reward and Recognition Strategy as part of the People, Capability and Leadership workstream activities; and the Volunteer Strategy as part of Volunteerism workstream activities. Results will also inform the wider Target Operating Model deliberations.
  • The first initiative, “Ask your Team”, is an engagement survey of all personnel to better understand the desire and need for recognition, confirm the value placed on existing services, and inform future decisions about how recognition is best achieved. Planning for this survey during February 2018 is well advanced. It is noted that information from this initiative will help guide the selection of topics for ‘framed challenges’ in the crowdsourcing initiative.
  • The other initiative is a crowdsourcing ‘pilot’ activity where an internet tool will be used to engage with personnel across the organisation, including through use of mobile devices. The intent is to pilot a new way of harnessing ideas from our 'crowd', evaluate them, and select the best ideas for implementation. Two specialists have been recruited and will be on-boarded in January 2018. The procurement process is nearing completion, with technical and management aspects of the selected crowdsourcing platform to be implemented in the new year. Engagement discussions have commenced, and related communications about this new approach to innovation and ideas management will increase over coming months. The specific crowdsourcing ‘framed challenges’ are scheduled to start from late-March 2018.

What are we doing?

Additional in-field Safety, Health and Wellbeing support roles

Where are we up to?

Recruitment of 10 additional regionally-based safety, health and wellbeing personnel will begin following confirmation of the new model for safety, health and wellbeing service delivery and leadership, likely to be in mid-2018. This will ensure that the new roles are sustainable and well supported, and able to reach our personnel across the breadth of the organisation and our wider mandate.

 

We will continue to work closely with our volunteers to develop a long-term Volunteer Strategy. This strategy will outline the approach to providing future support and training for volunteers over the next three years, and new initiatives related to that strategy.

Volunteer Support Year One initiatives 

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