Fire Service Climb Top of the Training Ladder

16 January 2020

A cohort of fire service employees are equipped with the skills to train their team thanks to Middlesbrough College.

The crew from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service learned how to perfect their training skills through both the Level 3 and Level 4 Training Assessment and Quality Assurance (TAQA) training programmes.

The programmes, designed to help those in training and assessing roles, is applicable to most sectors and helps people improve their practice and achieve a recognised qualification.

Penny Sutton, Learning and Development Advisor at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service explained how important the qualification is to her staff:

"My responsibility is to ensure our staff are skilled, qualified and up to date with the latest practice so I thoroughly reviewed a   number of different providers when looking to enrol the team on to the TAQA programmes. Having vast awarding body experience in Assessing & IQA myself I knew what I was looking for and wanted to make sure we had the right fit.

"I contacted a number of training providers and colleges but Middlesbrough College stood out, we needed flexibility as we had people on varying shifts, the college understood this and fitted the training programme around us."

Having previously delivered the training in-house, Penny is glad to have experienced a smooth transition to outsourcing the delivery:

"We're already looking at planning in training for next year, we have such a good relationship with Lorraine Roberts, our Training Advisor , who has not only helped us with TAQA but has also been proactive in advising us on other training that might be beneficial to our staff. ."

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have a long-standing relationship with Middlesbrough College and have used them for training for over three years, enrolling three cohorts of learners through the TAQA programmes.

Crew Manager Chris Johnstone was a little apprehensive before enrolling on to the Level 3 Programme 

“To be honest, I didn't see the value in it prior to starting the course, I was training and assessing in my role already and had been for some time so didn't see how this would add value, but the course has completely changed my perception of the programme. I now appreciate the importance of consistency and am much more process led in what I do, I've already recommended the course to firefighters who will eventually develop to Crew Managers, having this qualification is critical!"

Watch Manager Colin Kirby also completed TAQA Level 3 to help him train up new staff and with changing shift patterns, he wondered how he would find the time:

Lorraine Roberts, TAQA Training Advisor from Middlesbrough College delivered the training on- site to ensure minimal disruption. She explained:

"I'm happy to travel and work with the team on various locations, I understand it’s needed for their role. A lot of people assess without the right qualifications and I think this is a great example of how the TAQA programmes enhance and perfect someone's skills."

Mick Dale and Mark Upton, both Station Managers enrolled on to the Level 4 TAQA programme, Mick explained how it has made his role more efficient:

"It's provided a standardised approach to my role and the support I give to my district. It has improved efficiency which is a great benefit in such a busy role, we have a lot of staff working towards various qualifications so having a streamlined process has real benefit."

Mark Upton who also complete the Level 4 programme found similar benefits:

“I manage a district so this qualification in my eyes is necessary to my job. My role is extremely busy but everything was arranged to suit my schedule. 

If you'd like to find out more about how Training Assessment and Quality Assurance programmes can benefit training delivery within your organisation, contact Lorraine Roberts at Middlesbrough College on 01642 333516

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