NFCC launches new national operational learning system

Sharing National Operational Learning is now possible using the recently launched online learning system hosted on the National Operational Guidance (NOG) website.

Speaking at the launch event in London on 17 October, Project Executive Roy Bishop said:

“It’s taken a lot of work to find the right approach to learning but we now have a robust and simple way of receiving learning from individual fire and rescue services, analysing it and working out what is of national interest.”

The project to create a National Operational Learning system started in 2015 and until March 2018 was part of the National Operational Guidance Programme. With the creation of the NFCC Central Programme Office in April 2018, the learning project continued with oversight provided by a project board including the Institution of Fire Engineers, the Fire Brigades Union and the London Fire Brigade. The technology platform is provided through a partnership with Panlogic Ltd.

Representatives from nearly every fire and rescue service in the UK attended the launch event where the project team shared in detail how the new system works. All fire and rescue services will now use the recently updated Good Practice Guide to identify learning of a national interest.

The NFCC’s National Operational Learning User Group, Chaired by DCFO Martin Blunden from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service reviews the learning with a view to making strategic decisions that could lead to action notes, changes to guidance.

Group Manager Barry Moore from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was involved very early on in the development of the system. He said:

“Having a way to share our learning on a national stage is so important to us; we want others to benefit from our experience and likewise we are keen to learn from others. This is collaboration in action.”

As fire and rescue services use the new system, it is likely to throw up new areas requiring further research and development. By taking the evidence base from learning, fire and rescue services can all benefit from the targeted research that will, in time, inform the development of future National Operational Guidance.

In 2016, Nigel Meadows, HM Senior Coroner, Manchester City Area, wrote to the Secretary of State, providing his report into the tragic death of Firefighter Stephen Hunt.  He wrote, “It is suggested that consideration is given to being able to mobilise a national and consistent approach to sharing the learning and testing so that it can be shown to be received, understood, actioned and embedded.”

The launch of such a national system will go a long way to enable the fire and rescue service to share learning in the way that Nigel Meadows describes. This new iterative approach to national learning, guidance and training means that fire and rescue services will continually improve which is not only good for firefighter safety but public safety too.

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