HC Deb 29 March 2001 vol 365 cc728-9W
Mr. Sayeed

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what occupational standard of competence is required of senior members of the fire and police services in respect of directing response to major emergencies. [155781]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The Fire Brigade command course sets out the requirements for brigade commanders, including planning and directing responses to major emergencies. Underpinning competences which are developed are the qualities of leadership, interpersonal skill, analytical processing and dynamism. The competences trained for include: decision making involving longer term contingency planning; decision making after call-out and before arrival at a major incident; decision making on arrival, taking over command and the handing over process; and post-incident longer term decisions.

Current Fire Service training on major emergencies is based on guidance prepared by the Government's Civil Emergencies Adviser and is comparable with that of the other emergency services. National occupational standards for operational command, which will include response to major emergencies, are in an advanced state of development.

Occupational standards for the police service will be set by the Police National Training Organisation (NTO) once that is established. The Police NTO received recognition from the Department for Education and Employment earlier this month and is due to be incorporated in May 2001. In the meantime work is being done on the development of competences for various roles, including the management of major incidents. Police National Training provide training in the management of disasters and civil emergencies which can be taken either separately or as part of the strategic command course, which must be undertaken by officers who wish to seek appointment to the rank of assistant chief constable or commander.