HC Deb 09 May 2002 vol 385 cc297-8W
Phil Hope

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what targets he intends setting to assess the performance of the fire service college during 2002–03. [55627]

Dr. Whitehead

The work of the fire service college contributes directly to the Department's aim of safe communities and its objectives of improving health and safety by reducing risks from work activity, buildings and fire. Its role is to deliver modern vocational training to the fire service of a type and to a standard that fully meets brigades' needs. The college should operate cost-effectively and should enthusiastically meet the diversity requirements of its customers and employees. In this context, I have agreed the following six targets for the fire service college in 2002–03.1. To maximise the fire service college's contribution to the Government's programme to improve health, education and transport and reduce crime by: If you require any further information, David Harvey in our Leeds office will be happy to assist you. He can be contacted at the Highways Agency, City House, New Station Street, Leeds, LS1 4UR or by telephone on 0113 283 5814. equipping 100 per cent. of the trainers the fire service college trains to disseminate best practice and verify that by post-course assessment; maintaining the quality of the fire service college's education, training and service delivery as externally assessed to the same or a better level of conformance achieved in the previous year, in every case; and ensuring that the wider relevance to the community of fire prevention and fire safety is embedded in the fire service college curriculum to the extent that it features in 100 per cent. of appropriate courses. 2. To accommodate 100 per cent. of bids from UK fire brigades for courses published in the fire service college prospectus. 3. To develop within a year a capability for delivering to customer satisfaction risk management training and e-learning programmes for retained officers and for responding to any centrally determined need for decontamination training. 4. To have a series of Integrated Personal Development System compliant modules linked to five roles ready for delivery by April 2003, having obtained full stakeholder endorsement. 5. By April 2003 to further improve the agency's financial performance by: increasing surplus by at least 2 per cent. in real terms; achieving 6.5 per cent. return on capital employed; and maintaining wider market business in support of UK fire brigade business by contributing 20 per cent. to overall business and creating a net contribution to fixed costs of at least £1.3 million. 6. To obtain a favourable assessment in year from Quality South West for progress towards recovering Investor in People status in 2003–04 and to make progress on diversity issues by: increasing the percentage of women at middle and senior level in the fire service college; carrying out an equalities audit of the fire service college climate, facilities and products; and equality proofing the pay system.