FENZ has organised a pilot ILDC course for February 2022 that does not require participants to have any qualifications, training or experience and intend to include both qualified professional career, non-qualified Group Managers and a Red Cross participant.
The NZPFU has repeatedly documented our concerns for the health and safety of firefighters through the Tranche 2 restructure where personnel without training, assessed qualifications were employed into positions where they would be in command and control of incidents they have no or very limited experience. FENZ used a self-assessment CoRE process that the NZPFU believes failed to require any genuine requirement of independently assessed qualifications and independently verified experience. It is our strong view that those appointments undermine safe systems of work and in doing so put firefighters health and safety in peril. The December 2021 TCF decision confirms that FENZ is wedded to this approach which does not require assessed qualifications or independently verified experience for those that will be in command and control. The path FENZ is taking has no respect for the foundation of professional career qualifications and required years of experience before moving up to the next level of responsibility and rank. That marriage of required qualifications and experience as a pre-requisite to progression is critical to the safety of firefighters on any incident ground, and the community they respond to.
The proposed pilot ILDC course is an extension of FENZ’s philosophy to spring-board those that do not have the professional career qualifications into a leadership programme that includes incident management and operational decision making. There is a real risk a participant who has not been trained, qualified and experienced through the rank system could self-determine that through this course they are now trained in operational decision-making and have misguided confidence in their capabilities in incident management.
This course is an “attendance only” course with no qualification or recognition of learning to contribute to any formal or informal internal or external qualification, but there are no protections to ensure it is not relied upon by the individuals as having completed an ILDC course. Through the Tranche 2 a non-career appointed Group Manager claimed to have an SSO qualification even though NTC confirmed in writing that he could not be signed off as qualified due to not having completed the career TAPS program. Despite this the National Commander has recorded his full confidence in the appointment and inclusion of that Group Manager on the built environment senior roster.
We are also greatly concerned with the inclusion of professional career firefighters on this course it will undermine the formal ILDC programme.
For the above reasons the NZPFU does not support this pilot course scheduled for 14-25 February 2022.
- We support our members who are employed as trainers to undertake their duties as required.
- We do not support other NZPFU members voluntarily participating as additional/casual trainers on this course.
- We also advise any professional career firefighters selected by region management as participants for the course to consider the validity and value of the pilot course and such training with internal and external unqualified personnel. It is the NZPFU’s view that this course is of no value and will only serve to undermine the professional career training and qualification structure.