Whether you are facing an assessment or have failed to get through one, one of your top questions is likely to be, ‘am I what are they looking for?’
With the Fire Service we are luckier than we might think; we do have some guidance about what we need to achieve so the assessments aren’t a complete shot in the dark. The answers you are looking for are right there in black and white- in the PQA framework.
Now you may already have looked there, but are finding it difficult to work out what it all means. After all, the PQA framework covers a lot of concepts, and it would be impossible to demonstrate them all. But that isn’t a problem, because you aren’t meant to. The PQA framework lists examples of how you might demonstrate a particular skill area. For example, to demonstrate your ‘Openness to Change’ the framework suggests a Firefighter would need to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the need for progress within the Fire and Rescue Service;
- Accept change both within the Fire and Rescue Service and in their own role and adapts effectively;
- Be aware of the impact of changes to the Fire and Rescue Service on their role;
- Identify ways of supporting change and take action where possible.
If you break this down, what it is actually saying is, ‘show you can be flexible about change and that you will do what you can to support this for the good of the organisation’. There are loads of ways you might be able to show this, in your own individual way. It’s not that you are expected to demonstrate it exactly how the PQA framework describes it; it’s more than you need to make sense of it yourself using terms that mean something to you. Here are some examples of PQAs made easy! You might choose to write them slightly differently, but as long as the essence of what they describe is the same, it doesn’t really matter.
|The PQA||You need to prove that:|
|Openness to Change||You’re happy to accept changes to procedures or the organisation and that you’ll support these changes.|
|Effective Communication||You can make yourself understood by all sorts of people in all sorts of situations.|
|Planning & Implementing||You know how to put a plan into action and see it through to the end.|
|Problem Solving||You can recognise the problems in a situation and work out how to deal with them.|
|Commitment to Diversity & Integrity||You’re honest and respect others – whoever they are. Get help with this PQA|
|Working with Others||You can support and encourage others.
Get help with this PQA
|Commitment to Excellence||You know how important high standards are, and how to reach them.|
|Commitment to Development||You think learning is important and look for learning opportunities – for both yourself and your colleagues.|
|Confidence & Resilience||Confidence & Resilience You can control your emotions and can show others that you’re there to get a job done.|
|Situational Awareness||You recognise hazards and when a situation could become dangerous.|
|Political Awareness*||You can recognise different agendas and make efforts to create partnerships and networks to further objectives.|
* Middle and Strategic Managers only