A well equipped and highly trained workforce is essential to the way the modern Fire and Rescue Service operates. To help achieve this, all Fire and Rescue Services are implementing an Integrated Personal Development System or IPDS.

This provides the link between strategic and managerial needs to that of the community it serves by selecting and developing employees, ensuring that they are equipped and able to perform their duties safely and effectively. It will give employees structured career opportunities supported by the development and maintenance of their individual competencies.

IPDS embraces diversity and the different contributions that people can bring to the workplace. It enables Services to allow for multi-level entry and will also incorporate an accelerated development scheme. IPDS will ensure the development of people with the right skills and qualifications for each role.

The IPDS enables Fire and Rescue Services to train and develop their staff to meet the changing demands that face the Service. It also enables individuals to assess their development needs against a set of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and seek appropriate training and development opportunities.

On 1 April 2009, Skills for Justice took Fire and Rescue Services into its remit, as it was agreed that they would offer the best workforce development support for Fire and Rescue. This was endorsed by the Local Government Association (LGA), the Chief Fire Officers' Association (CFOA) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Skills for Justice is a Sector Skills Council - one of 25 - that provides workforce development solutions for organisations in the justice and community safety sector. They already work with the Police, the Prison Service, the Probation Service and many other organisations across the UK.

The following link will guide you through the National Occupational Standards and has a search facility to assist you: Skills For Justice & NOS (opens in new window)