Fire & rescue service associate effectiveness specialist

HMICFRS is seeking to recruit up to nine associates to support the inspection of the effectiveness of fire & rescue services in England. Successful applicants will be placed on the HMICFRS associate register for a period of up to two years.


Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services independently inspects police forces and fire & rescue services in the public interest. The fire & rescue service inspection will focus on the efficiency, effectiveness and leadership within fire & rescue services across England. We are independent of the government, the police service and the fire & rescue service.

As part of the national reform agenda for the fire & rescue service, we will be developing a new programme of regular inspections of the fire & rescue service and will report to the public on each service’s effectiveness, efficiency and leadership.

Working as an associate with HMICFRS puts you at the heart of the inspection activity. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of inspection processes while working with other partners. You will be in regular contact with HMICFRS colleagues and staff from the fire & rescue service.

We are therefore looking for talented individuals who have the drive, enthusiasm and skills to be part of this new inspection programme. You will need to be inquisitive and have the ability to assess performance objectively. You will be expected to form strong, constructive relationships that will help you to work closely with those we inspect, ask tough questions, identify areas for improvement and to share best practice.

Once on HMICFRS’ associate register, individuals will be allocated short, fixed-term appointment contracts dependent on:

  • business need;
  • level of role and leadership required;
  • match with the skills required; and
  • experience and capability of individuals selected to the associate register.

Get the application form

Download the application form

Download the notes for candidates

Applications must be submitted by midnight on 6 October 2017 and sent to

Role details

Civil Service core competencies

HMICFRS uses the Civil Service Competency Framework to outline expected behaviours and we will use these as part of our wider assessment during the interview process.

For details of the competencies required, please see the Civil Service Competency Framework. The competencies will be tested at Level 4 (Grade 7 level).

For this role, the following competencies are the most relevant:

  • Making effective decisions
  • Leading and communicating
  • Delivering at pace
  • Seeing the bigger picture

As part of the recruitment process, applications will be assessed and ranked based on these competencies. All applicants successful at the sift stage will also be expected to undertake an online written test to assess these competencies.

Sample written exercises are available

Skills and experience

Other relevant skills and experience are set out below.


  • a good understanding of fire & rescue service operational practice, specifically, but not limited to, prevention, protection, resilience and response;
  • experience of using qualitative / quantitative analysis and subsequent interpretation of the findings;
  • proven leadership and management experience;
  • effective oral and written communication skills, including inspection or management report writing to a high standard;
  • experience of communicating, negotiating and influencing strategic change at a senior level; and
  • a good understanding of office-based computer systems and the capability to interrogate and use different computer applications.


  • experience of recent HMICFRS PEEL inspections of police forces;
  • excellent analytical skills and the ability to articulate complex concepts in a way that people can easily understand;
  • experience of working within a fire & rescue service environment or equivalent experience in a similar fire & rescue service related field; and
  • experience of preparing, formal structured papers or submissions of a high standard for presentation to senior management and other stakeholders.

Successful candidate must pass security clearance and any offers made will be based on the condition that he or she subsequently passes the clearance process.

Equal Opportunities

HMICFRS welcomes applications from all staffing groups.

We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for anyone with a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010, subject to meeting the minimum criteria for the post.

If you require a reasonable adjustment to be made for your test or interview due to a disability, you will need to complete a reasonable adjustment form which will be sent to you if you are invited to complete the test or interview.

We encourage a diverse workforce and aim to provide a working environment where all staff at all levels are valued and respected, and where discrimination, bullying, promotion of negative stereotyping and harassment are not tolerated.

We will not discriminate on grounds of gender, gender identity, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, those with caring responsibilities, part-time workers or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work.

We are committed to providing all staff with opportunities to maximise their skills and achieve their potential.