Developing our People

Integrated Personal Development System (IPDS)

IPDS is a development framework for the Fire Service that is based on individual roles. It offers a systematic approach for every member of staff at every level, with shared responsibilities for development that addresses actual requirements for practical situations. IPDS is more than just training; it involves continuous growth. The framework is suitable for all individuals at every level, and it encourages and facilitates both personal and organizational development.


IPDS provides our personnel with the means to progress in their careers, with a structured and coherent pathway that enables them to achieve their objectives. For those who wish to enhance their abilities at their current level, IPDS offers an opportunity to continually update their skills so that they can consistently perform at their highest level. Through IPDS, individuals will acquire new skills, demonstrate competency in those skills, maintain their level of proficiency, and continue to develop and acquire new skills.

IPDS is designed to be utilized by all members of the Fire Service, regardless of their rank or role. As various roles necessitate distinct skills, each individual’s development will vary depending on their role. IPDS will offer professional skills and competencies tailored to each individual’s role. The Helix diagram (below) provides a more in-depth explanation of each role.

The development provided through IPDS will be aligned with the national standards for each job/role. Some individuals may want to enhance their abilities to better fulfill their current role, while others may aspire to advance to the next level or pursue a specialized role.

Because IPDS has been developed as a national benchmark that matches levels of competence to NVQ levels, it can be used for Skill Gap Analysis, awards, and assessments of any member of staff in any location.  For the first time, it makes the skills of all staff truly transferable.

Please click on the link to see a copy of the Helix Diagram

The Helix Diagram shows the biggest advantage of IPDS: that it gives the choice of enhancing and maintaining the skills at their current level or working to gain the skills for the next stage in their career.

For individuals who seek to advance their careers and progress to the next level, IPDS provides a well-structured and logical development path that helps them achieve their objectives. At the same time, those who wish to enhance their skills and competencies at their current level can use IPDS to continually update their skills and knowledge, enabling them to perform at their best consistently. In this way, IPDS offers a flexible and adaptable development framework that can meet the needs of individuals at all stages of their careers.

Based on National Occupational Standards (NOS), the modules in IPDS have been aligned with National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) so that everyone is benchmarked to the same skill level. The NOS have defined the following roles: Firefighter, Control Operator, Crew Manager, Watch Manager, Station Manager, Group Manager, Area Manager, and Brigade Manager.


Upon commencing their service, every individual will be provided with assistance, support, and direction through a structured development program known as a role map. This program will aid in the identification of their personal strengths, weaknesses, and existing skill levels. Furthermore, they will be working to specific standards that are explicitly relevant to their respective roles. The formal process utilized to determine an individual’s necessities is known as a Skills Gap Analysis.

Step 1 – Identify the role:

Through extensive analysis of every position, ranging from Firefighter to Brigade Manager, IPDS has identified and mapped out the precise areas in which individuals must possess specific skills to competently carry out their respective roles.

Step 2  – Assess the required competencies:

This involves deciding which skills an individual should have to meet their role.  IPDS has formalized these competencies in the form of role maps.

Step  3 – Assess the candidate’s current skills:

The process involves assessing an individual’s current skills and comparing them against the required skills for their respective role. To simplify this process, Evaluation Checklists based on National Occupational Standards (NOS) are employed.

Step 4  – Determine the skills gap:

To identify any gaps in an individual’s skill set, the skills identified in step 3 are thoroughly analyzed. Element Analysis Sheets are utilized to evaluate any deficiencies in skills, whether the individual is striving to maintain their existing skills and knowledge to remain in their current role or seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge to advance to the next level.

Step 5 – Develop an appropriate learning program:

The final step of the Skills Gap Analysis entails providing individuals with targeted training that addresses their identified weaknesses and ensures their skills are up-to-date. A structured development program will be established, outlining all the necessary modules for the individual to be trained in.


Role maps depict the applicable modules and role titles that individuals must master to attain proficiency. They outline the steps required to achieve competency in their respective roles.

IPDS will be gradually introduced, one role at a time, to ensure a seamless transition from one development method to another.

To view development modules and the national standards for all roles, please click here