Liaison with organisations

Liaison with organisations

Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) Society Of Operations Engineers (SOE) Institute Of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) Freight Transport Association (FTA)

Report Of Liaison With The Society Of Operations Engineers Professional Sector The Institute Of Road Transport Engineers (I.R.T.E.)

The good liaison and effective links with the Group and the SOE/IRTE continue to develop and are seen by members of the Group as being essential to its professional recognition and standing.

The majority of the Group and indeed, Service Transport Officers/Engineers nationally, are members of SOE/IRTE and therefore, share knowledge and information with Transport Engineers from other industry groups.  This networking and sharing of best practice ensures that developments in engineering, vehicle operations, management practice, training, development and best value are known to engineers within the Fire and Rescue Service.

The Group have worked closely with the SOE/IRTE in the development of a voluntary licensing scheme that tests the competence of technicians and mechanics.

To acquire the Licence, a candidate must pass a series of practical tests and a theory paper.  These cover all working aspects of the Industry and concentrate in particular on safety critical elements and inspection.  Candidates who pass all of the practical modules and the theory test are awarded the full IRTEC Licence, valid for up to 5 years.  Thereafter, a complete reassessment is required to maintain the Licence.

The value and importance of the scheme which provides evidence of the competence of technicians and mechanics has been widely recognised by the Fire and Rescue Service and many Authorities have put their Engineering staff through the IRTEC scheme.

As a future development, it is intended that a licence for Fire Appliances is developed by TOG and IRTEC.  This Fire industry specific Licence will be based on the Inspection and Maintenance Standards of our Best Practice Manual, with the Licence being awarded through the IRTEC scheme.

Similarly, it is intended that TOG will develop in conjunction with IRTEC a structure of Fire industry specific Certificates of Competence in Fire Vehicle and Plant Maintenance.  This will consist of a series of supplementary modules where candidates will need to display both theoretical and practical competence prior to the award of the five-year licence by IRTEC.  The modules will normally be generic and cover the maintenance, inspection and test of e.g. Pumps, Aerial Appliances and Rescue Equipment.

The IRTE VMRS computer based coding system for vehicle components, defect analysis and repair work continues to be used to good effect by a number of Services, however its development by IRTE has now been put on hold.

Publications of the IRTE continue to provide valuable information on standards, development and good practice across the wide range of transport and engineering related activities.

The Competence, Training and Professional Development of Staff at all levels in Fire and Rescue Vehicle Fleet Management and Maintenance is a matter of growing importance and has been identified as a key area for future work by the Group. Much good work has been done already with regard to apprentices and the voluntary IRTEC licensing of technicians and mechanics. The development and competence of supervisory and management staff is however an area that has been raised by the Fire and Rescue Services and will be discussed further with the SOE/IRTE in future liaison meetings.

There are many other areas where day to day and periodic liaison with the SOE/IRTE provides useful information.  The IRTE’s excellent reputation with government agencies, e.g. VOSA, Department of Transport, trade bodies and the manufacturers, enable contacts to be made at the appropriate level.

In summary, TOG will maintain an ongoing liaison with the SOE/IRTE and discussion will include the following items:

  • Apprentices
  • IRTEC Licensing within the Fire and Rescue Service
  • Development and Competence of supervisory and management staff
  • Membership and Engineering Council Registration (CEng, IEng, Eng Tech)
  • Engineering and Operations developments