Published 8 April 2024

NFCC launches new Middle Leadership Programme

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has today (Monday 8 April) launched a new leadership programme to support new, existing, and aspiring middle leaders across all areas of the UK fire and rescue service. The Middle Leadership Programme (MLP) will provide a suite of resources that will both support leaders in every fire service role, contract type, and location and help to standardise approaches to middle leadership development in the sector.

Recognising that the transition between supervisory leadership and middle leadership can be daunting, this suite of resources has been designed to support aspiring leaders as they progress through their careers. It builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the Supervisory Leadership Development Programme and provides a sound foundation for those who wish to progress into senior leadership roles and the Executive Leadership Programme. The programme has also begun the work of establishing a standardised approach to middle leadership development, ensuring that all the skills needed to thrive as a middle leader are well embedded in training and development.

The Project Executive, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Matt Cook (Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service) said:

“The launch of the NFCC Middle Leadership Programme, along with our other established programmes – the Supervisory Leadership Development Programme and the Executive Leadership Programme – is an important milestone in providing a full leadership development pathway for the whole sector.

“The new programme has been developed and tested with contributions and feedback from fire and rescue services across the UK. Their time and attention mean that we can continue to produce products and resources that reflect the needs of the sector and support services as they transform to meet the evolving needs of their communities.

“We look forward to seeing the leaders who emerge from these programmes and will continue to develop and refine our support to leaders as the sector continues to evolve”.

Tanya Aitken, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), said:

“CMI is very proud to collaborate with the National Fire Chiefs Council once again to boost management skills across the board. The new programme was created to help middle managers develop important behaviours, professionalism, and leadership qualities necessary to progress in their careers.

“I am delighted to see that the success of the Supervisory Leadership Development Programme has led to an exciting new programme that highlights NFCC’s ongoing commitment to train managers at all levels.”

The new project was commissioned through the NFCC People, Culture and Leadership programme, and sits alongside other quality-assured learning products. The Middle Leadership Programme follows the successful implementation of the NFCC Supervisory Leadership Development Programme, enabling the progression of leadership development through to Strategic Leadership. With a focus on embedding the values of equality, diversity and inclusion and developing a people-focussed and empowering approach to leadership running throughout all the resources and learning elements, the programme will also help to support improvement in workplace culture across fire and rescue services.

As with the Supervisory Leadership Development Programme, the Middle Leadership Programme has been developed exclusively and collaboratively between NFCC and the Chartered Management Institute. The partnership includes an offer to each UK fire and rescue service of 10 free licences per service per year. The programme incorporates blended learning elements and integrates other NFCC products such as the NFCC Coaching and Mentoring Portal, Masterclasses and 360 degree feedback on the website, alongside an online portal.

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If you work for a fire and rescue service and would like further information about the programme, please contact the content and guidance team at: