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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

RBFRS is committed to supporting and making a positive difference to the communities we serve.

Equality and diversity is about understanding differences and ensuring that the right people receive the right services.

We aim to identify, understand, and eliminate all barriers that prevent access to services, information, and employment. The services we deliver are risk based according to the needs of particular groups.

The four objectives proposed below were considered following review of the priority areas set out by the National Fire Chiefs Council Equality Framework.

Purpose of setting equality objectives

Under the Equality Act 2010, public bodies have a general duty to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and promote good relations between people sharing different protected characteristics. To meet the general duty, RBFRS have a Specific Duty to develop equality objectives every four years.

The purpose of setting our equality objectives is to ensure that we provide opportunities for everyone to reach their potential to be able to deliver effective services to our communities. This means objectives are not just based on processes and policies but focused on improving outcomes for our employees and people in our community.

Our Objectives:

Objective 1 – Increasing the diversity of staff at all levels: We recognise the value that a diverse workforce brings and will take action to increase the diversity of job applicants, seeking individuals with the right behaviours and skills to help us reflect and engage with our local communities.

This will involve ensuring our recruitment processes remain fair and continuing to appoint on merit, whilst promoting our range of careers to the widest possible audience.

Objective 2 – Leadership and corporate commitment: We will support our organisational leaders to understand their role in tackling inequalities and demonstrating inclusive behaviours, in line with our Behavioural Competency Framework. This commitment means we will be strong and visible in our leadership and ensure that all staff and members of our local communities have confidence in our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

This will involve continuing to provide a range of learning opportunities for leaders, from the frontline to the Senior Leadership Team, to expand their knowledge and understanding.

Objective 3 – Improving our service delivery by creating strong links with our community: We will connect and communicate with our diverse local community to develop meaningful and sustainable links, which help us to increase our understanding of their needs. We will ensure that we tailor our prevention, protection and response activities accordingly and target the most vulnerable people with the greatest risk.

This will involve finding ways to gain feedback from our communities which helps us to identify risk on a local level.

Objective 4 – Building on our inclusive culture: We will continue taking action to ensure we have a culture where everyone feels valued and is treated with dignity and respect and support all staff to contribute to the creation of an inclusive working environment.

This will involve ensuring that our policies and processes celebrate difference, and enable all staff to be themselves in the workplace.