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AFAC Annual Reports : 2011 Annual Report
AFAC into the Future Every industry organisation must ensure some focus is always trained on the future needs of the sector it serves. This is particularly relevant in the fire and emergency services industry given the rapidly changing environment. The AFAC into the Future (AITF) is a major body of work sanctioned by the AFAC Board and Council who will continue to guide and approve the strategic direction this work will take. This work will build on the AFAC Strategic Plan 2010-2012. • To manage the ‘project’ – sub projects have been formed with responsibility in the following areas • Business Development - (New products and services, new subscriber category and expanded income streams) • Collaboration and Networking – (The efficient structure and service delivery of the AFAC workgroups) • Governance and Charter – (Review of constitution, efficient structuring and processes of the Board and Council) • Membership – (Membership rules and levels including Affiliate Membership category and related policy) • AFAC as an Influencing and Advisory Body – (Review of rules of engagement, structure and process) • Professionalisation Concept – Phase One – researching the need for fire and emergency management work to be a formally recognised and certified profession. Each of these sub-projects is headed by an AFAC Manager aligned to that specific project. At the Council meeting in March 2011, approval was sought and granted to progress all sub-projects and some of the sub-projects have moved forward more rapidly. Work on a new Collaboration and Networking Model has progressed quickly following the results of a survey of all members undertaken in March 2011. The same group structure has been used for 17 years and over that time the number of Groups and people involved has significantly grown. While this growth has led to some great outcomes there is pressure to ensure the return on investment of people and money is well demonstrated, measured and understood. The new Collaboration and Networking Model will be implented in 2012. Overall the research found that Group members value the group work and networking opportunities of the meetings and feel there should be more options than twice yearly group meetings available for agency members to meet, solve problems, share ideas and experiences. Innovation in communications technology can and will be used to deliver some of these outputs. A new Collaboration and Networking Model has been developed and will be presented at the Council meeting in August 2011. More information on this sub-project and the research results can be found on the AFAC Knowledge Web at www.knowledgeweb.afac.com.au. Work on all other projects continues with the guidance of the AFAC Board and Council, and a business plan for the future will be tabled at AFAC Board meeting in December 2011. A communications program keeping all members up to date on the status of this work will be developed as these projects come on stream. Introduction of the new Collaboration and Networking Model A comprehensive review of the AFAC Groups structure was undertaken at the beginning of the year, with a view to implementing a new collaboration model sometime in the New Year (2012). The drivers behind the review included concerns that after 17 years the same structure was increasingly becoming outdated with divergent views on “return on investment” developing between Council members and their staff participating in group activities. This was one of the key issues identified through the research phase. This was linked to the acknowledgement there needed to be greater accountability for group performance and outcomes, given the considerable investment by AFAC secretariat and its member agencies. A new structure would allow greater flexibility and the uptake of new technologies to facilitate the collaboration or networking. There was also a clear desire to improve the strategic alignment of AFAC work with those of member agencies. Effort and research to which AFAC group members, Board and Council contributed substantially included: • a review of current collaboration practice, focused on the AFAC Group model • a survey to all AFAC Group Members, with over 180 complete responses received • a number of one-on-one interviews with key senior stakeholders nationally • a desktop review of ‘best practice’ examples of collaboration in similarly complex organisations, both locally and internationally. Collaboration and Networking Model 18 | Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council Annual Report 2011
2010 Annual Report