Customer Service Excellence
Since 1998 West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has consistently attained the Charter Mark standard. 'Customer Service Excellence' which replaced this was launched in 2008.
The Standard contains new concepts; the development of customer insight, based on an in-depth understanding of our customers. In addition to this there is emphasis on key drivers of satisfaction and measurement of these, with particular focus on priority areas for customers on delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude.
The Standard is a useful tool in helping to assist public service organisations, to develop and bring about customer focused change; acts as a driver of continuous improvement, a skills development tool and as an independent validation of achievement.
In August 2009 the Authority underwent a full 2 day assessment against the new Customer Service Excellence standard and successfully achieved this award. Assessments take place on an annual basis and, in 2013 WYFRS was again successful in retaining the award, gaining particular recognition in the following:
- We have an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of our current and potential customer groups based on recent and reliable information.
- We protect customers' privacy both in face-to-face discussions and in the transfer and storage of customer information.
- We value the contribution staff make to delivering customer focused services and leaders, managers and staff demonstrate these behaviours.
- We make information about the full range of services we provide available to our customers and potential customers, including how and when people can contact us, how our services are run and who is in charge.
- We take reasonable steps to make sure our customers have received and understood the information we provide.
- We evaluate how customers interact with the organisation through access channels and we use this information to identify possible service improvements, and other better choices.
- We have made arrangements with other providers and partners to offer and supply co-ordinated services, and these arrangements have demonstrable benefits for our customers.
- We have developed co-ordinated working arrangements with our partners that ensure customers have clear lines of accountability for quality of service.
- We interact within wider communities and we can demonstrate the ways in which we support those communities.
- We learn from any mistakes we make by identifying patterns in formal and informal complaints and comments from customers and use this information to improve services and publicise action taken.
- We respond to initial enquiries promptly, if there is a delay we advise the customer and take action to rectify the problem.
This is an excellent accomplishment recognised and reflected in the Auditors comments:
'An excellent Service and recognised nationally as a good practice example in many areas'.
'Enthusiastic, well-motivated and dedicated members of staff and examples of 'going the extra mile' for customers and the Service'.
Equality and Diversity
Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) Equality Framework is a performance management tool used to drive year-on-year improvements on equality and diversity across the whole organisation. It focuses on 5 areas:
- leadership and promoting inclusion;
- effective service delivery and community engagement;
- employment and training;
- evaluation and sharing good practice.
In November 2010 we became the first Fire and Rescue Service to be formally commended for demonstrating that our equality and diversity work in service delivery and employment practices is at the 'Excellent' Level.
We have consistently improved our ranking in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, achieving 25th place in 2010. This is a national benchmarking survey that showcases Britain's top 100 employers of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual staff. Our achievement makes us the highest ranking Fire and Rescue Service in the country.
Investors in People
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has been awarded a long service award for a decade dedicated to investing in its people.
The organisation is very aware that its staff is its most valuable asset and takes great efforts to ensure they get all the training, development and support they need to be able to provide a first class service. The Investors in People long service award recognises this.
"This is a fantastic achievement for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority and I would like to congratulate the organisation and its people on their commitment to continuous improvement over the last ten years," said Carole Reid, Chief Executive of the Investors in People Centre for Yorkshire and Humber.