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            DATE:     3 MAY 2007

   On 28 June 2005, FESA conducted a workshop with a number of employer
    representatives to explore an employer recognition program that would provide
    opportunities to reward supportive employers of emergency services volunteers. This
    approach was taken rather than FESA implementing an initiative that may or may not
    have been well received by employers.

   The outcomes of the workshop were that a formal accreditation process would be
    appropriate, although it was recognised that this would take some time to develop.

   As an interim stage, FESA did a promotion of employers of volunteers during the week
    involving Australia Day 2006 and included publicity in newspapers as well as radio
    advertising (metropolitan and regional networks). This was well received throughout the
    state. FESA did a similar promotion associated with Australia Day 2007.

   In addition, less formal employer recognition is provided when instances of supportive
    employers are brought to FESA’s notice, eg an employer of a Marine Rescue Services
    volunteer who was involved in an incident in the south west of the state. In these
    instances, certificates of appreciation are generally awarded with a covering letter from
    FESA’s CEO if appropriate and are presented in person wherever possible.

   Other ad hoc events have included “thank you” barbecues for employers of volunteers.
    FESA has held a sausage sizzle at the conclusion to SES Week on 12 November 2006.
    This was conducted by staff in appreciation of the efforts of volunteers. These
    volunteers were encouraged to invite their employers along so their support could
    equally be acknowledged.

   The second and major stage of this program is the formal accreditation process as
    recommended at the workshop. Preparation of related papers and negotiations with, an
    accrediting agency to determine the viability of the proposal, have been time consuming.
    The proposal essentially embraces a recognisable framework approach with three levels
    of recognition (gold, silver and bronze or other colours may be preferred) that can be
    awarded depending on the level of support from employers.

   FESA was fortunate enough to be granted $90,000 through the Commonwealth
    Government’s National Emergency Volunteer Support Fund (NEVSF) program to assist
    in progressing this initiative.

   The second stage includes:

       1. Structured criteria that enable employers to “earn” accreditation;
       2. A logo that would become the recognised symbol for an employer who supports
          its employees belonging to emergency services volunteer organisations;
       3. Promotion by FESA and emergency services volunteer organisations of the logo
          and the fact that businesses who have “earned” the right to use the logo are
          community friendly, best practise employers; and
       4. Documentation on how the program will work as well as nomination forms (as
          nominations will generally be put forward by volunteers).

      Documentation to date includes the following:

           1. Employer Recognition Quality Manual
           2. Self Assessment documentation
           3. Quality Statement
           4. Promotional brochure
           5. Accreditation and awarding process
           6. Process flowchart
           7. Nomination Form
           8. Draft letters to nominators and to employers
           9. Sample recognition certificate and sticker
           10. Event planning checklist
           11. Event planning overview
           12. Feedback form (brickbats and bouquets)
           13. Complaint resolution process
           14. Document control process
           15. Framework for data collection and reporting

      An audit of FESA’s self assessment process was conducted on 1 March 2007. The
       results were positive with relatively few issues requiring resolution.

      The formal accreditation audit is scheduled to be conducted over two days on 28 and 29
       May 2007.

      Implementation will depend on the outcome of the accreditation audit, endorsement
       from within FESA and finalisation of the tools and mechanism for the proposal, including
       the launch of the program.

Contact:      Dave Hicks, Manager Volunteer and Youth Services FESA
              Telephone: (08) 9323 9361 Fax: (08) 9323 9473 Mob: 0427 384 748


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