The Personal Qualities Required
The PQA’s are the fundamentals, the very core values and priorities of the fire and rescue service, the underlying attitudes and behaviours upon which your performance lies. The technical, procedural and operational skills are layered on top of these foundations.
The assessment activity of the sift, the ADC, the PQA Interview, the PQA Application Form, are all designed to examine the potential you have to progress to the next level of management. This is determined by how well your behaviour matches the standards outlined by the PQA’s.
Your PQA behaviours are assessed in either, written form, in simulation activities (at the ADC) or face to face in interviews.
Where the PQA’s came from
The PQA’s were developed through gathering information from individuals who do the job, or work very closely to it. Examples of effective behaviour were sought from hundreds of fire and rescue service personnel across the UK, which were then used to construct the PQAs, the types of behaviours expected within the fire and rescue service. The PQA framework also contains several examples, known as Behavioural Indicators. These are not the only ways of demonstrating those PQAs, but give you some idea of the types of things which might be effective in showing that PQA.
Some FRS are either adding to or changing the PQAs by incorporating their own competencies or values. You will be given any new framework for behaviours and standards, and they will work much the same as the PQAs.
The PQAs at each level
The PQAs vary slightly at each management level. For instance;
Supervisory Manager Level:
Openness to Change – ‘proactively supports change, adjusting approach to meet changing requirements’.
Strategic Manager Level:
Openness to Change – ‘drives and manages the change process, seeking opportunities to create and implement improved organisational effectiveness’
The differences in definition reflect the responsibilities of the management level, i.e. ‘supports’ as opposed to ‘drives and manages’. At middle manger level and above there is an additional PQA – Political & Organisational Awareness.
- Commitment to Diversity and Integrity
- Openness to Change
- Confidence and Resilience
- Working with Others
- Effective Communication
- Commitment to Development
- Problem Solving
- Situational Awareness
- Commitment to Excellence
- Planning and Implementing
- Political and Organisational Awareness (applicable to Middle / Strategic Manager).