Cardiff Gate Fire & Rescue Training and Development Facility

Investing in quality training services for South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Cardiff Gate Fire & Rescue Training and Development Facility

Investing in quality training services for South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

Contract Summary

  • INDUSTRY SECTOR: Emergency Services
  • SERVICES DELIVERED: Fire and Rescue Training & Development
  • CONTRACT DURATION: Commenced: 2005, Duration: 25 years
  • CONTRACT LOCATION: Cardiff, Wales

Key Outcomes

  • CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT: Training innovation and Facility Enhancements
  • KPIs: Consistently delivers against comprehensive set of KPIs
  • TRAINING DAYS: Average 15,000 delegate training days p.a.
  • QUALITY SUPPORT: Facilities maintained and future-proofed through life of project with emphasis on safety and legislative compliance

The Challenge

In 1996 South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) identified a need to improve its training practises and facilities. A brief was developed for a purpose built training centre which would undertake all training for SWFRS, including recruit training.

The majority of training was to be undertaken by SWFRS trainers with additional support provided by the chosen partner’s trainers, particularly for any third party income generation activities.

SWFRS were looking for an experienced training partner that could use their capabilities to design, develop and deliver this fit for purpose training centre, ensuring that SWFRS would have the flexibility to meet a wide range of training needs. The centre would also need to be in an accessible location, be a future-proofed solution and capable of delivery training to other emergency services as well as the private sector.

The Solution

In 2005 Babcock developed a £50 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract to build, operate and maintain a new training centre for SWFRS for a 25 year period.

The centre is designed to fully meet the needs of the Fire & Rescue Service and external organisations, delivering the most up-to-date bespoke fire, rescue, management and health and safety training by drawing on a portfolio of approximately 66 training courses.

It also offers a wide range of facilities for meetings, conferencing and lectures from two fully equipped theatres capable of accommodating 80 delegates together as well as several smaller rooms.

Continual investment has accommodated improved and expanded training capabilities:

  • Wide range of air conditioned lecture rooms equipped with up to date projection and sound systems
  • State of the art immersive Incident Command Training Suite
  • Functional training ground, suitable for standard drills and more complex scenarios
  • A dedicated area for complex road traffic collision training scenarios
  • Brick built house offering domestic fire training scenarios
  • Industrial unit offering a multi floor industrial fire training environment
  • Multi-purpose rope rescue platform to facilitate Safe Working at Height and technical rescue activities
  • Confined space training tunnel

As well as managing and maintaining these facilities, the Babcock team at Cardiff Gate provide support services for the training programme including asset management, training scenario set up and clean down and courses and facilities accreditation support.

Babcock has also committed to continual investment in the training centre, ensuring that it will be suitable for all training both now and in the future.

The partnership is supported through the Joint Management Board where representatives from the Fire Service and Babcock work together to deliver on the Key Performance Indicators, resolve issues and share best practise.

The Outcome

The Cardiff Gate Training and Development Centre is a hub of training excellence for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Since its inception in 2005 Babcock has consistently delivered on all Key Performance Indicators ensuring a high level of performance and availability throughout the whole life of the contract.

The Centre is one of a number operated by Babcock that deliver a range of specific training for key personnel within a risk assessed and managed environment. Since 2005, average annual training volume at Cardiff Gate has been 15,000 Delegate Days p.a.

Further value has also been added throughout this partnership:

  • Training has been introduced to adopt the recommended Skills for Justice Qualification and the development of a Multi Agency Gold Incident Command course
  • Greater flexibility is delivered in training point utilisation so that training can be delivered when and where it is needed
  • Improved value for money has been achieved within the scope of the PFI for priority 2 events including training at other Babcock venues which reduces SWFRS expenditure
  • Enhanced capability through utilisation of Tabs FM, an asset management tool which ensures that all equipment is compliant and available for training

Key Elements

  • Value for money partnership
  • Full availability contract
  • Delegate training days to date 210,000
  • Annual training plan developed from a portfolio c. 66 courses
  • Comprehensive through life re-fit programme.

‘SWFRS are working in close partnership with Babcock to provide the highest possible quality of training to our staff. The facilities provided are excellent and through effective partnership we (SWFRS) are actively exploring ways to benefit from the wider Babcock infrastructure. The quality of customer care from Babcock that we have experienced has been first class and we look forward to enhancing our relationship over future years.’

Area Manager Ian Greenman, Head of Training and Development, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

For further information email: [email protected]