FIR (Fairness Inclusion Respect) Programme – Overview and Links to Resources

Please find below some information on the FIR Programme (including the FIR Growth Assessment and FIR Ambassadors Network), the Supply Chain Sustainability School (which delivers the FIR Programme), and the full Data Benchmarking report from the School’s website.

Supply Chain Sustainability School

The School was established 10 years ago as an accessible source of learning and information for anyone working in or aspiring to work in the built environment. A collaboration between clients, contractors and suppliers who have a mutual interest in building the skills of their supply chain, the School now has over 200 partners and services the markets of Construction, Infrastructure, Homes, Finishes & Interiors, Facilities Management, Plant and Labour across England, Scotland, and Wales.

FIR Programme

The FIR Programme is an industry-wide initiative that aims to make workplaces better for everyone. The Programme supports businesses to be more innovative and profitable by addressing workplace culture challenges and building inclusive and respectful environments. To do this, the Programme provides free industry-endorsed resources, training and initiatives, leading discussion and showcasing and celebrating best practice across the sector. These resources and initiatives are developed in conjunction with partners and the FIR Steering Group, who provide input into the direction and content based on practical experience and industry needs. The FIR Programme, therefore, is very much driven by industry, for industry.

The School is committed to continuing to grow and build its reach and impact across all workplaces in the construction and built environment sector to drive positive cultural change that helps build fair, inclusive and respectful workplaces and a sustainable future.

FIR Resources

Access to FIR learning and materials is free at the point of use, available to anyone working in or aspiring to work in the built environment sector. Individuals simply sign up on the School’s website as a ‘member’ of the School to gain immediate access to their own learning portal and start their FIR journey. Members can then benchmark their own experience with FIR against the industry and can obtain personalised learning recommendations to further develop their FIR knowledge and skills. [School members then also have access to learning in a range of other areas of sustainability, construction, digital and management as well as FIR].

We are also able to develop a commercial proposal with a bespoke offering for businesses looking to roll out a training program for their teams in a particular area or across specific competencies. If you would like to discuss your business’ needs further, please contact me.

Overview of the range of FIR resources available:

FIR Programme flyer – Overview document introducing the Programme

FIR Toolkit – a large toolkit comprising a full range of resources readily available to use across your business and supply chain:

E-learning Resources – CPD accredited e-learning modules that run for about one hour each, with participants able to save their progress and continue their learning journey whenever they want.

Video Toolbox Talks – Short video-based toolbox talks that introduce important FIR topics in just 5 minutes or less and include guidance notes specifically designed for people introducing the subject to colleagues.

FIR Case Studies & Resources – Examples of what individual companies are doing to progress FIR in their workplaces and supply chains, along with a wider FIR resource library to access more FIR learning.

Webinars – Recordings of previously held webinars and invitation to attend upcoming webinars to hear from keynote speakers across a range of hot topics.

Workshops – A suite of training delivered virtually or in person around the UK (depending on availability) covering topics from the base-level introduction to the Business Case for FIR, to Specialist Masterclasses on a range of topics impacting workplace diversity and inclusion.

Workshop Training materials – Available to use to train (or be trained) in techniques to improve industry culture, for example, with respect to monitoring and reporting workplace diversity.

Upcoming training sessions – A list of free Webinars and Masterclasses for the coming months which you can book online.

FIR Growth Assessment – A structured maturity assessment tool to benchmark your organisation’s FIR commitments against others in your sector and obtain a roadmap for improvement. Specifically designed by construction clients, contractors and sub-contractors for all employers within our industry and based on industry approved FIR metrics, it works for small, medium and large businesses and covers 5 areas – FIR Commitment, FIR Employment, Working Practices, Site Environment and Supply Chain. The Assessment itself is completed at corporate level by the administrator on your corporate account.

Businesses may also choose to proceed with an optional third-party Accreditation of their FIR practice (quality assured by NOCN) to evident their commitment to FIR. The FIR Accreditation ranges from Level 1 (Getting Started) through to Level 5 (External Influencer) with steps and resources available to help businesses on their FIR journey. There is a (very reasonable) cost involved with this option, delivered by CHAS.

FIR Ambassador Network – Opportunity open to individuals in all roles and at all levels of seniority in the built environment who wish to make their workplace better for everyone. FIR Ambassadors promote a culture of fairness, inclusion and respect within their organisation, and are expected to embody the principles of FIR – to work collaboratively, whilst stepping in to take action, challenge behaviours and positively impact workplace culture. We train people to become FIR Ambassadors and support them through their journey and if they wish to further develop their FIR accreditation to become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Ambassador. We encourage senior leaders to consider becoming a FIR Ambassador, as well as training their staff to join the Network, and to make use of the extensive Ambassador Network across the sector.

Data Capture & Research – Our Data capture exercises are critical as they tell us where the problems are and provide insights into what we can do to fix them. We encourage you to contribute to the collection of data on standardised and industry-approved FIR metrics to understand issues, measure progress and assist with goal to drive change. We also encourage you to share the findings of these reports across your businesses and supply chains. Our two annual FIR research surveys are:

Diversity Data Benchmarking Report – Extensive data collection exercise the provides us with critical information on agreed diversity metrics across the sector and throughout supply chains, along with insights into the needs of the sector. See the full report and presentation of survey results (only a portion of which was covered today).

FIR Annual Culture Report– Survey to capture the reach and impact of the FIR Programme and how FIR is progressing in the built environment, helping us to develop the FIR Programme in the areas of most need.

FIRry Fridays – Our weekly FIR newsletter covering developments in FIR areas and news, FIR materials and events and initiatives of interest to members. Register your interest to receive FIRry Fridays and other updates when you sign up to be a member of the School.

Inspiring Change Conference and Awards – Annual conference that brings people together to influence positive change within organisations to create and sustain a fair, inclusive and respectful sector. Accompanied by annual Inspiring Change Awards which celebrate those leading and inspiring change in the sector across multiple award categories. This year’s conference and awards ceremony will be a full day event on Tuesday 27 June 2023 at Cavendish Square in London, and we will call for nominations in March. We encourage you to forward to your networks to increase the reach and consider inspiring practices within your own business that may be worth of a nomination. Further details on the program and award nominations to come soon!

If you haven’t signed up already, or haven’t looked at what is available for a while, we encourage you to access the materials by logging in or signing up on the School’s website. Your corporate dashboard will also provide you with helpful information on the use of resources across your company.