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Area Commander

Job Reference surreycc/TP/288913/761

The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Salary as per NJC pay scales, plus surrey allowance
Working Hours:
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Fire and Rescue
Chief Executive Office
CEO - Comm Prot & Eme

Job Introduction

This role offers a competitive salary, including a £75,795.60 per annum, increasing to £83,139.60 once competent in role (includes 20% flexi duty officer allowance).  

As an Area Commander, you’ll have access to a response vehicle and benefit from the £1,575 Surrey Allowance per annum and Continuous Professional Development payment. 

Are you a dedicated leader who values integrity and role models inclusive leadership? 

Our Service are looking to develop a pool of talented and diverse applicants to fill anticipated Area Commander Vacancies in 2024/25. If appointed you will join a professional, passionate and diverse Service Leadership Team who are committed to delivering excellent services to our communities. You will make a significant contribution to the leadership of SFRS, leading on Service wide improvements, role modelling excellent leadership behaviours that support our ongoing cultural improvements, and delivering our new 2025-2030 CRMP. 

By 2030 we all want Surrey to be a: 


"Uniquely special place where everyone has a great start to life, people live healthy and fulfilling lives, are enabled to achieve their full potential and contribute to their community, and no one is left behind." 




This opportunity is best suited to candidates who have an impressive record of project and change management, leading through periods of change and uncertainty, and have led high-performing teams at a middle management or strategic level. It is essential that candidates can demonstrate excellent stakeholder management, both internally and externally.The role involves actively seeking ways to enhance performance across the service and upholding the Core Code of Ethics and championing ethical decision-making. If you’re passionate about making a difference to our communities and staff, and looking for the opportunity to lead and develop within Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), this could be the right fit for you. 


Why Surrey is your future 


Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has the responsibility of protecting over 1.2 million people who live in the 650 square miles of Surrey. The Service employs 730 staff comprising both operational and support personnel across a variety of roles.Our teams work from 25 fire stations, our Wray Park Training Centre and our Headquarters site in Woodhatch Place, both of which are located in Reigate. 


Our fire and rescue authority, Surrey County Council (SCC), has set out a Community Vision for Surrey placing greater emphasis on prevention, services for vulnerable people, and the need for greater collaboration with partners. 


As an integral part of Surrey County Council we will be playing our part in delivering this vision. How we currently do this is explained in our Making Surrey Safer Plan for 2020 – 2024, our plans for 2025-2030 will be detailed in our forthcoming CRMP consultation (7th May 2024). 

Further information about our service can be found here - 


Our Ethical Principles 


Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has adopted the national Core Code of Ethics for Fire and Rescue Services in England. We are seeking candidates who authentically embody these values, further information can be found at: Core Code Of Ethics - NFCC 


Eligibility and Essential Criteria 

  • Substantive Area Commanders/Managers with experience in role, serving with a UK Fire Authority fire and rescue service. 
  • Substantive and fully competent Group Commanders (GC*), serving with a UK Fire Authority fire and rescue service. 
  • *All GC applicants must have had a minimum of 12 months in role.  
  • Be Incident Command Level Three (Advanced Award in Incident Command level 6) qualified. 
  • Level 5 leadership qualification or equivalent 
  • Not be subject to a current capability action plan concerning performance. 
  • Not be subject to current disciplinary proceedings or a live formal disciplinary sanction. 
  • Able to work and live in the UK free from any restrictions. 
  • Emergency Response Driving qualification and full UK drivers license. 


The Selection Process  

Those that are successful at shortlisting will be invited to the following -  

Invitation to complete Arctic Shores psychometric assessment 


Stage 1 – Deliver one presentation to two stakeholder groups. 

  • The first with a staff stakeholder panel  

  • The second with a Service Leadership Team panel 

Followed by an Interview with a panel including ACFO Simpson and ACFO Sally Wilson 


Stage 2 - Completion of a Strategic Incident Command Assessment [formally referred to as a Test of Potential] 


If you already hold a current Strategic Incident Command qualification you will not be asked to undertake a test of potential, but will be required to demonstrate evidence of your qualification and ongoing CPD. 


Assessments will be made against positive indicators taken from the Code of Ethics and the NFCC Leadership Framework. 


Process for Applying 


This guidance contains important information to help with your application: 

Please apply by submitting a CV and a personal statement of not more than 1000 words, detailing how you meet the demands of the role.  

  • Experience, knowledge and understanding of fire and rescue operations necessary to undertake the role of a senior operational commander in risk critical situations.  

  • You will need to have a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by the Service and the Sector locally, regionally, and nationally. 

  • You will need to be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of working in a diverse organisation, and a moral and ethical leadership approach within the Service. 

  • Lead by example, inspiring, coaching and guiding the efforts of those within your team. Motivating them to deliver continuous improvement and build a culture of high performance in all that we do.  

  • You will have experience and/or an understanding of corporate governance, financial management, budget setting and programme management principles and practice. 

  • Experience of having been open and flexible in respect of change and taking people on a journey of improvement.  

  •  Experience in delivering high quality services through the management of a function and through a number of integrated teams and workstreams.  

Important Dates  

  • Applications open 10 April 2024 
  • Optional 1:1 briefing sessions to be held on 7 May onwards 
  • Applications open until 19 May 2024 
  • Shortlisting w/c 20 May 2024  
  • Invite for Arctic Shores Assessment 27 May 2024 
  • Stage 1 - Presentations and Interview - 3,4 and 7 June 2024 
  • Stage 2 – Test of potential w/c 24 June 2024  
  • Outcome of process w/c 25 July 2024  

Successful applicants will enter a talent pool, eligible for consideration for Area Commander posts as they arise. 


They will be required to serve at any location in the Service, and to gain pre-employment clearances, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Social Media Vetting, Police Vetting check to SC level clearance and are required to meet the required standard for Medical and Fitness Assessments before appointment will be offered. 


Successful applicants will be required to undertake a probationary period of 6 months and those successful on promotion will also be required to satisfactorily complete the Area Manager Development Programme. 


Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. 


For an informal discussion please contact:  

Personal Assistant Kim Noulton via eamil or by phone 07811704178 to understand AFCO Simpson and ACFO Wilson's availability.  

Closing date for applications: 19 May 2024 

Attached documents: