The Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency Survey is an initiative of
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV), the volunteer association
formally established in the CFA Act to represent CFA volunteers in
Victoria. The initial survey tool was developed and designed by
volunteers, for volunteers, and launched in Victoria in 2012.
In 2016, the Council of Australian Volunteer Fire Associations (CAVFA)
endorsed an expansion of VFBV’s Volunteer Welfare and Efficiency
Survey and fire service volunteers across Australia were given the
opportunity to participate.
The survey is offered to volunteers
through their respective state level volunteer association. The
associations then work independently and collectively in providing
the results to key stakeholders within and beyond each fire service,
and more broadly across each State, Territory or at a national level.
The survey provides evidence-based, quantitative and qualitative
data on matters of importance to volunteers. Expansion of
the survey across Australia provides a valuable opportunity to
volunteer representatives and volunteer organisations to harness
direct feedback from volunteers on the issues shared among fire
service volunteers right around the country. It can help focus
work on matters of significance on behalf of the entire fire services
The survey was designed with expert, independent organisational
and people performance consultants, informed by broad
consultation with volunteers on what issues were most important
to them. Following this a series of statements were developed
that were identified as being most critical to volunteer welfare and
efficiency. These statements form the core of the survey and were
grouped into seven key themes, within which are several questions.
There are also specific statements relating to volunteer’s overall
satisfaction levels and future intentions.
Participants are also invited to provide additional comments as
feedback, and these form a valuable insight into the quantitative
results, the formation of observations and possible improvement
The national survey results provide CAVFA with the ability to discuss,
influence and advocate about the views of fire service volunteers
across the states. The results provide the emergency management
sector, governments and fire services with a direct volunteer
perspective. Identifying common themes across the county will
facilitate the sharing of good practice, new learnings and initiatives
which improve volunteer satisfaction.