Academics are not the experts, managers are the experts but what fitting-in can do is to help managers to use their expertise.

Theory without practice is a waste - Practice without theory may just be dumb!


Fitting-in are developing a new template and we hope you are not inconvenienced


Elite briefing led workshops: A series of stand alone elite-briefing led workshops to assist decision makers find some 'answers'

The burning problem
Government are clear, they want the fire service to modernise. Chief Fire Officer have risen to that challenge; strategic thinking and planning is at an all time high. Nonetheless, achieving results on the ground, particularly in trying to transform the culture can be problematic.

To assist with this difficulty I am offering a series of one-day workshops for small elite groups of decision makers. The intention, to share my understanding of fire service culture with your team in a facilitated workshop aimed directly at results.

Elite briefings/workshops
There are a number of workshops and some examples of these follow. Each one is stand-alone and the programmes offered will be tailored for your needs. These high-level workshops involve elite briefings, advice and discussion on the ‘unique’ problems that the fire service experiences. At the end of the day the group will have developed a number of transformational and practical ideas on how to achieve cultural change. ‘Answers’ that managers can strategically and systematically action and evidence to auditors.

These workshops are not just tasters of how fitting-in can assist, they will provide a real insight, further understanding and a dynamism that could kickstart powerful strategic thinking. Full support will always be available to provide research and advice on the implementation of any programme that follows on from these workshops.

Other workshops are available and you may wish to make contact and talk about your particular requirements.


Workshop One: Research guided workshop on women firefighters -
This workshop will start with an introduction to the results of my recent research with over 237 women in the fire service ‘One decade on.’ Add to this evidence, a direct input on fire service culture and some clear advice on the way forward, and this provides a framework for workshop that, by the end of the day, will really help you to understand fire service culture and improve your equality stategy. The Programme

Workshop Two: Leading cultural change – understanding the firefighter -
A new approach for leaders to understand firefighters’ reaction to change. This involves an intense one or two day delivery on fire service culture/s alongside a challenging re-reading of management theory to promote transformational change that meet the needs of the individual, the informal culture and managers. The Programme

Workshop Three: Training for the future -
This workshop is for trainers and leaders who want to bring their initial training in line with current thinking: training for the firefighter of the future not the past.
Working from the findings of the year long 'Sunrise' national research project on initial training (and the conference that followed).
This workshop is a must for those fire services seeking to avoid the finding from the Sunrise report that suggested “If you bully someone in training, set impossible goals, and teach facts rather than understanding, then it is likely that, as they mature as firefighters, trainees will fit-in with bullies at the station, challenge organisational goals, and resist IPDS and CFS.”

Workshop Four: Understanding the culture-
This workshop is for everyone in the fire and rescue service who needs a briefing on the complicated intereation of fire service cultures. The whole workshop is research lead and sets out to improve understanding of how informal and formal cultures operate alongside each other - sometimes paralleling beliefs and at other times operating in antagonistic relations.

Workshop Five:Looking at ways of meeting budget cuts
It now looks as if FRS budgets from central government will be cut by around 10% over the next three years. Whilst you will no doubt be planning for such an outcome we have something to offer. We will individually interview your strategic thinkers about where they believe ‘cuts’ can occur. Then we will then facilitate a workshop based around their ideas and with a view to gaining a consensus on the way forward.

Why can I help?
I am passionate about helping the Fire and Rescue Service to make a difference. I am a GradIFireE with over 30 year’s operational experience of the fire service, supported by 14 years teaching and researching in academia. My PhD on fire service culture provided the basis for me to write, validate and lead the delivery of the first Public Service Degree in the UK; and to establish the first university social science research unit working directly with the fire service. Following a very successful inspection of the degree by the QAA (the government auditing body for HE) and following Steve McGuirk's challenge, I have negotiated a reduciton of my role with Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

This means that whilst I shall still lecture and research at Anglia Ruskin, I am in effect actioning my response to Steve. Rather than deliver my research at arm’s length, I am now offering to leave the ivory tower to bring academic debates and my real insight into fire service culture/s in a series of hands-on focused workshops.


• Flexible short sharp package aimed at producing results
• Following a proven academic path of intense delivery and focussed debate
• A real hands-on educational package aimed at results and transformation
• Advice that can be strategically and systematically evidenced
• Offers a day-out for management teams to think strategically
• Academic led, and rigorously produced in a fire service context
• Research based
• A transparent and auditable product

The objective – to seek informed answers to the thorny questions that managers’ face on the ground

Your organisation also benefits from the added value of putting your top teams together in a in a supportive environment aimed at achieving outcomes

Sarah O’Connor, researcher and lecturer, will assist me in facilitating focussed input and debate.

The agenda is yours; when can I come and talk to you about how my ideas may fit-in with yours?

Ring on 07802 495 329 or email

Dr Dave Baigent GiFireE, BA Honours, PhD.



get Dave Baigent's CV

get Sarah O'Connor's CV