Independent Culture Review – Terms of Reference

The Independent Culture Review, led by Chairperson Fenella Morris KC, is commencing in April 2023 and is expected to finish this calendar year. 


The objectives of the Review, in summary, are to: 

  • Assess the existing policies, procedures and systems on bullying, harassment, grievances, whistleblowing concerns, dignity at work, complaints and any other processes for raising concerns, how they are applied and comparing them to best practice;  
  • Assess existing disciplinary policies and procedures and how they are applied, compared to national terms and conditions of employment and best practice; 
  • Review the last seven years of historic complaints, including bullying, harassment, whistleblowing concerns, and dignity at work complaints and how they were dealt with; 
  • Review how historical staff disciplinary cases over the last seven years were dealt with and how that impacts on culture; 
  • Assess the effectiveness of development programmes and training that support dignity, respect and prevention of inappropriate behaviour; 
  • Consider and comment on the values, behaviours, standards and decisions of leaders at all levels in the Service, both professional and personal (where relevant), and how they impact and/or influence culture; 
  • Consider the impact of individual or group behaviour and standards of staff, and how this influences culture;
  • Comment on whether there is an open and supportive culture, including support for staff involved in traumatising events and the impact those may have;  
  • Identify areas of strength, good practice and exemplar behaviours; 
  • Consider the difference in experiences of staff from an equality and diversity perspective; and 
  • Make recommendations on findings in the Review. 

How the Review will be run 

  • Desktop research on all relevant policies and procedures, plus documentation on relevant previous complaints and disciplinary cases.   
  • Relevant current and former staff, management and South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority Members will be interviewed and invited to share their experiences in person, via Teams, and/or in writing. 
  • It may include station visits to talk to staff on the job and assess workplace culture. 
  • There will be online staff surveys and focus groups for current staff to share insights. 
  • There is likely to be engagement with representative bodies (FBU, GMB, Unison etc) and relevant external partner agencies as necessary. 
  • No current or past Service staff will be compelled to participate in this Review. 

These terms are not exhaustive and may be subject to change by the Chair of the Independent Culture Review, Fenella Morris KC.  

The full Terms of Reference are available here.