Welsh language policy
Our Commitment to the Welsh Language
At North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, we believe that in the conduct of public business in Wales, the English and Welsh languages should be treated on the basis of equality.
We serve a rich diversity of communities, against a backdrop of significant natural and cultural heritage.
We seek to provide services equitably to all areas of North Wales. The Service acknowledges its duty towards its staff too, most of whom are residents of North Wales, and who themselves reflect the linguistic and cultural make-up of their own communities.
We pride ourselves on having taken the issue of language seriously over many years. By acknowledging our moral and legal duties to protect the cultural heritage of the area and to meet the expectations of the local community, we also acknowledge the positive service benefits of conducting our public business in both languages. Saving lives and reducing risk are at the heart of our mission - the language issue is vital to its success.
The Welsh Language Standards
The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 replaced the Welsh Language Act 1993 and as part of the new legislation, in Wales the Welsh language has equal legal status with English and must not be treated any less favourably. Public bodies no longer need to develop and implement Welsh Language Schemes and must comply with a set of national Welsh Language Standards instead.
The Welsh Language Commissioner issued fire and rescue services with their Compliance Notices on 30th September 2016. This document lists which of the Standards (as listed in full in the Welsh Language Standards Regulations (No.5) 2016) an organisation must comply with, along with any exemptions and their implementation dates.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has a statutory duty to comply with standards listed along with the compliance date in the “Compliance notice – Section 44 Welsh language (Wales) Measure 2011”, issued by the Welsh Language Commissioner on the 30th of September 2016. The Service is expected to comply with most standards by the 30th of March 2017.
To view the Service's Compliance Notice click here.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service's Implementation Plan shows how we intend to comply with the new standards.
To view our Implementation Plan click here.
The Service's Welsh Language Forum oversees the way we comply with the Welsh Language Standards with which we have a duty to comply.
To view the Terms of Reference for the Welsh Language Forum click here.
Annual Monitoring Report
The Welsh Language Standards require the Service to produce an annual report, in relation to each financial year, which deals with the way it has complied with the service delivery standards, policy making standards and operational standards which were issued in our Compliance Notice.
During this period of transition between the Welsh Language Scheme and the new Welsh Language Standards, our latest Annual Welsh Language Monitoring Report for 2016-17 shows how we operate the Welsh Language Scheme.
To view the Welsh language Annual Monitoring Report 2016-17 click here.
Our performance against our Welsh language standards is now recorded here: Annual Performance Assessment 2017-2018
As part of our commitment to the Welsh Language, all new members of staff are be required to complete Level 2 Welsh language conversational courtesy skills within their probation period.
Assessment involves a 15 minute verbal test which is recorded for independent assessment - assistance is provided beforehand in the form of a training CD and accompanying script, as well as further help and support which is available from our Welsh Language Champions.
The Level 2 standard test involves translating common phrases and terms from English to Welsh, as well as reading and answering questions through the medium of Welsh. It also requires applicants to provide a brief introduction of themselves in Welsh.
Applicants who already possess Welsh language skills may be assessed against higher levels. For further information, please contact our Welsh Language Liaison Officer.
Please click here for the CD scripts;