A new inspection framework published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) sets out how the efficiency and effectiveness of England’s 45 fire and rescue services will be assessed in 2018/19.
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Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services Sir Thomas Winsor said:
“Following consultation with England’s fire and rescue services and the wider public, I am pleased to confirm how HMICFRS will conduct its first fire and rescue inspections. This inspection approach has been a collaborative effort and is the result of close cooperation between the fire and rescue services and our own inspection team.
“I am grateful to the fire and rescue services in Suffolk, Staffordshire and West Yorkshire, who will participate in our first pilot inspections this spring; these will inform and develop future methodology.”
The fire and rescue services inspection programme and framework 2018/19 will focus on three main themes:
- how effective each service is at preventing, protecting against and responding to fire and other risks;
- whether the service provides value for money; and
- how well the service looks after its people and ensures fairness and diversity.
HMICFRS will provide graded judgments in its inspection reports, which will help the public see how well their fire and rescue service is performing.
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- HMICFRS is an independent inspectorate, inspecting fire & rescue services and policing in the public interest. It assesses and reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of fire & rescue services and police forces.
- In May 2016, the Home Secretary established a wide-ranging reform programme for the fire and rescue services in England. This included a proposal to establish a rigorous and independent inspection regime for fire and rescue authorities.
- In July 2017, the Home Office confirmed that HMIC would take on the role of inspecting fire and rescue services in England, and of assessing and reporting on the effectiveness and efficiency of each service. To reflect these new responsibilities, HMIC’s name changed to HMICFRS.
- The Policing and Crime Act 2017, which amended the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, contains provisions to strengthen existing powers to inspect fire and rescue authorities.
- For further information, HMICFRS’ press office can be contacted during office hours from 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday on 020 3513 0600.
- HMICFRS’ out-of-hours press office line for urgent media enquiries is 07836 217729.
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