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Information about the new Fire Standards Board for England and its work to date are available on the newly launched website –

Consistency, learning from incidents and developing fit-for-purpose professional Standards is the core purpose of the Fire Standards Board which was formed earlier this year.

The Board will be responsible for development of a high-quality, useable framework of professional Standards focussed on achieving positive outcomes and driving continuous improvement. The Standards will be aligned to the work of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and its national improvement programmes. Once developed, the Board will be responsible for the regular review of those standards.

The independent Chair of the Board is Suzanne McCarthy. She is a qualified lawyer and experienced non-executive director whose roles currently include working with the Valuation Tribunal Service and the London Mayor’s Office on Policing and Crime.

Alison Sansome is the independent Vice Chair. Alison brings non-executive experience from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Office of the Public Guardian, as well as an extensive career spanning the civil service, technology industry and health sector.

Other Board members include representatives from the Home Office, NFCC, the Local Government Association, and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.  The Board will be supported by the NFCC’s Central Programme Office.

The Chairs will both be attending the Emergency Services Show on Thursday 19 September 2019 and will be presenting an introduction to the Board at the Lessons Learnt Theatre at 10.35am.

Fire and rescue services in the Devolved Administrations operate against their own standards and inspection frameworks. However, they will be encouraged to engage in the standards development process, with the option of adopting all – or part of the professional standards – developed through the Board.

Representative bodies and a range of other stakeholders will be included in the development of standards through various means but formerly through the NFCC Strategic Engagement Forum.

The Board has now met three times. Terms of Reference are agreed; a standards development process and the component parts of a Standard have also been agreed in principle. These will be tested via a pilot process which is now underway and will lead to the first Standard being proposed for approval in early 2020.

The Board is now conducting a wider scoping and prioritisation exercise to map out the complete framework of Standards and to plan a Standards development programme. Updates on their work will be available in the News section of the website.

Forming a key plank of the reform programme, the Fire Standards Board (FSB or Board) has now been established and has met twice. The Board has a Chair and Vice Chair both independent from fire and rescue services and Government. They each bring a wealth of experience from their extensive and varied executive and non-executive careers.

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