Having approved the phase one delivery plan in April 2020 and despite the impact of COVID, the Fire Standards Board are delighted to update you on the progress of all the development work taking place across a number of the Fire Standards over the following months.
The Board are pleased to announce that the Community Risk Management Planning Fire Standard is now open for consultation until 7 December 2020. Conclusions and any impact on the Fire Standard will be presented to the Board for sign off in February. You can find details of the consultation and how to provide your feedback on our Consultations page
Both the Operational Response (Preparedness, Competence and Learning) and the Code of Ethics Fire Standards received an excellent response to the consultations which ended on 10 September 2020 and 2 November 2020, respectively. Underpinning the Code of Ethics Fire Standard is a Core Code of Ethics for Fire and Rescue Services which was developed in partnership between the National Fire Chiefs Council and the Local Government Association and whose consultation ran in parallel to the Code of Ethics Fire Standard. As outlined in our approach to delivery, the Board made a commitment in ensuring the Fire Standards are easily understood by all and the views of those who use them are fully considered. Therefore, work is underway to review each individual response to both consultations prior to the agreement of any revisions and before publication in early 2021.
The Fire Standard for Emergency Response Driver Training is progressing and is anticipated to be re-presented to the Fire Standards Board in December for approval to move to the final phase of Quality Assurance before publication. In parallel, dialogue between NFCC, Home Office and Department for Transport continues regarding the impact of proposed secondary legislation. This affects the underpinning guidance for the Fire Standard rather than the Fire Standard itself. The NFCC lead for this area will be writing to all Chief Officers directly in the coming weeks to update them directly.
Further discussions about the Leadership Fire Standards are in progress following an October 2020 Board meeting. The Board agreed to an initial Leadership Fire Standard setting out what a well led fire and rescue services looks like and work on this Fire Standard is due to commence shortly. Phase two will include a further Fire Standard which will be more focussed on developing leaders.
Development work on Fire Standards for Protection and Prevention have commenced. A successful workshop with a newly established Protection working group took place in early November 2020. A Fire Standard which sets out what a good Fire Protection function looks like is currently in development and a number of subsequent Fire Standards are currently being scoped for a phase 2 delivery. The Prevention Fire Standard is following a similar process with a workshop due to be held in early December 2020 with a newly established Prevention working group.
Work to begin scoping a phase two delivery plan for 2021/22 is underway and a draft plan will be presented to the Board in December 2020.
Regular meetings are being held between the Fire Standards Board Chairs and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to ensure the Fire Standards will be integrated into their inspection frameworks for inspections in 2021. A Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the relationship between the Fire Standards Board and HMICFRS has been signed and will be published shortly.
Overall timeline for progression of the Fire Standards in delivery phase 1:
- Four Fire Standards (Emergency Response Driver Training, Operational Response – Preparedness, Competence and Learning) are on track to be signed off by the Board by the end of 2020 (subject to the results of their respective consultations) and then quality assurance carried out before final approval and publication in early 2021.
- Two Fire Standards (CRMP and Code of Ethics) are due to be signed off by the Board in early 2021 and (subject to the results of their respective consultations) and then quality assurance carried out before final approval and publication in early 2021.
- Two Fire Standards (Fire Protection and Prevention) are in Stage 1 (scoping and timelines) but subject to the results of their respective consultations, are still on track to be presented for sign off by the Board before the end of the financial year in March 2021 followed by approval and publication in May 2021.