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Desired outcome

A fire and rescue service that delivers excellence to the public by maximising the value of good quality and reliable data. It uses data to inform its key activities, contributing to a reduction in risk and improvements in community safety. Using insights from data, it makes evidence-based decisions, unlocking improved accessible ways of working and enabling employees to work effectively.

One whose senior leaders are accountable for the strategic approach the service takes to data management. Either independently or in collaboration, it establishes and invests in a data capability giving it the right technical skills and expertise, proportionate to the needs of the service.

Its approach to managing data is one that is ethical and brings about consistency. When it collects and receives data and maintains records, it does so in a secure, accurate, complete and auditable way which is proportionate to the service. Collaborating where appropriate, it shares data with the right people at the right time, providing data submissions and requests for data in a timely manner.

It has appropriate information and data governance in place to provide assurance of its data management practices, enabling it to comply with relevant legislation.

It stays informed of industry developments and emerging technologies and trends, enabling it to embrace innovation. As part of evaluating all that it does, it draws intelligence from data analysis to drive organisational learning and development. It maximises the value of its data by contributing to continued improvement at local, regional and national levels.



Business Area(s)

Data & Digital

Date approved
Date issued
Review date
Reference number

What is required to meet the fire standard

A fire and rescue service must:

  1. have a data governance framework or equivalent in place, and policies and procedures that includes, but is not limited to the following content:
    1. collection
    2. management (data and records)
    3. storage and retrieval
    4. disposal
    5. security
    6. protection
    7. publishing
    8. ethics
    9. sharing
    10. quality assurance and audit
  2. understand its data-related organisational risks and put in place controls to manage them;
  3. designate a senior leader who is responsible and accountable for developing and enacting the strategic approach to data management, within the service;
  4. have a nominated data owner(s), accountable for the quality, integrity, and protection of data and who are responsible for maintaining an accurate and complete information asset register;
  5. collaborate and partner with others, as and when appropriate;
  6. create a level of data literacy across the organisation, enabling employees to access and use data proportionate to their role;
  7. have tools and systems in place that enable it to collect, interpret and analyse data, converting that data into meaningful business intelligence, to allow it to:
    1. make data available and in an accessible format to those who need it, both internally and externally;
    2. inform the development and maintenance of its community risk management plan;
    3. remain compliant with legislation and recognised data standards for the public sector;
    4. provide national reporting and data submissions in line with government requirements and national data definitions, as and when they become available;
    5. operate and use its resources effectively;
    6. identify improvements to existing practices or to inform new ways of working;
    7. have effective business continuity and disaster recovery arrangements and processes;
    8. extract learning and identify trends or significant findings that might impact service delivery or the public directly and feed them into local, regional and national organisational learning arrangements and systems; and
    9. escalate issues locally, regionally or nationally, as and when required.
  8. recruit, train, develop and maintain a competent and technical data capability to enable it to interpret, analyse and exploit data, in line with its governance framework by:
    1. ensuring those that provide the data capability have relevant skills, knowledge and experience in line with NFCC and other data related competency frameworks;
    2. embedding the appropriate ethical codes of practice and conduct into local policies, procedures, tailored guidance, and training materials; and
    3. record and monitor the competence of those who work with data and who are directly employed by the service, and support their continued professional development.

A fire and rescue service should:

  1. present data and intelligence in a way that is meaningful for the intended audience;
  2. establish data sharing arrangements or agreements where beneficial to the community, to the service and others
  3. unlock improved and accessible ways of working and embrace innovation by:
    1. maximising opportunities gained from supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) network by sharing learning and experiences;
    2. identifying and accessing data outside of the service, which may enhance and contribute to continual improvement of service delivery; and
    3. staying informed of innovations in data technologies and trends.

A fire and rescue service may:

  1. explore opportunities to enhance its technical data capability by utilising advanced analytical techniques.

Expected benefits of achieving the fire standard

  1. better documented, high quality and robust local, regional and national data, used effectively to deliver improved:
    1. quality of service provided to the public;
    2. safety, health and wellbeing of both employees, volunteers and communities;
    3. trust in and reputation of the service;
    4. local, regional and national evidence-based reporting and data submissions;
    5. efficiencies in local processes; and
    6. resource management.
  2. enhanced professionalism and improving competency in the data capabilities in fire and rescue services
  3. improved consistency in approach to data management across fire and rescue services in England, contributing to improved collaboration, joint working and sharing of learning.

Guidance and supporting information

Glossary of terms


A collective term to describe the parties that may be pertinent to the activity described in the standard.

This might include both organisations or the employees and volunteers of those organisations such as, but not limited to, other fire and rescue services, partner organisations, other emergency responder agencies, stakeholders or members of a community.

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You Said, We did

If you have taken part in a consultation, you may be interested to read our post-consultation “You said, we did” report to see how your feedback has shaped this Fire Standard.

Data Management Fire Standard

Note Please contact the Fire Standards team within the NFCC for any queries or support with regards to this Fire Standard [email protected]

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