In July 2017, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary extended its remit to include inspections of England’s fire and rescue service. Now Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), it assesses and makes graded judgments against each of the 45 fire and rescue services in England.
The inspection programme has been approved by the Home Secretary; it is designed to promote improvements across FRSs, and will include an assessment of:
- the operational service provided to the public (including prevention, protection and response);
- the efficiency of the Service (how well it provides value for money, allocates resources to match risk, and collaborates with other emergency services); and
- how well the Service looks after its people (how well it promotes its values and culture, trains its staff and ensures they have the necessary skills, ensures fairness and diversity for the workforce, and develops leadership and service capability).
The categories of graded judgment are:
- Requires improvement; and
Good is the ‘expected’ graded judgment and is based on policy, practice or performance that meets pre-defined grading criteria that are informed by any relevant national operational guidance or standards. If the policy, practice or performance exceeds what is expected for good, then consideration will be given to a graded judgment of outstanding. If there are shortcomings in the policy, practice or performance of the FRS, then consideration will be given to a graded judgment of requires improvement. If there are serious critical failings of policy, practice or performance of the FRS, then consideration will be given to a graded judgment of inadequate.
Further information on the inspection process can be found at www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/fire-and-rescue-services/fire-rescue-services-fire