Primary Authority allows your business to form a legal partnership with a local authority (known as the primary authority). Your primary authority can provide you with consistent regulatory advice that makes it simpler and easier to comply with environmental health, trading standards and fire safety legislation. Other enforcing authorities must respect this advice when regulating your business.
Participating in primary authority can give your business greater confidence in your regulated activities and reduce your risk of contravening legislation. Primary authority can also help businesses that operate as part of a group, such as franchises or members of a trade association. Primary authority partnerships can cut time and red tape offering your business the opportunity to be regulated in a new way.
Under the scheme, your business can form a legally recognised partnership with a single local authority or Fire & Rescue Service to obtain robust and reliable regulatory advice which other local authorities must take into account in their dealings with you, promoting consistency and fairness.
If a primary authority gives your organisation assured advice, this means that – provided that you abide by the advice you are given – you won’t need to follow conflicting advice from other sources. Your business should be protected against the risk of enforcement action from other enforcing authorities who might have different views on what you should be doing to achieve compliance.
Your primary authority can provide you with an inspection plan that will govern the way your business is inspected by enforcing officers from any local authority.
Further information is available on the Primary Authority website – Primary Authority Guidance for Businesses
How can Primary Authority benefit your business?
The benefits that partnerships aim to deliver include:
- Expertise – the Primary Authority develops expertise on your business and provides useful, authoritative and reliable advice fire safety on compliance.
- Understanding – the Primary Authority can help other local authorities to better understand the challenges that your business faces, and how you aim to comply with legislation.
- Reassurance – improving confidence in the measures you are taking to comply with fire safety regulations.
- Savings – reducing the burden and costs of complying with regulations.
Our Primary Authority Partnerships are proving to be a great success. They enable us to work proactively with business to provide Fire Safety advice in a way that gives assurance for both partners. This can increase business confidence and reduce the costs associated with regulatory compliance.
We are currently in direct partnerships with the following organisations:
- Aster Group
- Colten Care
- Oak Furnitureland
- Selwood Housing
- Magna Housing
- Hall & Woodhouse
We would be delighted to discuss the benefits of the partnerships for you and your business, so please come and talk to us if you are interested in joining the scheme, or even if you would just like to find out a little more.
DWFRS recently formed a Primary Authority Partnership with Magna Housing. Ian Partington (project manager, Magna Housing) said: “We have worked hard to achieve a formal partnership with DWFRS through detailed auditing of our properties and fire safety processes to make sure all of our fire safety policies and procedures are robust enough to meet the requirements of the current legislation. We hope that this partnership will build on the strong relationship we already have with the DWFRS and support us to continually deliver and provide safe homes for our residents across all of our core operating areas.”
How much will Primary Authority cost my business?
A Primary Authority is entitled to recover its costs for developing and providing Primary Authority Advice, and for other work that it does to support a partnership under the scheme. However, it is not able to make a profit from these activities. The cost of joining the scheme will be dependent on how much work is done within your partnership.
Many businesses have found that covering the costs of a primary authority is cheaper than paying for regulatory advice from other sources – and brings benefits that can’t be obtained elsewhere.
For more information about Primary Authority Partnerships, please contact us on 01722 691717 or email [email protected]