New Fire Standards now published

The new operational response guide has now been launched. This has been developed by the NFCC to help services implement National Operational Guidance which in turn help with achieving the Fire Standards. 

I am delighted that before I step down as NFCC Chair the first Fire Standards for fire and rescue services in England have been published on They include:

  • Emergency Response Driving Fire Standard Video
  • Operational Response Fire standards Video
  • Operational Preparedness
  • Operational Competence
  • Operational Learning

I championed the importance of having Fire Standards developed “by the services for the services” when the Fire Standards Board became established – just as we did with National Operational Guidance.

Having sat on the Fire Standards Board for the last two years, it is gratifying to see the results of the hard work we have undertaken to get to this point.

These Fire Standards mark an important moment for fire and rescue services in England and I know that many of my colleagues welcome their arrival. They will be used by HMICFRS as the basis of future inspection judgements and they will bring a measurable level of expectation of approach across the country, which is welcome. Not only will they enhance the professionalism of our services; they will help drive continuous improvement in our sector which is at the heart of the NFCC’s strategy. Importantly they will give assurance to our local communities.

We hope that many services will be closer to achieving them than they think. Yet, wherever services are on the journey, the NFCC aims to do all it can to support services in achieving them.

Much of our work involves developing the national guidance that underpins the Fire Standards such as the NFCC Emergency Response Driver and Instructor Framework that underpins the Emergency Response Driving Fire Standard; or the National Operational Guidance that is at the heart of the Operational Response Standards.

In response to services requests, we have produced an online operational response implementation guide soon to be available on . This will help services with the implementation of National Operational Guidance and in turn achieve the Fire Standards.

Working on the Board with the Local Government Association, the Association of Police Crime Commissioners, and the Home Office, we all agreed the important thing was to aim the Fire Standards at organisation level and to be outcome focussed. We want to see standard expectation of service level whilst allowing services flexibility in how they approach that locally and without stifling innovation.

The aim is that the standards are produced following the successful model used before - by the services for the services. It’s very important all services contribute and have their say which they can do through the consultation that takes place for each standard.

I hope services take the necessary steps in order to achieve the Fire Standards as they are published for the benefit of their service, their teams and the communities they serve. Further Standards are in the pipeline firstly with the Community Risk Management Planning Fire Standard followed by the Code of Ethics Fire Standard and then Prevention and Fire Protection in the Spring.

If you want to know more or get involved in the consultation of future Fire Standards - visit the Fire Standards Board website or follow them on social media using any of the channels below.

You can expect more Fire Standards to follow over the coming months and the new NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham, will be taking his seat at the Board from April 2021.




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