News

24-06-21

New Fire Standard to bring consistency to Community Risk Management Planning

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) welcomes the launch of the Community Risk Management Planning Fire Standard.

Published by the Fire Standards Board, the Fire Standard aims to bring consistency to the way Community Risk Management Plans - a statutory requirement for fire and rescue services since 2004 - are developed and used.  These plans, also known as Integrated Risk Management Plans, outline how services will use staff and resources to keep communities safe from fire and other fire service-related risks.

The Fire Standard will provide a framework for the work of the NFCC’s Community Risk Programme (CRP) which is developing a set of standardised tools and guidance to support fire and rescue services when developing their Community Risk Management Plans.

NFCC established the Programme to deliver part of its strategic commitment to reducing community risk and vulnerability.

The outcomes of an independent review in 2019 into how fire and rescue services are developing these plans provided, for the first time, a benchmark of what is being done at a local level.  Findings from the review commissioned by the programme board, showed that there was much variation in how these plans were being developed and used across the UK.

With existing guidance on how to produce these plans being mostly outdated, researchers from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) recommended the creation of a sector endorsed toolkit that could be applicable by all UK fire and rescue services regardless of their size, structure or geography. 43 UK services took part in the review, which highlighted gaps, good practice and areas for improvement for the Community Risk Programme to base its work on.

NFCC Chair Mark Hardingham said: “I’m pleased to see the launch of the Community Risk Management Planning Fire Standard which will provide the framework for the tools and guidance being produced by the NFCC’s Community Risk Programme. These tools are being developed with UK fire and rescue services and will support them in achieving the Fire Standard.

“NFCC recognised the need for improvement in the approach to Community Risk Management Planning nationally; this was then echoed in the findings of HMICFRS’s first tranche of inspections of English fire and rescue services.

"Standardised tools based on evidence and research will assist services in focusing resources on activities where they will have the greatest impact on reducing and mitigating risk and vulnerability in their communities.”

CRP Programme Executive Phil Loach added: “The Community Risk Programme has already released some initial tools such as the national definition of risk and risk concept model, with fire and rescue services telling us they are keen to access more.  These will be delivered as and when they are complete – rather than waiting for the full suite to be produced - to allow services to implement the tools into business as usual as efficiently and effectively as possible.

“A consistent approach to community risk management through standardised tools and guidance will help services in their collaboration with partners and support fire authorities in justifying decision-making to their communities.  The resulting benefits to communities of this is clear.”

The Community Risk Programme currently has five live projects with further projects due to commence in the next 12 months.  The programme’s final product, a digital toolkit, will be comprised of the products of all its projects to date.

Notes:

The Community Risk Management Planning Fire Standard can be found here: Community Risk Management Planning | Fire Standards Board

Further information about CRP products including the Nottingham Trent University review can be found here: Community Risk | NFCC CPO (ukfrs.com)

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