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Our HMI communications 27 May

Corporate Assurance team have begun planning preparations for HMICFRS inspection 2021/2022, building upon the positive HMICFRS findings from the COVID-19 inspection, and with further details provided in the next addition of Siren. 

Though the Service are yet to receive an official inspection date, we are allocated into Tranche 2. The current expectation is that we will be subject to inspection later this year or the early part of 2022. As soon as an official date is provided by HMICFRS this will be communicated.

To keep everyone up to date with preparations in the meantime regular communications will be provided in the coming weeks and months, regarding the inspection, service improvement plans and opportunities for staff to get involved and have a voice.

Inspection Overview

HMI assess each FRS, giving graded judgments for the three principal areas in the inspection methodology of Effectiveness, Efficiency, and People. The categories of graded judgment are, outstanding; good; requires improvement; and inadequate. The three pillar level judgments will provide the public (and services) with a clear and succinct summary of their findings and will promote improvements where necessary. 

They are not intended to prescribe specific standards or to be exhaustive lists of how HMI expect FRSs to perform at these levels. They are designed to be characteristic of these levels.

The judgment criteria take account of existing National Operational Guidance. HMI will have regard to existing standards and new standards as they are agreed and adopted when assessing fire and rescue services.

3 Pillars

HMICFRS assessment of effectiveness will continue to consider how well each fire and rescue service is performing its principal functions of preventing fires happening, ensuring the public is kept safe through the regulation of fire safety, and responding to emergency incidents. During the second cycle of inspections HMICFRS will provide the public with more clarity on how well fire and rescue services are prepared to respond to major incidents with other fire services and agencies.

HMICFRS assessment of efficiency will now make a clearer distinction between the way each fire and rescue service uses its resources to manage its current risks, and how well it is securing an affordable way of managing its risks in the future. New questions have been added which focus on whether a service can demonstrate what savings it has made, the effect of these on its operational performance, and whether its use of reserves is sustainable.

HMICFRS assessment of how each fire and rescue service looks after its people will remain focused on the leadership at all levels in the organisation, including training, diversity, values and culture. The question sets have been altered slightly to reflect an additional focus on the behaviours within the workforce, and to also consider individuals’ career pathways.

Principal Question Inspection Focus
How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?  How well the fire and rescue service understands its current and future risks, works to prevent fires and other risks, protects the public through the regulation of fire safety, and responds to fires and other emergencies, including major and multi-agency incidents.   
How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks?   How well the fire and rescue service uses its resources to manage risk, and secures an affordable way of providing its service, now and in the future   
How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?     How well the fire and rescue service promotes its values and culture, trains its staff and ensures that they have the necessary skills, ensures fairness and diversity for its workforce, and develops leaders.           









Service Improvement Plan

Created and implemented a Service Improvement Plan initially informed against the improvement themes identified by HMICFRS during the Services 2018 inspection. Further details of progression made against the plan will be detailed in the next edition of Siren.