Review of Current Practice
FSEC is the current toolkit available for risk management. The first set of questions focused on the current usefulness in risk management. The first question explored historical engagement in whether the FRS had ever used the FSEC toolkit. From this, 36 FRSs responded that they had used the toolkit, while 6 FRSs reported never having used the FSEC.
The next question asked how much FRSs still use FSEC in risk management. Figure 5 shows that 19 FRSs report not using the toolkit at all, while a further 7 did not respond. While two FRSs report using the toolkit very frequently, it is evident that the toolkit plays a very small role in current community risk management.
Figure 5. The extent to which FRSs report still using FSEC in risk management.
Finally, we also asked how much use FRSs currently get from the toolkit. This is distinct from frequency of use in that the toolkit might be used frequently, but that it contributes very little to risk management. Figure 6 shows how useful the toolkit currently is. This reveals that only four FRSs feel they get some, often, or significant use from the toolkit.
Together, these results suggest that the toolkit in its current form is not providing a resource that is deemed useful enough to use.
Figure 6. The extent of the usefulness of the FSEC toolkit in community risk management.
We asked FRSs what parts of the toolkit are no longer meeting services’ needs. However, because the majority of FRSs get so little use from the toolkit at present, the results from these responses did not yield useful detail. The pertinent finding is that almost all services make only marginal use of the FSEC, or no use at all. This further supports the proposition that it needs some sort of replacement. Given the infrequent use of the FSEC currently, and indeed the finding that some FRSs have never used the toolkit, it is important that any replacement is not only useful, but is also usable (i.e. any people who need to use it are able to use it), and used (i.e. it is beneficial for FRSs to use the toolkit, so they do use it).
It currently has limited use and it appears to have been superseded. There could be a positive reason for this, in that services are finding better datasets and techniques. Alternatively, it could be that they have stopped doing some of the analysis that was formerly possible with the previous toolkit. The final possibility is that changes in organisational structure have resulted in organisational memory loss.
Even if the current responses reflect the positive interpretation, with no national guidelines, benchmarks or comparisons, we are likely to find increasing variety and variability in the tools and techniques currently being used.