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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC


This Community Risk Programme guidance has been prepared in support of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) being enabled to deliver more consistent consultation and engagement activities The guidance supports both decision-makers and those undertaking engagement and consultation in their efforts to involve employees, impacted groups, local communities, and key stakeholders, and offers practical ideas for those planning for a public consultation and stakeholder engagement.   

The guidance builds upon the Fire and Rescue National Framework , which states that each plan should “reflect effective consultation throughout its development and at all review stages with the community, its workforce, and representative bodies and partners; and be easily accessible and publicly available”.

It is recognised that many FRSs already have designed and implemented engagement and consultation activities, and in some cases, these are required to operate within specific local governance structures. Therefore, this guidance has been developed with these differences in mind and offers modular support for both senior managers with responsibility for oversight and assurance activities, and practical guidance for teams responsible for delivery. 

This is not designed to be regulatory guidance but instead, is a suite of advisory options and tools for use when a FRS is developing plans for their engagement regarding their Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) and for any associated minimal or significant service change proposals. 

Created in collaboration with The Consultation Institute (tCI), the UK-based Institute that sets best practice standards in public engagement and consultation, this guidance aims to provide practical guidance on how to approach, plan, and deliver stakeholder engagement and public consultation programmes to a more consistent standard. 

In using this guidance, it is important to reflect on the purpose and objective of consultation:

“Consultation is the dynamic process of dialogue between individuals or groups, based upon a genuine exchange of views, with the objective of influencing decisions, policies or programmes of action.” - The Consultation Institute

Consultation should therefore be viewed as an activity that adds value to and supports the CRMP. If undertaken to appropriate standards, consultation can help to create a better understanding of the needs of local communities and stakeholders that the FRS is seeking to support, and through a genuine exchange of views should help to create a CRMP that is more closely aligned to these needs.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER:  tCI does not provide legal advice. This guidance has been prepared for the NFCC as a summary of the issues to consider when planning for and implementing a consultation.   

When conducting consultation, it is strongly recommended that independent legal advice should always be sought to ensure that any issues that have been appropriately identified and mitigated, and are dealt with in an appropriate manner.