General

Do you have any assistive technologies in place to help with accessibility?

Yes, we have developed the website to meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards and have installed BrowseAloud to provide the speech, reading and translation support tools you require. Check out our Accessibility page for more information on how this tool works.

What is BrowseAloud?

Browsealoud adds speech, reading, and translation support tools to websites.  Browsealoud makes online content more accessible for people with Dyslexia, Low Literacy, English as a Second Language, and those with mild visual impairments.

Features include:

  • dual-colour highlighting
  • text magnification
  • translation
  • MP3 maker
  • screen masking
  • pronunciation modifier
  • secure site reading
  • PDF reading
  • international languages

How do I get BrowseAloud?

 Click on the BrowseAloud image in the top right of this website to launch BrowseAloud.

 

Can I copy and share the information, diagrams and content of the website?

Yes. The content was written by the fire and rescue service, for the fire and rescue service. You can use it however you wish, though please be aware that the content could be updated at any time, so as soon you print or transfer the content onto another/offline platform it is potentially out of date.

Be sure to bookmark items of interest to your NOG profile to ensure you are always kept up to date with any changes.

All content on ukfrs.com is open source and subject to an Open Government licence

Community Risk Programme

What is a risk management plan?

In 2003, following an independent review (the Bain report) the government made it mandatory on all fire and rescue services (FRSs) to produce an integrated risk management plan or Risk Management Plan in Scotland (the abbreviation ‘(I)RMP’ will be used to be inclusive of the chosen title used in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland).  

(I)RMPs are long term plans based on an assessment of all existing and potential risks to life and injury to the community such as risk of fire or road traffic collisions, by analysing a wide of range data. These evidence-based plans are used to help produce a service plan to meet local needs, reduce or mitigate risk. So (I)RMPs inform service priorities, plans, resourcing and much more. (I)RMPs are also used to inform and defend decision making and allocate funding. 

Why did the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) establish the Community Risk Programme (CRP)?

The programme will deliver NFCC’s strategic commitment to bring improvement in risk management planning. The strategic commitment states: 

‘NFCC will work with FRSs to ensure that Risk Assessments align to a national definition of risk, supporting the development of risk assessment methodologies which allow a consistent risk based approach to risk management planning, enables FRSs to focus its resources on activities where they will have the greatest impact on reducing risk and vulnerability within their communities.’ 

There is a lot of variation across the UK in how this is done – how risk is assessed, managed and planned for. There is currently no sector endorsed toolkit or any fire standards to support this process. 

What was the purpose of the independent research commissioned by the programme?

The CRP Board commissioned Nottingham Trent University to carry out an independent review of the current state of risk management planning across the UK FRS. The report collected data from 43 UK FRSs, covering all governance models of fire service. The analysis provided for the first time, a benchmark for FRS risk management planning. It provided a picture of what is currently happening. The report identified good practice and gaps in practice in the UK FRS. 

Based on its research and analysis, the report made several recommendations to improve risk management planning in the UK FRS.  

The eight projects agreed by the CRP Board were reached from the report’s evidence-based recommendations. 

https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/CRP 

What is the programme's vision?

The programme’s vision is: 

"To be the evidence-based digital toolkit for assessing UK fire and rescue service-related risk and vulnerability to improve the safety, health, well-being and economic prosperity of communities." 

The digital toolkit will be a set of standardised tools for FRSs to support consistent identification, assessment and mitigation strategies for community risks. 

The digital toolkit will be relevant to and accessible by all UK FRSs and will bring many improvements to services and benefits for communities. The toolkit will still provide local flexibility for FRSs when developing their service risk management plans. 

The programme aims to deliver eight projects – read more about these below. 

What was the purpose of the independent research commissioned by the programme?

The CRP Board commissioned Nottingham Trent University to carry out an independent review of the current state of risk management planning across the UK FRS. The report collected data from 43 UK FRSs, covering all governance models of fire service. The analysis provided for the first time, a benchmark for FRS risk management planning. It provided a picture of what is currently happening. The report identified good practice and gaps in practice in the UK FRS. 

Based on its research and analysis, the report made several recommendations to improve risk management planning in the UK FRS.  

The eight projects agreed by the CRP Board were reached from the report’s evidence-based recommendations. 

https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/CRP 

Who is the programme working with to deliver its vision?

We recognise that we cannot achieve the programme’s ambitious objectives alone. The programme therefore has a wide range of stakeholders: 

  • UK FRSs: single points of contact in services; 
  • Government: Home Office, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Fire Services Management Committee (FSMC) - all provide representatives to engage with our work; 
  • The Fire Brigades’ Union – closely engaged in the work of the programme; 
  • Strategic Engagement Forum which is made up of a number of fire sector organisations and partners including government, devolved administrations, academics, fire training providers, police and representative bodies; 
  • Technical working group (TWG) – made up of FRS experts in risk; 
  • Subject matter experts (SME) – a group of experts and academics in fire and rescue related work, from outside the fire service.  

How does the programme communicate with stakeholders?

We produce a briefing every quarter to update our stakeholders on developments in the programme. We also have dedicated groups on Workplace to engage with FRS colleagues. One group is made up of a single point of contact from FRSs, where they can collaborate with the programme, share information and help shape its future direction. 

The CRP programme executive and programme manager provide updates at NFCC committee meetings and stakeholder meetings such as the Strategic Engagement Forum and the Fire Services Management Committee (FSMC) meetings. The programme executive and programme manager also meet quarterly with our formal stakeholders at the Home Office, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, the Fire Brigades Union and FSMC.

How does this work align to the work of HMICFRS?

The role of HMICFRS is to inspect FRSs. The findings of the HMICFRS tranche 1 and 2 inspection reports agree with the findings of the independent review carried out by Nottingham Trent University for the programme. In its tranche 2 report the HMICFRS committed to delivering a national definition of risk by December 2020. 

The first State of Fire and Rescue report was published by HMICFRS on 15 January 2020. The report, written by the Chief Inspector, is the culmination of the independent inspections carried out across all English fire and rescues services (FRSs) in 2019.

The report makes many references to risk and (I)RMPs with findings such as; an 'inconsistent approach to identify risk' and 'inconsistent use of IRMPs' in services.  The report echoes the findings of the independent review commissioned by the CRP programme board and highlights the need for improvement in this area.

Reference is also made in the report to the work of the CRP, demonstrating the importance of the programme’s work for FRSs and our communities.

The CRP and HMICFRS have some common goals and objectives, and we are working together in achieving these improvements for the UK FRS and our communities. 

What benefits will improved (I)RMPs bring for FRSs and their communities?

Ultimately, FRSs will be able to reduce risk and vulnerability in communities, through: 

  • better targeted services; 
  • more efficient & effective services; 
  • national consistency - this will help to identify collaborative opportunities with our partners and support FRS contributions to national processes; 
  • creating future focused risk management plans; 
  • better informed & defendable decision making; 
  • building trust and confidence of FRS staff and communities; 

What will be the outcomes of the programme and its projects?

Projects 

Product

Definition of risk  

Glossary of definitions for application to risk/(I)RMP. 

(I)RMP guidance (2 phases)   

Comprehensive quality assured risk management guidance. 

Library of up-to-date guidance and detailed examples of good practice 

The Economic Value of the Fire Service 

Updated Economic Cost of Fire document, Value of the FRS report. 

Data projects 

A national database of existing FRS data (e.g. incident data).  

A quality assurance process to quality assure existing FRS data and external data 

Evaluation (methodologies) 

Established evidence base of evaluation methodologies -a ‘sector intelligence model’. 

Competencies for risk management planners   

Risk management to become a required competency, minimum standards for competencies of risk management planners.   

Evaluation for fire interventions 

Establishment of sector intelligence model for evaluation methodology 

Risk assessment methodologies /interventions  

Evidence base of valid risk management methodologies 


The final product will be a digital toolkit, flexible enough to be utilised by all UK FRSs, comprised of the above outputs of all projects. 

Many of these products will also need to be maintained to remain current and relevant, this will require ongoing work. 

For more information on projects, visit: https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Projects

What will the digital toolkit look like?

The toolkit will be made up of the products of each of the CRP projects which will be designed to focus on the various core components of (I)RMPs. It will predominantly be digital in nature, with UK FRSs adopting the ‘tools’ contained within the toolkit as required. The tools will support services through the phases of the community risk assessment process. The end result will be greater consistency across the sector when producing (I)RMPs, whilst still allowing FRSs some flexibility based on local needs when developing their plans.  

 The digital nature of the toolkit will ensure that it can be updated more easily to reflect a changing sector as and when new good practice comes to ligh

This sounds like a lot of work, when will the digital toolkit be available?

The projects will commence at different times, this is partly due to interdependencies between some projects but also due to funding. However, we will publish the outputs from projects as they are produced before the final toolkit can be created. 

How can I get involved?

If you feel you have something to offer the Programme and would like to be involved in our work, please contact the Programme Team by emailing: communityriskprogramme@nationalfirechiefs.org.uk

National Operational Guidance

What is National Operational Guidance and why do we need it?

National Operational Guidance (NOG) is the foundation for developing operational policies, procedures and training for firefighters to deal with incidents effectively and safely. It is 'industry good practice' for everybody in fire and rescue services to draw on.

As its name suggests, National Operational Guidance is:

National: It can be adopted across the UK and is available for individual fire and rescue services to consider its implications on their own policies, procedures and training. Some of the guidance may not be relevant to all fire and rescue services as this will depend on the range and scope of services the fire authority has agreed will be provided, usually through its risk management plan. 

Operational: National Operational Guidance only applies to working practices at operational incidents. It doesn't cover corporate policy guidance, equipment, technical notes or fire safety. It describes the activities, hazards and control measures that need to be considered at incidents.  The control measures describe what should be considered and included in each fire and rescue service's operational policies (strategic actions) and it also includes possible actions for firefighters and officers to consider at incidents (tactical actions). This informs each service's operational policies, procedures and training, bringing consistency across the UK. 

Guidance: It builds on the legacy of previously adopted guidance and includes the most up-to-date thinking from subject matter experts from both inside and outside of the fire service. It has been scrutinised and approved through a rigorous peer-review process.

National Operational Guidance simplifies the development of policies and procedures in fire and rescue services. 

Every fire and rescue service is obliged to carry out its own risk assessments and identify appropriate control measures to protect its staff and communities. The risks in different services are often very similar or identical. 

National work to identify hazards and control measures closely aligns to local risks and complete adoption of National Operational Guidance will often be possible. Having a national, high quality product to draw on improves the quality of service delivery and saves a lot of time and money when different services are doing broadly the same thing.

It is also much clearer to those outside the service (including coroners or those responsible for matters such as public inquiries) that the service has a sound body of intelligence and good practice on which its activities are based. They will base their expectations of the service on National Operational Guidance and will expect it to have been appropriately considered. 

How was NOG produced and how is it governed?

London Fire Brigade, the National Fire Chiefs Council and the Local Government Association worked together to develop a programme of guidance to replace the existing manuals and bulletins. 

A Strategy Board comprised of representatives from each organisation that oversaw the programme agreed the new guidance (central government is now represented by the Home Office).  

A high-level stakeholder group with representatives from across the services in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) as well as the fire sector, such as the trades unions and professional associations debated every new piece of guidance and made recommendations to the Strategy Board. 

The programme team with representatives from across UK fire services was based at London Fire Brigade headquarters; it co-ordinates and completes the work on the Strategy Board's behalf. 

Principal officers from across UK fire and rescue services led guidance projects. Many of them are also the Chief Fire Officers Association's lead member for that area of work. The project teams were comprised of subject matter experts from both within and outside the service and each had a professional project manager in place. 

How is National Operational Guidance structured?

National Operational Guidance is structured in a single framework of all of the separate activities found at incidents and the hazards, knowledge and actions required to carry them out.

In the past, one of the problems of having individual guidance for particular types of incident was when the same actions were performed in different circumstances. If new guidelines were issued on how large cordons should be, then every piece of published guidance that included setting up a cordon had to be changed. And because they were published in writing, then every copy had to be changed too.  

Because the guidance is presented in an online database, all of the information relating to each activity is in only one place. Therefore, if it needs changing, it only needs to be done once.

https://www.ukfrs.com/nos

How do fire and rescue services record their actions to align with NOG?

A digital and dynamic strategic gap analysis tool is available to all services. This can be used by fire and rescue services to record their actions.

What will happen to old guidance now we have operational guidance?

The previous guidance, including manuals, Home Office publications, generic risk assessments, letters to chief fire Officers, information bulletins and other documents are now classed as 'legacy guidance' and can still be seen on this website. 

National Operational Guidance includes relevant material taken from the legacy catalogue. There is still a great deal of residual material that remains useful but is not appropriate for National Operational Guidance and there is other material that can be archived or deleted.

There is a project that is carrying out a detailed review of the old material.  Some of it will form part of training material, or foundation documents that support the new guidance. When this work is completed all the old material that is still relevant will have been categorised and its new location signposted.

Previous versions of National Operational Guidance, produced after September 2017, can be viewed using the Version History tool on the website. All National Operational Guidance prior to September 2017 can be accessed in the NOG archive section of the website.

What is a scenario and how do I use it?

A scenario is a compilation of tactical actions from National Operational Guidance relevant to a specific, or a number of similar incident types.  Scenarios are structured to support the decision-making process of incident commanders.  They are not intended to be a step-by-step instruction manual, replace local procedures or provide all the underpinning knowledge required by incident commanders.  Scenarios are aimed at supporting incident commanders regardless of their duty system, development and experience.

Tactical actions provide prompts for incident commanders to consider activities, hazards and control measures from National Operational Guidance.  All of the tactical actions will be linked to the knowledge about that activity, hazard or control measure in the National Operational Guidance.

Scenarios are based on good practice and developed in consultation with every fire and rescue service in the UK.  As lessons are learned from operational incidents guidance will be updated and any changes will be reflected in scenarios.

Scenarios can be used in any environment where components of National Operational Guidance might be applied to an incident.
These might include:

  • Initial firefighter and incident commander training
  • Continuing maintenance, development and assessment
  • Support caller interrogation by fire control
  • Influence decision making at operational incidents
  • Operational assurance and monitoring
  • Development of incident plans for specific sites
     

Was the development of scenarios influenced by Incident Command psychology research findings?

In dynamic situations incident commanders do not follow a linear decision-making sequence; research in this area resulted in the development of the Decision Control Process.  At some incidents, it may be practical to take actions without full situational awareness or having a plan for the resolution of the whole incident.

The scenario headings are structured around the Decision Control Process and draw on elements from the Joint Decision Model and National Operational Guidance.  This approach embeds the use of the Decision Control Process and JESIP in training and operations.

Scenarios are not intended to be viewed as a linear document and when viewed on ukfrs.com information can be accessed independently through any of the section headings.

A tactical action should be written in plain English, using active voice, and feature the key information at the beginning. They should include enough information to be clear and unambiguous about the intended meaning.

Scenarios are broken down into sections to keep the amount of information presented in line with an average person’s working memory.  Too much information can overload an incident commander and result in critical information being forgotten. The aim is to keep each list of tactical actions around 5-9 points.
 

What is the training framework and how does it link in the NOG programme?

The training framework allows trainers to create, commission and deliver training with ease. This will assist organisations and individuals to implement the guidance through training.

NOG should form the basis for operational training. The training specifications bridge the gap between guidance and training delivery. Together, these define the requirements for operational training and they have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards to provide a clear and comprehensive foundation. 

The framework is not prescriptive and only provides the content and syllabus for training delivery. The flexibility built into the framework allows fire and rescue services and other organisations to align their training arrangements so that training can be delivered in a method most appropriate for their employees. 

The training specifications within the framework are the new element currently being developed and are designed to provide learning outcomes for knowledge and understanding and practical application. This knowledge and understanding is based on hazard knowledge, control measure knowledge and any related foundation material and the practical applications are based on tactical actions. 

 

How can you help services to implement National Operational Guidance?

The central team has been working with services throughout the duration of the programme, and this work continues.  

The team has developed an easy to use model and process that reflects best practice for implementation of the guidance and also provides an ideal opportunity for both regional and national collaboration.

To address barriers to implementing guidance provided at a national level at a local level, the team held a number of regional workshops to share the best practice model and explain how it provides an effective and efficient approach to implementation. This has the flexibility to import local documents to address identified local needs.

Although there are significant advantages to this approach we do understand that not all services will want to follow this model. To ensure other needs are supported, we have collated and mapped ways in which implementation is being undertaken across the UK and will use this to support services that require a different process to implement NOG and maintain their guidance in the future. 

The Service Integration Tool will support services with implementation, it will provide access to NOG products and assist with the future maintenance of an individual service’s guidance framework and integrated local content.

The Business Change Team have gained extensive experience and knowledge in the process of implementation, understanding the difficulties experienced by services and is well placed to help and support services. 

Please contact engagement@ukfrs.com to speak to a member of the team about implementation of NOG or to arrange a visit. 
 

How will NOG support the implementation and integration of the Service Integration Tool into local FRS ICT departments?

The project team has worked closely with a cross-section of services to capture technical and user experience requirements and IT considerations to inform the specification for the Service Integration Tool. Services will have the opportunity to consult on this specification. 

The result of this work will be a core product that will be available for free for all fire and rescue services. A number of ICT integration options may be available, but each could have differing costs in terms of onboarding, support and maintenance that would need to be borne by each service. It will be up to the individual fire and rescue service to determine which integration option to take and our developers will work closely with your ICT teams to facilitate this.
 

National Operational Learning

What is National Operational Learning?

National Operational Learning is a process that captures operational learning from UK fire and rescue services and the wider international fire and rescue sector.

The process, which is both proactive and reactive, captures learning and checks it against the National Operational Guidance framework of hazards, control measures,  and strategic and tactical actions

Any gaps in the guidance are identified and, where necessary, content is consulted upon (utilising the existing NOG governance structure)  and amended.