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Control measure
Establish an assurance process

Control measure knowledge

Operational assurance deals with the effectiveness of fire and rescue service arrangements for implementing policies, procedures, guidance, hazard and risk assessments. Observation can enable fire and rescue services to maintain and improve their ability to manage such operational risks, by learning through audits, monitoring and performance reviews.

Auditing is specific in that it is a structured process for collecting information and data on the efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of operational information. Auditing should define the areas to be covered and the benchmarks against which the information will be measured.

The policy should include:

  • Preventing injury and ill health of firefighters and other emergency responders
  • Managing and mitigating risks in the community
  • Continual improvement in providing accurate, relevant and timely operational information
  • Complying with the legal duties of fire and rescue authorities in relation to operational risk information
  • Complying with formal guidance and 'best practice' models
  • Audit and review mechanisms

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Plan audits to determine whether the system has been properly implemented and maintained and is effective in meeting the organisation's policy and objectives. Periodic audit is a useful means to enable a deeper and more critical appraisal of the elements of the operational risk information system.
  • Review the results of the audit to support continual improvement and to address weaknesses in the policy or organisation
  • Consider independent third party audit and validation to ensure a robust review programme
  • Design the assurance audit process to understand the responsibilities and risks faced by a fire and rescue service
  • Assess the level of control exercised by management
  • Identify, with management participation, opportunities for improvement
  • Provide senior managers of the service with an understanding of the degree to which management has achieved its responsibilities and has put in place systems that reduce the risks associated with the operation of a fire and rescue service, including:

    • Reliability and integrity of operational information
    • Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
    • Safeguarding of assets and data
    • Compliance with laws, regulations and contracts

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Compile and secure all incident command paperwork (e.g. analytical risk assessment and decision logs)