New Chief Inspector of the fire service

Robert Scott appointed to lead HM Fire Service Inspectorate.

Robert Scott will take up post as the new HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

Mr Scott, a fire officer with almost 30 years of experience, has held the position of Assistant Chief Officer within SFRS for the last seven years of his service.  He then joined HM Fire Service Inspectorate (HMFSI) as an Associate Inspector in 2017 before leaving to set up his own company, offering specialist advice and support to both public and private sectors.

He formally takes over the role on 1 April from Simon Routh-Jones, who is due to retire at the end of March, after more than two years in post.

Announcing the appointment, Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said:

“I warmly welcome the appointment of Robert as Scotland’s Chief Inspector of our fire service. Robert has demonstrated that he has the right qualities to lead HMFSI in delivering a varied inspection programme going forward, which will help inform SFRS in its fundamental objective of keeping our communities safe. I look forward to working with Robert when he takes up his position.

“I would also like to record my sincere thanks to Mr Routh-Jones for his dedicated service as Chief Inspector and for his advice and counsel on a range of issues. He can be proud of the way he has promoted continuous improvement within the Service and I wish him all the very best in his retirement."

Mr Scott said: "It is a great honour to be appointed as HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. I look forward to building on the work of my predecessor and leading an established and highly professional team.

"It is the role of the Chief Inspector to provide independent and professional advice to Scottish Government and to ensure that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service continues to operate in an effective and efficient manner as it protects the communities of Scotland.

“I am delighted to have been asked to fulfil this role and I look forward to providing support, and appropriate challenge, to the Service as it continues on its journey of continuous improvement.”



Recruitment of the HMFSI Chief Inspector was carried out through a fair and open competition and in accordance to the Civil Service Commission's principles. This included robust assessment by a carefully selected and suitably qualified interview panel, who selected the successful candidate and recommended the appointment of Robert Scott to Ministers.


Mr Scott will take up his role on 1 April when he will be formally appointed via an Order in Council.

HMFSI is independent of the Scottish Government and SFRS and carries out independent inspections. The Inspectorate also provides independent advice to Ministers and has certain functions relating to non-domestic fire safety.

Robert Scott has served as a Fire Officer for almost 30 years and retired from the post of Assistant Chief Fire Officer at the SFRS in 2017.  He has held various strategic roles within the Service including Director of Strategic Planning, Performance and Communication and also Director of Service Delivery for the North of Scotland.    Mr Scott has attended and taken command roles at a wide range of emergency incidents ranging from major fires and special services to collapsed buildings and acts of terrorism.

In 2015 Mr Scott was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal for distinguished service.


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