HM Fire Service Inspectorate: guide to information

Details about the information that we publish, in what form it is published, details of any charges for providing the information, fire safety safety disputes and how to access other information held by Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate.

Terms used

  • EIRs - the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
  • FOISA - the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
  • Guide to information - a guide that every public authority adopting the MPS must produce to help people access the information it makes available
  • HMFSI - Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate
  • MPS - the Model Publication Scheme


The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) requires Scottish public authorities to adopt and maintain a publication scheme. Authorities are under a legal obligation to: 

  • publish the classes of information that they make routinely available
  • tell the public how to access the information they publish and whether information is available free of charge or on payment 

In addition, the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) require authorities to publish environmental information proactively.

The duty to publish is in addition to our obligation to respond to requests for information.

The Scottish Information Commissioner has produced a model publication scheme to support public authorities in meeting their publication duties under FOISA and EIRs. We have adopted the Scottish Information Commissioner’s model publication scheme (MPS) as our publication scheme. The 2018 MPS can be accessed on the Scottish Information Commissioners website.

Our guide to information

This guidance sets out: 

  • the information we publish 
  • how to access it 
  • whether there is a charge for it
  • how to get help to access information

What we publish 

Once published, information will be available for the current and previous two financial years. Where information has been updated or superseded, only the current version may be available (previous versions may be requested from us).

We publish information that we hold which falls within the following classes. 

Class 1: about HM Fire Service Inspectorate (HMFSI)

Class description: information about the authority, who we are, where to find us, how to contact us, how we are managed and our external relations

The post of Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was substantively established on 1 April 2013, replacing the post of Chief Inspector of Fire and Rescue Authorities.

The Chief Inspector, Mr Robert Scott, appointed under Section 43A of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 is head of HMFSI in Scotland. The HMFSI establishment includes four Assistant Inspectors, one Inspection Support Officer and two corporate administration staff. Other staff are seconded in to the Inspectorate when required.

HMFSI’s main function from April 2013 is the scrutiny of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. This function is performed in conjunction with other agencies and public bodies, where appropriate, to promote efficiency, co-operation and co-ordination.

Contact details and office opening hours

The contact details provided in this section can be used for all enquiries and/or requests for information.

HM Fire Service Inspectorate
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road

Telephone:  +44 (0)131 244 3275


We are contactable Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00.

Class 2: how we deliver our functions and services

Class description: information about our work, our strategies and policies for delivering our functions and services and information for our service users.

Our current work priorities are listed on our website.

Under section 43F of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, the Chief Inspector must prepare a plan setting out:-

(a) Priorities for Inquiries to be carried out; and
(b) Information on how Inquiries will be carried out in a way which is proportionate, accountable and transparent.

The Chief Inspector must also keep the plan under review and may from time to time revise the plan.  While preparing the initial plan or revising subsequent versions, the Chief Inspector will consult such persons that are considered appropriate. This plan will be published on our website at the link above.

Fire safety disputes

The Chief Inspector is the authority which deals with fire safety disputes in Scotland referred under Section 67 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.

Information on the procedure and how to submit an application is contained in our Dispute Determination Procedural Note which is relevant to cases where the dispute is between a duty holder and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The outcome of issued determinations, including the reasoning behind the decision are made available on our website.

Read general information on the fire safety legislation.

Issued Determinations since 2013

HMFSI Dispute Determination 01/2018

Class 3: how we take decisions and what we have decided

Class description: information about the decisions we take, how we make decisions and how we involve others.

HMFSI actively publishes this information through reports which are written for every Inquiry/Inspection we undertake. These reports which are published on our website at HM Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland: reports explain the decision making process and the decisions made based on the information gathered and analysed. These reports also detail who was involved in the decision making process.

Class 4: what we spend and how we spend it

Class description: Information about our strategy for, and management of, financial resources (in sufficient detail to explain how we plan to spend public money and what has actually been spent).

HMFSI’s budget allocation is determined by Scottish Government. As the main function of the Inspectorate is the scrutiny of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, our spend is based around providing the appropriate staffing and other resources needed to facilitate the inspections set out in our Inspection Plan.

Class 5: how we manage our human, physical and information resources

Class description: Information about how we manage our human, physical and information resources.

HMFSI uses the Scottish Government’s Human Resource, Information Technology and Data Asset Management systems and further details of these can be found on the Scottish Government Publication Scheme.

Class 6: how we procure goods and services from external providers

Class description: Information about how we procure goods and services, and our contracts with external providers.

HMFSI procures goods and services using the Scottish Government’s electronic procurement, travel and accommodation systems. Seconded staff are recruited through a targeted open and fair selection process. Secondment opportunities are advertised through the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. 

Class 7: how we are performing

Class description: Information about how we perform as an organisation, and how well we deliver our functions and services.

Any reports produced relating to the performance of HMFSI will be published on our website and provided to Scottish Ministers, and where appropriate will also be provided to the Scottish Parliament.  

Class 8: our commercial publications

Class description: Information packaged and made available for sale on a commercial basis and sold at market value through a retail outlet e.g., bookshop, museum or research journal.

HMFSI does not sell any information on a commercial basis. If any charges are applied, they are on a cost recovery basis only.

Class 9: our open data

Class description: The open data we make available as described by the Scottish Government’s Open Data Strategy and Resource Pack, available under an open licence.

The concept of ‘open data’ is that non-commercially sensitive and non-personal public sector information should be open and available for others to re-use.

However, HMFSI does not currently create or hold relevant open datasets of information not otherwise falling within classes 1 to 8 above.

Accessing information

Information available will normally be available through the routes described below.

  • online – the information listed will, wherever possible, be available to download from our website. You can use the website’s “search” facility
  • email – if the information you seek is listed in our guide but is not published on our website, we can send it to you by e-mail, wherever possible. When requesting information from us, please provide a telephone number so that we can telephone you to clarify details, if necessary. There will be an alternative arrangement for people who do not wish to, or cannot, access the information either online or by inspection at our premises. We may arrange to send out information in paper copy on request (although there may be a charge for this)
  • telephone – information can be requested from us over the telephone at the number below
  • post – all information under the scheme will normally be available in paper copy form

If writing to us to request information, please include your name and address, full details of the information or documents you would like to receive and any payment (if you know the fee applicable). Please also include a telephone number so we can contact you to clarify any details, if necessary.

If you have any difficulty identifying the information you want to access, or if you need the information in an alternative format, please contact us and we will be happy to help. Our contact details are below.

Exempt information

We publish the information we hold that falls within the classes of information above. If a document contains information that is exempt under Scotland’s freedom of information laws (for example sensitive personal data or a trade secret), we shall remove or redact the information before publication and explain why.

Information may be withheld, for example, where its disclosure would breach the law of confidentiality, harm an organisation’s commercial interests, or endanger the protection of the environment. Information may also be withheld if it is another person’s personal information, and its release would breach the data protection legislation. Whenever information is withheld, we will inform you of this, and will set out why that information cannot be released. Even where information is withheld, it may be possible to provide copies with the withheld information edited out.

If you wish to complain about any information which has been withheld by this body, please write to the ‘Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’, St Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG or email 

Copyright statement

Information produced by HMFSI is subject to Crown Copyright, which is administered by the Queen’s Printer for Scotland. The material listed in this guide is Crown copyright unless stated otherwise.

You may use and re-use Crown copyright information free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms and conditions of the Open Government Licence, provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Where any of the Crown copyright items published through this guide are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged.

Brief extracts of any of the material included in this publication scheme may be reproduced under the fair dealing provisions of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (sections 29 and 30) for the purposes of research and non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news reporting.

Details for the arrangements for re-using Crown copyright material can also be found on the website of the Queen’s Printer for Scotland

Authorisation to re-use copyright material not owned by the Crown should be sought from the copyright holders concerned.


All information contained within our scheme is available from us free of charge where it can be downloaded from our website or where it is viewed at our premises or where it can be sent to you electronically by e-mail.

We reserve the right to impose charges for providing information in paper copy or CD/DVD. Charges will reflect the actual cost of reproduction and postage and packaging to us, as set out below. In the event that a charge is to be levied, you will be advised of the charge and how it has been calculated.  Where a charge is applied, information will not be provided to you until payment has been received.

Reproduction costs – Where charges are applied, photocopied information will be charged at a standard rate of 10p per A4 side of paper (black and white copy) and 30p per A4 side of paper (colour copy). Computer disks will be charged at the rate of £1.00 per CD/DVD.

Postage and packaging costs – We will pass on postage and packaging charges to the requester at the cost to us of sending the information by first class post.

How to get help

Our contact details for enquiries about any aspect of requests for copies of our published information.

We also provide advice and assistance to anyone who wants to request information which is not published.

HM Fire Service Inspectorate
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road


Telephone: 0131 244 3275

HM Fire Service Inspectorate: guide to information

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