We aim to deliver our programme in line with our core values of Integrity, Objectivity, and Fairness.
The Chief Inspector's three year plan outlines how HM Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland (HMFSI) will meet its statutory purpose to inquire into the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to assist in its continuous improvement.
This Plan describes the role and function of the Inspectorate, along with our strategy and priorities for the inspection of the SFRS.
The Plan has been prepared to meet the requirements of section 43F of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (the Act), which is reproduced at the back of this document. The Plan contains information on priorities for inquiries to be carried out by Inspectors, and information on how they will be conducted, in a proportionate, accountable and transparent way.
Within our programme of work, we focus on two main types of inspections. Firstly, we undertake Local Area Inspections, which concentrate on assessing the SFRS's provision of its responsibilities to local communities, to ensure robust delivery of service to those it serves. The second type of inspection covers more specifically focused service-wide assessment on nationally identified key themes of SFRS business. In addition, the Inspectorate may from time to time respond to investigate unplanned events under the description of 'significant incidents' or otherwise. These can be either self-directed by the Chief Inspector or where Scottish Ministers have directed the Chief Inspector to carry out an Inquiry.
HMFSI will keep this Chief Inspector's Plan under review and adapt it, as necessary, over the course of the three years' to meet any changing or pressing requirements identified or placed on the SFRS.
We have consulted with our key partners regarding this Plan and, will further consult should any changes during the course of the three years be proposed.
HMFSI is committed in delivering against its statutory purpose, as defined by the Act, and looks forward to supporting the SFRS as it goes about its duty of protecting the communities of Scotland and continuing on its transformation journey.
This plan cannot be presented without recognising that we are operating in challenging and unprecedented times. In March 2020, HMFSI, in line with Scottish Government guidance, suspended non-essential external activities in order to protect SFRS staff, the Inspectorate staff and the community we operate within. As we moved through 2020-21, we saw various changes to the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, and we recognise that the situation remains fluid and changeable. While this Chief Inspector's Plan 2021-24 sets out our intent, we recognise that the response to the pandemic may pose challenges to some areas of our inspection programme, and we may need to further adapt areas of inspection throughout the period of the plan.
In accepting the evolving impact we face during the pandemic, and acknowledging the possibility of slippage to our programme, we remain committed to delivering this three year Chief Inspector's Plan to fulfil our statutory duty and to support the SFRS as it works to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Scotland.
Robert D Scott QFSM
HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service