Fit for the Future

Closing Date: 19/11/2020

Consultation Status: Closed

Fit for the Future is a draft proposal for establishing a common vision for the future of fire and rescue services in England. Its purpose is to identify what needs to change, using a sound evidence base and then identify how that change could be delivered, by supporting its implementation across all services.

It has been developed through a partnership between the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) the National Employers (England) and the Local Government Association (LGA). It has also formed the basis of the co-ordinated bid to the government for funding in the current Spending Review.

The view of all the partners is that a clear vision of the future is a key element in leading consistent change across all fire and rescue services. The aspirations within Fit for the Future are ambitious and offer the opportunity for political and operational leaders to work together to achieve common agreed goal.

This work will also make a substantial contribution to clarifying the purpose of the service and the roles of the employees who work within it, as raised by Sir Tom Winsor in the “State of Fire” at the end of 2019.

Fit for the Future takes the form of a narrative which includes a series of eleven improvement objectives. Taken together, these improvement objectives describe how we see the future state of the fire and rescue service. We think we have been bold in our ambition, but we need you to help us improve and strengthen it so that it attracts your support, the right level of funding from the government and is achievable.

You will note that the current narrative does not include reference to Covid-19. Fit for the Future was drafted prior to the pandemic and it is our intention to update it when we have reviewed your feedback on this draft and in the light of wider learning available at that time.

How to respond

To ensure that Fit for the Future represents an achievable set of aspirations for the fire and rescue service in England, we are seeking your views on perceived barriers that may stop the improvements taking place.

Access Fit for the Future

You will find a brief introduction followed by a narrative structured under the eleven improvement objectives. Each improvement objective starts with a discussion about where we are now and concludes with a description of the drivers for change. For ease of
reference, all of the evidence sources are provided in a single bibliography at the end.

Under the heading How to tell us what you think about Fit for the Future, you will find a link to Survey Monkey. You will be asked to provide some information about yourself and your organisation. Using the structure of the improvement objectives, you will be asked to rank the perceived barriers, starting with the barrier that you think is most likely to affect the fire and rescue service’s ability to achieve that objective.

While we haven’t discussed Covid-19 in the narrative of Fit for the Future at this time, we are interested in finding out whether you think any of the improvement objectives could be affected by the pandemic and have included a question asking your views on the extent of its impact.

We welcome views from a wide range of stakeholders including Chief Fire Officers and other members of the NFCC; Chairs and Portfolio Holders of Fire and Rescue Authorities; Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners; employee representative bodies, in particular, the FBU, FLA, FOA, FRSA, and UNISON; and the Fire Standards Board.

We ask that you share this widely within your own organisations to encourage discussion and completion of the Survey Monkey questionnaire.

We would be grateful if you could indicate whether you are answering our survey as an individual or representing your organisation.

The consultation is open from 15 October to 19 November 2020.

What will we do with your responses?

All responses will be shared with and analysed by the NFCC, the National Employers (England) and the LGA in line with our partnership approach.

The analysis will form the basis of a report that will include recommendations for any changes to the draft of Fit for the Future. The report and any recommendations within it will be considered by representatives of the NFCC, the National Employers (England) and the

We will update Fit for the Future following that consideration and publish it on and

It is our intention to review Fit for the Future periodically to ensure that it remains current.

The process for engaging with future reviews will be advised in due course.

We are grateful for your time and look forward to receiving your feedback.