National review of community risk methodology across UK Fire and Rescue Service


Executive Summary

This report was commissioned by the Community Risk Programme of the National Fire Chief’s Council. The findings are based on responses to a national survey which was designed specifically for this research.  The unique nature of the team compiled to complete this work includes a multi-disciplinary academic team and practitioners from across the UK FRS.

The report reviews each stage of the community risk process and establishes the state of the art (review) of current practice in that stage across the UK Fire and Rescue Service (FRS), identifies good practice, identifies gaps in practice, and suggests areas for future direction.

The resulting recommendations we suggest should be planned and packaged into a five-year developmental sector plan to enhance community risk methodology. Alongside this we recommend establishing a working relationship at national level (NFCC) with key stakeholder groups outside the FRS sector such as data providers (to commission, procure, and influence nationally contracted datasets from commercial/academic providers which support the specific needs of the FRS) and academics working in relevant areas to lead and support developments in a timely and specific manner. This package of work should also be linked in to other NFCC initiatives such as the continued learning environments of NOG and NOL and other work concerned with the development of evaluation work across the NFCC sub-committees.

Given the sector wide developmental process this report outlines to initiate methodological development and knowledge exchange, we recommend the development and maintenance of a nationally sponsored, developed and provisioned toolkit to support the process of community risk assessment which all FRSs can use agnostic of governance structure, size, complexity, nation, type and geography of Service. This should be designed with accessibility and sustainability at the fore to ensure the toolkit stays relevant, current and continually updated. We also advocate a framework for Community Risk Management.
The report is structured by stage of the risk management process and ends with an overview of practitioner insight of the findings.