CRP Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a risk management plan? 

In 2003, following an independent review (the Bain report) the government made it mandatory on all fire and rescue services (FRSs) to produce an integrated risk management plan or Risk Management Plan in Scotland. The Community risk Programme will use the term Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) in all our work to be inclusive ofall UK FRSs.

The term CRMP is not intended to replace any references used to describe FRS risk management processes in national frameworks or by individual services

CRMPs are long term plans based on an assessment of all existing and potential risks to life and injury to the community such as risk of fire or road traffic collisions, by analysing a wide of range data. These evidence-based plans are used to help produce a service plan to meet local needs, reduce or mitigate risk. So CRMPs inform service priorities, plans, resourcing and much more. CRMPs are also used to inform and defend decision making and allocate funding. 

2. Why did the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) establish the Community Risk Programme (CRP)? 

The programme will deliver NFCC’s strategic commitment to bring improvement in risk management planning. The strategic commitment states: 

‘NFCC will work with FRSs to ensure that Risk Assessments align to a national definition of risk, supporting the development of risk assessment methodologies which allow a consistent risk based approach to risk management planning, enables FRSs to focus its resources on activities where they will have the greatest impact on reducing risk and vulnerability within their communities.’ 

There is a lot of variation across the UK in how this is done – how risk is assessed, managed and planned for. There is currently no sector endorsed toolkit or any fire standards to support this process. 

3. Who is leading the programme? 

The programme executive is Phil Loach - NFCC Vice Chair and Chief Fire Officer of West Midlands Fire Service. 

4. What is the programme’s vision? 

The programme’s vision is: 

"To be the evidence-based digital toolkit for assessing UK fire and rescue service-related risk and vulnerability to improve the safety, health, well-being and economic prosperity of communities." 

The digital toolkit will be a set of standardised tools for FRSs to support consistent identification, assessment and mitigation strategies for community risks. 

The digital toolkit will be relevant to and accessible by all UK FRSs and will bring many improvements to services and benefits for communities. The toolkit will still provide local flexibility for FRSs when developing their service risk management plans. 

The programme aims to deliver eight projects – read more about these below. 

5. What was the purpose of the independent research commissioned by the programme? 

The CRP Board commissioned Nottingham Trent University to carry out an independent review of the current state of risk management planning across the UK FRS. The report collected data from 43 UK FRSs, covering all governance models of fire service. The analysis provided for the first time, a benchmark for FRS risk management planning. It provided a picture of what is currently happening. The report identified good practice and gaps in practice in the UK FRS. 

Based on its research and analysis, the report made several recommendations to improve risk management planning in the UK FRS.  

The eight projects agreed by the CRP Board were reached from the report’s evidence-based recommendations. 

6. Who is the programme working with to deliver its vision?  

We recognise that we cannot achieve the programme’s ambitious objectives alone. The programme therefore has a wide range of stakeholders: 

  • UK FRSs: single points of contact in services; 
  • Government: Home Office, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Fire Services Management Committee (FSMC) - all provide representatives to engage with our work; 
  • The Fire Brigades’ Union – closely engaged in the work of the programme; 
  • Strategic Engagement Forum which is made up of a number of fire sector organisations and partners including government, devolved administrations, academics, fire training providers, police and representative bodies; 
  • Technical working group (TWG) – made up of FRS experts in risk; 
  • Subject matter experts (SME) – a group of experts and academics in fire and rescue related work, from outside the fire service.  

7. How does the programme communicate with stakeholders? 

We produce a briefing every quarter to update our stakeholders on developments in the programme. We also have dedicated groups on Workplace to engage with FRS colleagues. One group is made up of a single point of contact from FRSs, where they can collaborate with the programme, share information and help shape its future direction. 

The CRP programme executive and programme manager provide updates at NFCC committee meetings and stakeholder meetings such as the Strategic Engagement Forum and the Fire Services Management Committee (FSMC) meetings. The programme executive and programme manager also meet quarterly with our formal stakeholders at the Home Office, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, the Fire Brigades Union and FSMC.

8. How does this work align to the work of HMICFRS? 

The role of HMICFRS is to inspect FRSs. The findings of the HMICFRS tranche 1 and 2 inspection reports agree with the findings of the independent review carried out by Nottingham Trent University for the programme. In its tranche 2 report the HMICFRS committed to delivering a national definition of risk by December 2020. 

The first State of Fire and Rescue report was published by HMICFRS on 15 January 2020. The report, written by the Chief Inspector, is the culmination of the independent inspections carried out across all English fire and rescues services (FRSs) in 2019.

The report makes many references to risk and CRMPs with findings such as; an 'inconsistent approach to identify risk' and 'inconsistent use of IRMPs' in services.  The report echoes the findings of the independent review commissioned by the CRP programme board and highlights the need for improvement in this area.

Reference is also made in the report to the work of the CRP, demonstrating the importance of the programme’s work for FRSs and our communities.

The CRP and HMICFRS have some common goals and objectives, and we are working together in achieving these improvements for the UK FRS and our communities.  

9. What benefits will improved CRMPs bring for FRSs and their communities?  

Ultimately, FRSs will be able to reduce risk and vulnerability in communities, through: 

  • better targeted services; 
  • more efficient & effective services; 
  • national consistency - this will help to identify collaborative opportunities with our partners and support FRS contributions to national processes; 
  • creating future focused risk management plans; 
  • better informed & defendable decision making; 
  • building trust and confidence of FRS staff and communities; 

10. What will be the outcomes of the programme and its projects? 



Definition of risk  

Glossary of definitions for application to risk/CRMP. 

CRMP guidance

Comprehensive quality assured risk management guidance. 

Library of up-to-date guidance and detailed examples of good practice 

CRMP Fire Standard

Economic Value of the Fire Service 

Updated Economic Cost of Fire document, Value of the FRS report. 

Data projects 

A national database of existing FRS data (e.g. incident data).  

A quality assurance process to quality assure existing FRS data and external data 

Evaluation (methodologies) 

Established evidence base of evaluation methodologies -a ‘sector intelligence model’. 

Competencies for risk management planners   

Risk management to become a required competency, minimum standards for competencies of risk management planners.   

Evaluation for fire interventions 

Establishment of sector intelligence model for evaluation methodology 

Risk assessment methodologies /interventions  

Evidence base of valid risk management methodologies 

The final product will be a 
digital toolkit, flexible enough to be utilised by all UK FRSs, comprised of the above outputs of all projects. 

Many of these products will also need to be maintained to remain current and relevant, this will require ongoing work. 

For more information on projects, visit:

11. What will the digital toolkit look like? 

The toolkit will be made up of the products of each of the CRP projects which will be designed to focus on the various core components of CRMPs. It will predominantly be digital in nature, with UK FRSs adopting the ‘tools’ contained within the toolkit as requiredThe tools will support services through the phases of the community risk assessment process. The end result will be greater consistency across the sector when producing CRMPs, whilst still allowing FRSs some flexibility based on local needs when developing their plans.  

 The digital nature of the toolkit will ensure that it can be updated more easily to reflect a changing sector as and when new good practice comes to light. 

12. This sounds like a lot of work, when will the digital toolkit be available? 

Projects will commence at different times, this is partly due to interdependencies between some projects as well dependencies with other NFCC workstreams. However, we will ensure products are made available to UK FRSs once they have been signed off by the NFCC, as it will be some time before the complete digital toolkit can be created. 

13. How can I get involved? 

If you feel you have something to offer the Programme and would like to be involved in our work, please contact the Programme Team by emailing: