His Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate was established in 1948 in direct response to the Fire Services Act 1947. This page tells you more about our history and journey to the present day.
The introduction of the Fire Services Act 1947 resulted in the Fire Service in Great Britain moving from a National Fire Service to local authority control. HM Fire Service Inspectorate’s existence was as a consequence of Section 24 the 1947 Act. The first inspection report covered the period of 16 May 1948 to 31 December 1949.
(1) For the purpose of obtaining information as to the manner in which fire authorities are performing their functions under this Act and as to technical matters relating to those functions, inspectors may be appointed by His Majesty, and the Secretary of State may appoint assistant inspectors and other officers.
(2) The Secretary of State may pay to persons appointed under this section such remuneration as he may with the approval of the Treasury determine.
In Scotland, most of the Fire Services Act 1947 was repealed by the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act). The legislation governing, and the functions of the Fire Service Inspectorate have remained broadly unaltered throughout its history. However, inspection activity was temporarily reduced during the period February 2008 until April 2013, and for this period the public facing identity of the Inspectorate changed to become the Scottish Fire and Rescue Advisory Unit.
The introduction of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 (the 2012 Act), which created the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), inserted Section 43B into the 2005 Act, which specifies the scrutiny powers of inspectors. These powers include inquiring into the state and efficiency of the SFRS, its compliance with Best Value, and the manner in which it is carrying out its functions. The 2012 Act reinvigorated the role of HM Fire Service Inspectorate, with the intention of providing a robust and fit-for-purpose body that could provide assurance to Scottish Ministers and to the public about the functioning of the Service.
HMFSI in Scotland operates under the leadership of HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. The Chief Inspector is appointed by Order in Council. The current Chief Inspector is Robert Scott QFSM (read more about the Chief Inspector and Our Team).
As HMFSI celebrates its seventy-fifth Anniversary in 2023, we have compiled a list of all the persons who have held the post of Chief Inspector.
|Angus D Wilson||1948–1966|
|James D McNicol OBE||1967–1968|
|John Jackson OBE||1968–1978|
|Paddy Watters QFSM||1979–1983|
|Richard Knowlton CBE QFSM||1984–1989|
|Alex Winton CBE QFSM||1989–1993|
|Neil Morrison QFSM||1993-1999|
|Dennis Davis CBE OStJ QFSM||1999-2003|
|Jeff Ord CBE OStJ QFSM||2004-2007|
|Keith MacGillivray MBE||2008 (Interim)|
|Brian Fraser QFSM||2008-2010|
|Steven Torrie CBE QFSM||2010-2016|
|Martyn Emberson QFSM||2017-2018|
|Simon Routh-Jones CBE QFSM||2018-2021|
|Robert D Scott QFSM||2021 - present|
To view our historical archived reports Click Here.