HM Fire Service Inspectorate in Scotland: Chief Inspector's Plan 2022 to 2025
How the inspections are carried out
Under section 43F of the 2005 Act, the Chief Inspector must prepare a Plan setting out:
(a) priorities for inquiries to be carried out; and
(b) information on how inquiries will be carried out in a way which is proportionate, accountable and transparent.
In line with that requirement, our Chief Inspector's Plan outlines our intended priorities and scrutiny activities for the 2022-25 period. The Plan was developed through discussion with the SFRS, other scrutiny bodies, targeted stakeholder engagement, and on our previously identified areas of interest, including our knowledge of issues identified through our existing inspection programme.
We will keep this Plan under review and make such changes as we determine necessary to enable us to both respond to risk and discharge our statutory obligations.
As mentioned above in the Our Purpose section, there is a complementary relationship between the Inspectorate and the Auditor General (supported by a Memorandum of Understanding with Audit Scotland), and with other Inspectorates and agencies across the public sector to share specific expertise or, where appropriate, jointly examine important areas where the SFRS works in partnership and contributes to shared outcomes.
Both organisations are members of the Strategic Scrutiny Group (SSG) which is chaired by the Accounts Commission. The SSG is comprised of Scotland's main public sector scrutiny bodies, and seeks to support the delivery of better coordinated, more proportionate and risk-based scrutiny, predominately at a local authority level.
The diagram opposite, offers a visual representation of the relationship between audit – which is primarily a matter for the Auditor General – and inspection – which is principally for the Inspectorate. HMFSI and Audit Scotland work in Partnership to ensure a complementary relationship exists between audit and inspection. The diagram below indicates areas where the two bodies will operate mostly exclusively and those areas where we will have a shared interest.
Audit → Inspection
- How public money is accounted for
- Cost and value for money
- Management arrangements
- Outcomes for users
- Compliance with professional standards
- Competence of professional staff
Audit Scotland on behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission
- Value for money
- Performance audit
Areas of shared interest
Proportionate and risk-based best value audit and inspection activity covering:
- Service performance
- Continuous improvement
- Partnership working
- Performance management
- Use of resources
- Governance and accountability
- Community planning
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Operational inspection, including:
- Policies and practices
- Operational guidance
- Staff learning and development
- Legislative fire safety enforcement
- Community safety engagement