Peer Review - Operation Assessment and fire peer challenge

Peer Review Reports by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Operational Assessment and Fire Peer Challenge

In November/December 2017, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service participated in the Operational Assessment and Fire Peer Challenge process.

Peer Challenge is part of the fire and rescue services' commitment to sector-led improvement. It is supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), the Local Government Association and the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser.

It is a voluntary process that has a strong operational focus and consists of self-assessment, on-site analysis and external peer challenge.

It is not a form of inspection, but expert external reviewers assess the following: 

  • delivery of prevention
  • delivery of protection
  • response activity

The aim of this is to provide Councillors and the Chief Fire Officer with information on the effectiveness and robustness of operational service delivery.

Delivery is compared with the fire service's understanding of community risk, allocation of resources and interaction with key partners. Regard is given to good practice in the health, safety and development of fire and rescue service staff.

A reflective self-assessment document was produced that focused on seven key assessment areas and the Governance, leadership and capacity of SFRS and formed the basis for review of Service functions by the external team.

The on-site assessment was led by Ann Millington (Chief Executive of Kent Fire and Rescue Service), assisted by three senior Fire and Rescue Service officers, Councillor Kay Hammond (Surrey County Council) and Gill Elliot, Review Manager LGA.

The outcomes of the review have been summarised in a report that identifies the strengths and areas for development. The information will be used to inform:

  • strategic plans
  • Integrated Risk Management planning
  • continuous improvement plan
  • focus areas of work

The Peer Challenge Team considered that Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service continues to be a well-run service with a well-deserved reputation for keeping its community safe and offering good value for money.

The service understands its local contexts and risks, and it has a good operational base with sound practices and low levels of fire-related fatalities.

SFRS is staffed with excellent people who are committed to the service. The Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and the Cabinet Member for Fire are both highly regarded by staff and partners.

Download a copy of The Fire Peer Challenge Report 2017 (PDF, 98KB)

Download a copy of The Fire Peer Challenge Report 2013 (PDF, 339KB).