Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) for Fire and Rescue
In June 2010 the Government announced that the structure for external assessment of Fire and Rescue Services would change. The Audit Commission who had up until that time been responsible for the process was to cease that role.
The Government’s new approach is that organisations remain responsible for their own performance, improvement and efficiency and that future improvement should be sector led. To this end the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) in conjunction with the Local Government Association (LGA) has implemented a consultation process to produce recommendations on a future inspection framework. The outcome of that consultation is expected towards the end of 2011.
Under the Audit Commission the last framework was introduced in April 2009 for the assessment of fire and rescue. The Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) focused primarily on the prospects for better outcomes locally. As part of this assessment there was an expectation that fire and rescue could demonstrate clearly that it:
• Understood the risks and diverse needs of the community it served
• Was clear what this meant for its priorities and the priorities of its partners
• Used accurate local data and intelligence to plan, prepare and resource priorities
• Worked with partners to deliver agreed local priorities and
• Evaluated its work to show that priorities were being delivered
Following the submission of a self assessment by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue an inspection team from the Audit Commission visited the Service during the week beginning 29 June 2009.
Within the overall framework of Organisational Assessment and Area Assessment the inspectors looked closely at five performance indicators
- Managing Performance
- Use of Resources
- Managing Finances
- Governing the Business
- Managing Resources
The results of the inspection were published on 9 December 2009 on the new, Oneplace website (www.direct.gov.uk/oneplace) which provided an independent overview of local public services.
Overall Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were assessed as ‘PERFORMING WELL’, gaining a 3 star rating. This was because it was improving services, targeting people in most need and working well with partners to make Lincolnshire a safer place for all.
Nick Borrill, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Policy, Planning and Performance, said: This is a very pleasing result from a more complex and rigorous process, which shows that the Service is continuing to move forward in the right direction. This has been achieved through the hard work and dedication of all our staff who are fully committed to ensuring Lincolnshire remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
Executive Councillor for Community Safety, Cllr Peter Robinson said: Lincolnshire residents can be very proud of this latest achievement by their Fire and Rescue Service, which has moved forward decisively in the last 4 years. The report singled out the value for money which it provides and the focus placed on helping the most vulnerable people in the county.
The CAA report followed hot on the heels of the previous inspection regime which was called Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) and which judged us as a ‘GOOD’ Authority, and demonstrated that we continued to improve and deliver an effective service to the communities of Lincolnshire.
The previous CPA report which was published in January 2009 can be found at: