NFCC introduces new data management framework for fire and rescue services

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The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has recently launched a new Data Management Framework (DMF) to enhance the fire and rescue services’ (FRSs) adherence to good data management practices and associated legal requirements.

This framework aligns with and aids the implementation of the Data Management Fire Standard introduced last year.

Framework designed for all FRS staff

Crafted through extensive consultation with subject matter experts from the fire and rescue service sector, the DMF is intended for all members of a fire and rescue service.

This includes those in senior leadership, operational, non-operational, and data-related roles.

To facilitate a deeper understanding of the framework’s importance and relevance, an explanatory animation has been developed, alongside two NFCC online Implementation Workshops scheduled for the 21st and 28th of February.

Expert insights on the framework

Andy Hopkinson, Chair of the NFCC Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) Committee, emphasised the significance of data in fire and rescue services: “Data is one of the most valuable assets of a fire and rescue service.

It underpins decision-making and activity at all levels and across all areas of the service, and good management of data is important if a service is to maximise the data’s potential.

Services are also expected to have well-documented, high-quality, and robust data at local, regional, and national level that can be used effectively to aid improvements for the community.”

“The launch of the recent Data Management Fire Standard, now followed by the Data Management Framework, will help fire and rescue services to enhance their professionalism and data capabilities, delivering improved consistency across the sector.”

Guidance, not instruction

It is important to note that this framework does not provide step-by-step instructions for implementing the Data Management Fire Standard.

Instead, it offers guidance while recognising the diverse operational contexts and governance arrangements of fire and rescue services.

The framework includes statutory data protection requirements, data competencies and associated resources, document templates, and a reference library of established national and regional data sets.

NFCC supporting guidance documents

Several specific guidance documents related to data management have been published by NFCC, including:

  • Corporate guidance for operational activity: Data and information management.
  • Data and Business Intelligence Guidance.
  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Data Toolkit.
  • Standard Data Requirements for the Person-Centred Framework Guidance.

IFSJ Comment

The introduction of the NFCC’s Data Management Framework marks a significant step in the advancement of data management within the UK’s fire and rescue services.

By providing a comprehensive guide and resources, the NFCC aims to elevate the standards of data handling and utilisation across the sector, ensuring that decision-making processes are informed, effective, and ultimately beneficial for the community.

This initiative reflects a growing recognition of the critical role that data plays in modern public safety operations, highlighting a shift towards more data-driven approaches.

As fire and rescue services continue to face diverse challenges, the implementation of such frameworks will be crucial in enhancing their ability to respond effectively, efficiently, and safely.

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