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Primary authority scheme (Surrey Fire and Rescue)

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What is a Primary Authority Partnership?

All businesses operating in the UK need to comply with a wide range of legislation. Primary Authority partnerships provide a single point of contact to help you to navigate your legal duties, whether your business trades locally, nationally or internationally.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service works with Buckinghamshire and Surrey's Trading Standards teams to provide advice to a wide range of businesses, from start-up enterprises to international blue-chip corporations. We provide specialist support not only in fire safety, but also environmental health and trading standards.

Who they are for

Primary Authority Partnerships are available to any type of business, whether you are starting up or established, as well as charities and trade associations. A business can set up its own partnership (a direct partnership) or belong to a trade association (or other type of group) with an existing partnership (a coordinated partnership).

What you get

When you enter into a Primary Authority Partnership, you receive advice directly from a regulator, that other regulators must respect. If appropriate, we can also produce an inspection plan to improve the effectiveness of visits by local regulators and support better sharing of information.

Through these partnerships your business is able to receive assured and tailored advice on fire safety regulation. This helps start-ups to get it right from the outset and enables all businesses to invest in products with confidence, and make positive decisions about practices and procedures to ensure compliance.

Fire Safety law means businesses have to meet certain standards to protect your customers and staff from the risks of fire. Looking after the fire safety of your premises not only makes good business sense, it usually means that you will also be complying with the law and therefore not at risk of substantial financial penalties.

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Why enter into a Partnership with us?

  • We can provide tailored fire safety advice and support for your business
  • We can help you to find the confidence you need that your business is compliant
  • Our guidance can reduce your compliance costs
  • We will provide you with clarity over your responsibilities
  • We offer a scalable service, suitable for small, medium or large businesses
  • We can help to resolve fire safety regulatory issues across County boundaries.

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Is Primary Authority right for my business?

Small businesses

Small businesses and start-ups need good advice to help them flourish. The Easy 123 Primary Authority is available to help you if your business has:

  • one location in Buckinghamshire or Surrey
  • been trading for less than two years, and
  • has less than three employees.

We can help you cut through confusing legislation. For a fixed fee of £195 we can give you the confidence that your fire safety is in good hands. We offer:

  • Three hours of bespoke fire safety, trading standards or environmental health advice
  • Unlimited signposting to self-service information
  • A named officer contact in Trading Standards
  • 20% off Consumer Rights Act e-learning course.

Larger and more established businesses and organisations

We can act as your Primary Authority partner for fire safety law. When you choose Surrey Fire and Rescue Service as a partner the relationship will be managed by Buckinghamshire and Surrey's award winning Trading Standards team. This team has extensive experience in offering both Direct and Coordinated PA partnerships and will help you choose the arrangement that best suits your needs.

The partnership team provides reliable consumer protection law advice and acts as a gateway to access fire safety advice, trading standards and environmental health advice through a Single Point of Contact. Established relationships in Wales and Scotland mean we can also support you with devolved legislation.

You can form a partnership on a pay as you go basis, allowing you to draw on expertise as and when you need it or alternatively you can agree a set amount of hours to be provided annually. This allows you to accurately budget for improving regulatory compliance. Primary Authority Partnerships can deliver a great deal of support for your business, not only fire safety matters but also:

  • A single point of contact for Environmental Health, Fire Safety and Trading Standards
  • Primary Authority advice and liaison with other authorities
  • A national inspection plan if required
  • Detailed analysis of statutory defences
  • Auditing of your procedures and processes as required
  • UK wide site visits
  • Access to reliable sources of information
  • Brand protection services.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Primary Authority Scheme specialists are backed by a well-resourced specialist team from Buckinghamshire and Surrey's Trading Standards – dedicated to supporting businesses. Their advisors achieve the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's standards for Continuous Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) and are actively supported to achieve Trading Standards Practitioner status.

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Find out more

Call us to find out more on 0300 123 2329 or email business.advice@surreycc.gov.uk.

GOV.UK also provides more information on primary authorities.