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Primary authority partnerships

If you are a business, charity or other organisation which operates across more than one local authority fire enforcement area, you can enter into a Primary Authority (PA) partnership with fire and rescue services in England and Wales.

This enables one fire and rescue service to become your single point of contact for all fire safety regulation advice.

Through Primary Authority, local authorities and fire and rescue authorities are providing businesses with robust and reliable regulatory advice. This supports growth by enabling businesses to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that there is endorsement of the resources they devote to compliance.

In Surrey, this is led by Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards, who act as a single point of contact including for the Fire Authority.

How to form a Primary Authority partnership

A PA scheme is a partnership arrangement with a fire and rescue service. It is important that you take time to choose a partner which is right for your business and can offer what you are hoping to get out of the PA scheme.

If you think you could benefit from forming a PA partnership with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and you would like some more information, please contact Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards.

In the video below, journalist Michael Collie interviews businesses and regulators about the benefits of Primary Authority.

What we can offer

We are a nationally recognised and influential fire and rescue service.

We have strong relationships with Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) officers and The Health and Safety Executive as the national regulator for explosives, which helps us work more effectively with you.

We already enjoy a Primary Authority partnership with: Friends of the Elderly, Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), Caravan Club of Great Britain, Exclusive Hotel chain and MRH.

We can offer:

  • A PA officer and team who will get to know and understand your business and your preferred methods of operation and approach to compliance.
  • Completion of the BRDO Regulators' Development Needs Analysis (RDNA) self-assessment tool and reference to the Guidance for Regulators – Information Point (GRIP) for personal development under the PA.
  • Assistance to help you comply with the Regulatory Fire Safety Order
  • Assistance to help your organisation comply with complex and detailed fire safety legislation in England and Wales. We have a high level of knowledge of the legislation and how it should be applied to achieve a reasonable level of compliance. This experience will greatly assist your organisation in protecting your employees and the public as well as your premises and contents from fire, whist also providing business continuity planning.
  • Liaison with other regulators to provide a single point of contact for all compliance issues for your business under the terms and conditions of the PA.
  • Primary Authority advice to your business, giving you confidence that your chosen methods of compliance will be treated consistently across enforcing areas.
  • Where appropriate, development of an inspection plan to ensure inspections by other regulators are focused on key issues, saving time and resources for you and the regulator.
  • A comprehensive, professional and impartial review of your fire safety strategic policies, procedures, processes and guidance from a regulatory compliance perspective.
  • Recording of all appropriate partnership details and arrangements within the secure on-line Primary Authority Register provided by the Better Regulation Delivery Office. This ensures that all the key information about our partnership with you is available to other regulators.
  • Respect for confidential and commercially sensitive matters.

About the Primary Authority scheme

The Primary Authority scheme is a common sense HM Government initiative to support economic growth through better regulation and to cut red tape for businesses. It is one of the most effective ways for fire safety regulators to improve protection and support their business communities whilst allowing fire and rescue authorities to recover reasonable costs from its partner organisations.