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Primary Authority Scheme

Primary Authority Scheme

Primary Authority Scheme -
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

The Primary Authority Scheme (PAS) is designed to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and to promote consistent, effective inspection and enforcement processes.

Under the scheme, businesses that trade across local authority borders are provided with 'Assured' compliance advice and guidance from the fire inspectors of one fire authority, the Partner Authority.

The scheme is administered by the Government’s Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) and is introduced to address businesses concerns regarding how authorities apply legislation, create duplicated effort and the lack of effective dispute resolution when authorities disagree.

The Primary Authority Scheme allows businesses to form a statutory partnership with one fire authority, which cuts red tape through a legally binding agreement (between the authority and business) that provides assured advice, ensures consistency of regulation across the country and that reduces duplication of paperwork and inspections.

A Primary Authority can provide robust and reliable advice in respect of its partners which must be followed by all fire authorities which have that business in their geographical areas. So a retail chain with branches in 5 or 6 different fire and rescue service catchment areas can rely upon the advice provided by its primary authority in one area to be equally valid as sufficient in all of the areas in which its branches are located.

A national inspection plan can be produced by the Primary Authority to improve the effectiveness of inspection, avoid repeated checks, and enable better sharing of information. If a problem arises, the Primary Authority can coordinate enforcement action to ensure that the business is treated consistently and that responses are proportionate to the issue.

 The Primary Authority does not take enforcement action itself in another authority’s area, that responsibility remains with the local regulator concerned. A Primary Authority can however block the proposed enforcement action of another fire and rescue service if it is contrary to advice previously given to the business.

Due to capacity issues, it is legally acceptable for a fire authority to decline a request to enter into a partnership. However, the Regulatory and Enforcement Sanctions Act 2008 does allow for BRDO, if it decides that it has a national benefit, to require a partnership to be established.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently Primary Authority for the following organisations.

  • Giff Gaff Ltd
  • Telefonica UK Ltd
  • BE UN Ltd

  • Methodist Homes (MHA)

  • East Midlands Housing Group Ltd (EMH group)

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