HMICFRS is independent of government, the police and fire & rescue authorities:
- HM Inspectors are appointed by the Crown. They are not employees of the police service, the fire & rescue service or the government.
- In the dual role of HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary and HM Chief Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services, the Chief Inspector reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of police services in England and Wales, and on the efficiency and effectiveness of fire & rescue services in England.
- HM Inspectors may be called to give evidence before committees of Parliament, and must also account for their actions to the public through the media. As is the case with all public bodies, HM Inspectors are also susceptible to judicial review.
- Although HMICFRS’s budget is set by the government, and the inspection programmes require the Home Secretary’s approval, no Minister, police and crime commissioner or fire authority can interfere with the contents of an HMICFRS report or the judgment of HM Inspectors.