Force management statements
A force management statement (FMS) is a self-assessment that chief constables (and London equivalents) prepare and give to HMICFRS each year.
It is the chief constable’s statement and explanation of:
- the demand the force expects to face in the next four years;
- how the force will change and improve its workforce and other assets to cope with that demand;
- how the force will improve its efficiency to make sure the gap between future demand and future capability is as small as it can reasonably be; and
- the money the force expects to have to do all this.
For detailed guidance about force management statements, see:
- the template we are asked forces to use when preparing their FMSs for 2018 and some guidelines to help them;
- the letter from HM chief inspector of constabulary (HMCIC) to all chief constables (and their London equivalents) explaining the principal results of our recent consultation (see below) and sending them the template FMS for 2018; and
- previous correspondence from HMCIC about FMSs.
Developing the FMS is a three-year process. This first year of FMSs is a pilot year. We are working with the police service and others on the development of a full FMS (for the third year, 2020). There will be a mid-way FMS for the second year (2019).
All forces have now submitted their first year FMSs. These submissions are being reviewed and will inform the Integrated PEEL Assessment inspections starting in autumn 2018.
The review of FMSs will also help HMICFRS to develop our approach for 2019 – making changes to the process, template and guidance for 2019 where necessary.
Over the coming months, HMICFRS will hold workshops with forces and the NPCC, ensuring that the police service has direct input as these processes develop.
Why we need the FMS
We need the information in the FMS for the purposes of our inspections of forces’ efficiency and effectiveness.
All forces need to have reliable and accessible information on current and future demand, assets (especially asset condition and capability) and resources. They use that information in their decision-making, including decisions about improving efficiency and effectiveness, and how they will duly observe the police and crime plan of their local policing body (police and crime commissioners and their London and Manchester mayoral equivalents).
We recognise that there may be limits to forces’ ability to assess future demand and the capability of their assets accurately. Hardly any prediction is perfect. But forces should have good methods of assessing future needs and how they will meet them. As they develop, FMSs will help a great deal with this.
In each year, it is necessary that chief constables provide the best available information in their FMSs. If they have reservations about the completeness or quality of the information provided, they have been asked to say so.
The FMS will help identify which areas of a force’s activities present the greatest risks to the public. This will in turn inform what inspections HMICFRS needs to do in the future and how intensive they will need to be.
Our response to the consultation feedback
We consulted interested parties about the FMS template and guidance between 28 September 2017 and 22 December 2017.
We will shortly be publishing our detailed response to what was said to us by consultees.
As a result of the consultation, we have streamlined the first year template FMS. It is far less prescriptive than the draft template we consulted on. We have also cancelled our spring 2018 inspections to give forces more time to work on their FMSs.
Although the formal consultation has closed, it is clear that many of the people who responded are willing and eager to work with us to develop the FMS. We welcome this and will work with interested parties in this and later cycles of development.