2020/21 FRS assessment

In 2018/19, we completed our first round of inspections of the 45 fire and rescue services in England. In 2020 we paused our inspection programme because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant our second cycle of inspections is now due to begin in 2021.

This page sets out information specific to the 2021/22 inspection cycle. You can find more general information about our FRS inspections on the How we inspect page.

Judgment criteria

The judgment criteria sit alongside each year’s question set. It sets out the expected behaviours for each of the four grades at the question level.

Read the detailed FRS Judgment Criteria.

Themes for 2021/22 assessments


During the second cycle of inspections we will provide the public with more clarity on how well fire and rescue services are prepared to respond to major incidents with other fire services and agencies.


For our second cycle, new questions have been added which focus on whether a service can demonstrate what savings it has made, the effect of these on its operational performance, and whether its use of reserves is sustainable.


For the second cycle, the question sets have been altered slightly to reflect an additional focus on the behaviours within the workforce, and to also consider individuals’ career pathways.