The Use of Equality and Equality Frameworks by Fire and Rescue Services
The chapter takes an historical developmental approach. It starts with a commentary on the concepts of equality and diversity, equal opportunities and equality of outcome. It then briefly explores the emergence of equality policy and management between 1965 and the Macpherson report of 1999.
The section that follows focuses on the period of major legislative, regulatory and policy development between 2000 and 2010. The introduction of the Equality Standard for Local Government and its use by fire and rescue services was discussed and detailed. During engagement with ESLG, FRS produced a range of outputs; particularly a wide range of policy documents relating to both service delivery and employment to the setting of equality targets in both areas. Twelve out of forty seven FRS sought external assessment of their ESLG achievements.
The last section of the chapter then examines what has happened during the more recent periods of Coalition and Conservative government after 2010 when ESLG was replaced by a dedicated fire service equality framework that was subject to peer review and assessment rather than external validation. The detailed regulatory regimes of the previous decade were replaced by ‘light touch’ oversight. The targets set for positive equality action in service delivery have been followed through by many FRS both in the way that risk assessment has taken on some features of equality impact assessment and in the way FRS have taken up or created equality oriented initiatives and partnership projects.
KeywordsEquality Risk and reputation equality frameworks Regulatory regimes Performance standards
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