Primary Authority Partnerships are available for businesses to ensure compliance with fire safety legislation.

Primary Authority allows your business to form a legal partnership with a fire and rescue service or local authority (known as the primary authority).

Your primary authority can provide you with assured, consistent regulatory advice that makes it simpler and easier to comply with fire safety legislation across your organisation. Other Fire and Rescue Services must respect this advice when regulating your business.

You can form partnerships with other local authorities for areas such as environmental health and trading standards.

Cleveland Fire Brigade is not currently in a position to provide partnerships as a primary authority. If you are interested in the scheme the only north-east Fire Service currently offering it are Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Who can enter a partnership?

Partnerships are available to any type of business, whether starting out or established, as well as other types of organisations such as trade associations. Regulators operating as primary authorities include county, district and unitary councils, and fire and rescue authorities.

Who regulates the scheme?

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) exercises the statutory responsibility for the operation of Primary Authority on behalf of the Secretary of State, nominating partnerships, issuing guidance, and resolving determinations. It also manages the Primary Authority Register.

What are the benefits of the scheme?


  • have access to relevant, authoritative Primary Authority advice
  • gain recognition of robust compliance arrangements
  • can draw on effective means of meeting business regulations and on suitability of business control systems; and
  • can be more confident they are protecting themselves and their customers.


  • have greater clarity over where responsibility lies
  • can support local economic growth through stronger business relationships
  • can improve the consistency of local regulation and target resources on high-risk areas
  • can develop their staff expertise via partnerships; and
  • can protect front line services through cost recovery.

The public

  • are better protected as businesses find it easier to comply with legislation; and
  • are at reduced risk as local authorities better understand the businesses they regulate and can target resources on high-risk areas.

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