Primary Authority

Primary Authority enables MFRA to improve compliance and build better relationships with businesses whilst supporting local economic growth.

Under Primary Authority, MFRA partners with a business or group of businesses to provide them with regulatory advice that other FRS’s have to respect.

Primary Authority is a statutory scheme underpinned by Statutory Guidance which includes obligations for local authorities. The information on this website is intended to assist primary authorities looking to set up and run partnerships, and includes references to the Primary Authority Statutory Guidance throughout.

Benefits of Primary Authority

Becoming a primary authority enables your authority to build stronger relationships with businesses and improve compliance, while protecting frontline services through cost recovery. Primary Authority can help develop your authority’s expertise, and enhance your reputation.

Under Primary Authority, local and national regulators can work together to ensure businesses are treated consistently and fairly.

Primary Authority Advice

Primary Authority Advice is any advice and guidance from the primary authority to a business or to a co-ordinator (for communication to the businesses in its regulated group).

Primary Authority Advice can help a business understand:

• How the legal requirements apply to them.
• How they can achieve compliance.
• Whether the controls they have in place are acceptable.
• As an enforcement officer you will need to take Primary Authority Advice into account when approaching and regulating participating businesses.
• Primary Authority Advice is assured which means that provided the business has followed the advice it has been given, the primary authority can direct against (block) any enforcement action for the regulatory issues it covers.

Direct and co-ordinated partnerships

There are two types of Primary Authority partnership.

MFRA can form a partnership with a single business – this is called a direct partnership

MFRA can partner with an organisation such as trade associations or franchises to provide advice to a group of businesses – this is called a co-ordinated partnership and the organisation acts as a co-ordinator, managing the partnership on behalf of the members of the group.

Get in touch

For further information on a Primary Authority Partnership with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority please email:

Links to further information

Primary Authority Statutory Guidance

Primary Authority: a guide for businesses

Primary Authority Overview 

Primary Authority Register