The NARU Capabilities Function

The Team

The Capabilities Team at NARU maintains the specialist capabilities set out above at the national level.  Based at the Multi-Agency CBRN Centre in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, the team comprises:

  • x1 Head of Capabilities
  • x3 Ambulance Advisors
  • x1 Compliance Officer
  • x1 JESIP Lead
  • x1 Administrator
  • x1 Support Service Manager

Policy Development

The Capabilities Team work closely with a range of stakeholders to support the national development of EPRR related policy.  Recent examples include embedded advisors within the IOR / SOR policy team, working with NHS England on the development of the NHS EPRR Framework and Core Standards and formulation of the national ambulance mutual aid arrangements.

Multi-Agency Interface

Being based at the Multi-Agency CBRN Centre within the College of Policing, the Capabilities Team work alongside Police and Fire representatives on a day-to-day basis.  The Deputy Senior Responsible Officer for JESIP (Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme) is also a member of the NARU Capabilities Team.

Compliance and Assurance

The Compliance Function within NARU develops mandatory minimum standards across a series of national capabilities and supports their ongoing maintenance.  These standards ensure that service specifications remain legally compliant and that specialist capabilities can be efficiently maintained locally to a nationally interoperable standard, meeting NHS and Central Government expectations.

Evaluation and Audit

The Capabilities Team undertake a range of evaluation and audit activities as part of maintaining nationally interoperable capabilities.  This includes the annual Resilience and Capabilities Survey, evaluation of training effectiveness and audits in response to requests from NHS England, Commissioners or the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.  Team members are CQI 9001 qualified auditors.


The NARU Medical Director and members of the Capabilities Team provide an important input into the development of Ambulance Service clinical practice, particularly in relation to hazardous area working, CBRN and clinical countermeasures and major incident triage, treatment and stabilisation.  The NARU Medical Director has a seat at NASMeD (National Ambulance Service Medical Directors Group) and Chairs the NASMeD Hazardous Area Sub-Group that agrees the clinical treatment policy and principles for NHS interventions within the inner cordon of incidents.  The team also provides specialist medical practitioner advice on EPRR matters to local Trusts and NHS England as required.

The NACC (National Ambulance Coordination Centre)

The National Ambulance Coordination Centre (NACC) can be established in Birmingham or London and is used to coordinate the provision of Ambulance Service mutual aid in response to a national incident.

The National Directors of Operations Group (NDOG) is responsible for agreeing the requirement of a NACC and requesting its establishment.  NARU is then responsible for setting up and initially running the NACC on behalf of Ambulance Trusts nationally.

Guidance and Local Support

The Capabilities Team develop and publish a wide range of national guidance material to support the local delivery of EPRR capabilities within Ambulance Trusts.  They also provide subject matter expertise as required and regularly visit local EPRR units to discover and share best practice.

National Exercising

NARU provides evaluators from the Capabilities Team for a wide range of exercises.  These exercises range from local Ambulance Service specific exercises to large-scale international exercises.  NARU evaluators review performance and provide constructive feedback as part of the exercise debriefing process.  It is also useful for NARU to take the learning from these exercises and feed it back into national policy development and the review of specifications and service standards.

Central Logistics

The NARU central stores and national specialist equipment reserve stock are managed by the NARU Capabilities Team.