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The Public Services Network (PSN) Code of Connection and the Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework (SPF) outlines standards, best‐ practice guidelines and approaches to protecting UK Government assets and requires organisations to have implemented a protective marking system. The five South West FRSs agreed to implement the HMG Protective Marking Scheme and concluded that full compliance could not be achieved by policy and training alone, but required a system to force staff to protectively‐ mark the documents that they create.

The tight management and control over access and dissemination of information residing in emails, documents, file stores and across intranets & extranets was a core requirement to enable South West FRS to gain SPF accreditation. A number of other Fire and Rescue services had attempted to implement protective marking solutions to manage and control access to this information, but these purely manual solutions tended to focus on national and regional resilience planning, where most documents were classified and sent to the FRS in paper format and did not extend to other datasets.

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