Criteria for Measuring a Successful Regulator

Last month the Professional Standards Authority of the UK published an update of the criteria it uses to assess the performance of the regulators it oversees. There are eighteen specific standards listed. Most of the standards are what one would expect including:

  • Complete transparency about the regulator’s activities and processes
  • Professional standards are published and regularly reviewed
  • Regular guidance provided to the profession including on emerging risks
  • Up to date educational requirement for registration
  • An accurate and current public register
  • Fair, efficient and proportional registration process
  • Ensuring that practitioners continue to be fit to practise (i.e., quality assurance)
  • Anyone must be able to raise a concern with the regulator about a practitioner
  • Fair and proportionate disciplinary investigations, screening and hearings that prioritize client service and safety, and
  • Prioritizing cases involving serious risk to safety including use of interim orders.

Some of the standards reflect values that may be of more recent origin or may be seen as innovative compared to views about successful professional regulation in previous decades:

  • Clear purposes and continuous learning applied to every regulatory activity
  • Recognizing the diversity of practitioners and clients and ensuring there are no inappropriate or discriminatory barriers
  • Reporting on the regulator’s performance and demonstrated learning from any public findings related to the regulator
  • Enforcement against unauthorized practice and use of titles is proportional and risk-based (i.e., not protective of the profession) and
  • Supporting all participants in a complaint to participate effectively.

The points listed above are only a summary. Each standard is loaded with meaning. The full document may be seen at: https://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/docs/default-source/publications/standards/standards-of-good-regulation-2018-revised.pdf?sfvrsn=ce597520_4

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