ARCHIVE: Regulators' compliance code
The purpose of the Regulators’ Compliance Code is to promote efficient and effective approaches to regulatory inspection and enforcement, putting the Hampton principles on statutory footing. The Compliance code came into force on 6 April 2008. The code will apply at the point where regulators make their policies, rules, codes and guidance.
The Compliance Code sets out seven elements that regulators should follow when discharging their regulatory functions:
- Supporting economic progress
Regulatory activity should allow, or even encourage, economic progress. Intervention should only take place where there is a clear case for protection.
- Risk assessment
Undertaking a risk assessment of all their activities.
- Information and advice
Providing information and advice in a way that enables businesses to clearly understand what is required by law.
Only performing inspections following a risk assessment, so resources are focused on those least likely to comply.
- Data requirements
Collaborating with other regulators to share data and minimise demand on businesses.
- Compliance and enforcement actions
How formal enforcement actions, including sanctions and penalties, should be applied following the Macrory principles on penalties.
Increasing the transparency of regulatory organisations by asking them to report on outcomes, costs and perceptions of their enforcement approach
These take forward the inspection and enforcement principles set out in the Hampton review report (PDF on BERR website)
Defra sees good regulation and policymaking as the essential tools to enable the department to achieve its strategic outcomes. Defra has always been committed to continually improving the way it makes policy and uses regulation, as well as reducing its administrative burden on business.
Defra and its delivery network – how we are meeting the Regulators’ Compliance Code
Defra and its network have signed up to the Regulators’ Compliance code which asks regulators to perform their duties in a business-friendly manner, by planning regulation and inspections in a way that causes least disruption to the economy.
We have also been working together to share best practices through the ‘Building the Regulatory Community’ Network which meets and communicates on a regular basis. Through this network, and as part of our ongoing work on the better regulation agenda, we are committed to putting the principles of the Compliance Code at the heart of our approach to policy making, inspection and enforcement, to achieve better outcomes for all.
Please find links below to a set of documents setting out how Defra and our Delivery Networks are meeting the elements set out in the code.
- Defra (PDF 60 KB)
- Animal Health
- Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (PDF 50 KB)
- Environment Agency
- Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera):
- Bee Health (PDF 40 KB)
- Plant Health (PDF 50 KB)
- Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate / Plant Variety and Seeds Directorate (PDF 50 KB)
- Natural England (PDF 80 KB)
- Rural Payments Agency
- VMD (to follow)
Macrory Review of Regulatory Penalties
The final report of the Macrory Review of Regulatory Penalties was published on 28 November 2006. The review makes a number of recommendations that aim to ensure that regulators have access to a flexible set of modern fit for purpose sanctioning tools that are consistent with the risk based approach to enforcement outlined by Philip Hampton.
Defra are currently supporting the Environment Agency and Natural England in their application for powers to apply for civil sanctions under the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions (RES) Act 2008.
Page last modified: 1 April 2010