The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has published its principles for right touch regulation, setting out its thinking about what constitutes right-touch regulation in any sector. The six principles noted in the publication are as follows:
- Proportionate: regulators should only intervene when necessary. Remedies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised
- Consistent: rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly
- Targeted: regulation should be focused on the problem, and minimise side effects
- Transparent: regulators should be open, and keep regulations simple and user friendly
- Accountable: regulators must be able to justify decisions, and be subject to public scrutiny
- Agile: regulation must look forward and be able to adapt to anticipate change.
The PSA states a number of benefits result from the practical application of right-touch regulatory systems:
- Outcomes are described in terms of the beneficiaries of regulation rather than the needs of others involved in delivery of health and social care, and policy development is devoted to achieving this aim
- It builds in the need for regular reviews to ensure that regulatory approaches and frameworks remain up to date and fit for purpose
- It provides a coherent framework for tackling a range of regulatory issues, such as managing new areas of practice and extending regulation to new groups
- Policy making is well informed, reflecting realities and the wider context, building on evidence and risk assessment.