This week we launched our second consultation on how we can improve our performance reviews of the regulators.
The performance review is essentially our check on how the 10 health and social care regulators are working to protect the public.
What have we done so far?
We have been looking at how we approach our performance reviews to see how we can make these more effective and efficient. We ran our first consultation earlier in the year to seek feedback on our current process and changes we could make to improve what we do. Responses to the consultation supported a more flexible, agile process that focuses on risk proportionately. There was also some support for moving away from looking at every Standard every year, in line with the support for a more risk-focused process. Alongside this, one of the key improvements we will make is to enhance our engagement with stakeholders and the regulators. You can read the full report into our first consultation here.
What are we proposing?
This time, we are seeking feedback on proposals that we have developed since our first consultation. We are proposing the biggest change to how we work since 2016.
We currently look at how every regulator is performing against all of our Standards each year. We are proposing to introduce a three-year cycle of ‘periodic’ reviews, where we look in detail at a regulator every three years. While we want to move away from our detailed annual reviews, we will continue to monitor and report on performance in the years between the new periodic reviews.
We do not expect our oversight of the regulators to be compromised by changing to this approach. In fact, it will allow us to focus more on areas of risk we have identified and concerns that arise throughout the year. Within our consultation paper we have outlined the evidence we will collect and analyse to inform our decisions on the performance of the regulators.
Alongside the change to our performance review cycle, we are consulting on the factors that we will consider when deciding in how much detail we will look at a regulator. These include where we focus our resources in the periodic reviews, and also during the years where we are monitoring performance. We are also seeking feedback on how we decide the order of regulators within a three-year cycle.
In moving to a new process, we will spread our work across the year. Currently, we collate and analyse the vast majority of performance information at the end of a review period. Changing this will allow us to have a greater understanding of current performance of the regulators, and to raise any issues as they arise. It will ensure the regulators have greater insight into our key areas of focus throughout the year and have the opportunity to address any concerns we have as soon as possible. In addition, by spreading our work throughout the year, we will be able to produce our reports much sooner after the review year ends. This will make the reports more useful for everyone.
Why is this important?
We want to ensure that our performance review process, and the reports we produce on the regulators, are as useful as possible for both regulators and wider stakeholders. By improving our work, we can do more to encourage improvement and share learning across the regulators to ensure our work brings the maximum benefit to public protection. We also know that there are many stakeholders, both organisations and individuals, who have an interest in the performance of the regulators. By focusing on risks, being clearer about outcomes and producing reports sooner, we will be able to give stakeholders a clearer picture of how the regulators are performing.
How can you get involved?
We are asking for your views on the proposals through our consultation
, which closes on 21 December 2021
. We would be happy to talk to you about these proposals and what they will mean for our oversight of the regulators. Get in touch with us at PRconsultation@professionalstandards.org.uk