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Reflecting on our regulator reviews: the first year using our new approach

Around this time last year, we published our first report using our new approach to how we carry out performance reviews. The first report was for the General Osteopathic Council and we explained more about our new approach in this blog.

We published Social Work England's report at the end of March (the last of the 2021/22 round of reports) and have now published the GOsC's latest monitoring report. This marks the start of the second year using our new approach. So we thought it would be timely to reflect on how the first year using our new process has gone.

The first year in outline

We developed a new approach to our annual performance reviews so that we review each regulator in detail every three years and monitor their performance in-between. In the first year we published two detailed periodic review reports (for the General Dental Council and the General Optical Council) and eight monitoring reports.

One of the main things we wanted to achieve with the new process was to publish our reports sooner. We set ourselves a target of publishing each report within three months of the end of the review period. We met that target for every review this year. This means our reports can give people a more up-to-date picture of how each regulator is performing. We’ve also been working to make our reports clearer and more accessible.

Involving more people in our reviews

Hearing from people and organisations with first-hand experience of the regulators’ work is another area we want to focus on. We have been working to build the right relationships with different organisations who can tell us about the regulators. This might be through regular meetings, written updates, or just letting them know how to get in touch with us if they have something to say.

Though we cannot get involved in individual cases or concerns, the information people share with us is valuable for our reviews. For example:

  • It can highlight things the regulators are doing particularly well
  • It can point us towards emerging issues which we might want to follow up – this is an important part of our three-year cycle, because we need to be agile enough to identify and respond to risks effectively
  • It can help us understand what impact a regulator’s activities are having on the public and its registrants – particularly where we can compare what people tell us with other evidence.

We give regulators a chance to respond to the feedback we receive. We have also made our reports clearer about how feedback has contributed to our reviews.

Plans for the 2022/23 cycle

After each review we’ve asked regulators for their feedback on the new process. We’ll include their feedback as part of our evaluation of the first year. This should be able to identify what has worked well and where we may want to prioritise further development work. We’re committed to continuing our work to develop how we obtain feedback to inform our reviews.

Over this coming year, we’re expecting to publish four periodic reviews and six monitoring reviews. We’d like to hear what you think of our new reports: do they tell you what you need to know about how the regulators are performing? Is it easy to understand how we decided whether or not regulators had met our Standards? Is there anything else you would want to see in our reports? You can get in touch with us by

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Please note the views expressed in these blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Professional Standards Authority.