Viewpoint – Scrutiny Team
There may never have been a job title quite as apt as ‘Scrutiny’ Officers as they do literally spend hours, if not days (or even weeks), scrutinising all sorts of information provided by the regulators. It can also mean spending weeks on-site at a regulator’s office auditing cases.
Regulators’ performance is assessed against our Standards of Good Regulation and this involves examining:
- final fitness to practise panel hearing decisions
- information or concerns that are raised with us about the regulators
- information contained on regulators’ registers
- research and policy projects and reports
- our previous performance review reports and evidence submitted for those reports
- an agreed dataset provided on a quarterly basis
- council papers, consultation documents and policy statements.
Our assessment of the evidence informs our decision about what type of review to undertake.
Unlike in previous years where we reported on the regulators’ performance in one report once a year, we now gather evidence over 12 months and produce separate reports for each regulator on a rolling basis. This gives us a much better picture of how the regulators are performing.
Philip Hallam, Assistant Director of Scrutiny and Quality (and who oversees the performance review process) says:
‘The change to individual reports for each regulator reflects a more tailored approach. One of our scrutiny team now acts as a main point of contact for each regulator and will take the lead on the review. We are already seeing benefits from this new approach. We are developing a more comprehensive understanding of each regulator’s activities. Our reviews are also more agile: instead of having to wait for an annual information‑gathering exercise, we can monitor trends in performance as they develop, and target our oversight where it will make the most difference to public protection.’
At the heart of the new process are the relationships our team members are building with their counterparts at the regulators. The designated point of contact means there is a constant channel for communication and feedback between us and the regulators. We rely on the regulators’ cooperation to complete our reviews efficiently.
We have already learnt a lot from this new process and, as we start the second round of reviews under the new process, we will look at how we can use this to further improve the process.
Find out more about our performance review process from our website and look at the schedule for the 2016/17 round of reviews.