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Performance review consultation

How can we make sure the regulators are protecting the public?

We are looking for your input to help us shape how we carry out our work ensuring that the regulators are achieving one of their main functions – protecting the public. Our performance review is one of the key ways we assess how the regulators are carrying out their work. We currently review each regulator every year on a rolling basis – checking whether they continue to meet our Standards of Good Regulation – but is this approach the only way to do it? Or even the most effective way? This is an opportunity to give us your feedback and respond to our consultation.

What is the consultation about?

We launched our consultation in December following some work through 2020, including a desk-based review of similar schemes; feedback received; and insights gained over the past five years. Recent inquiries into public health failures have also intensified the need to focus on risk (the Ockenden Report covering the emerging findings and recommendations from the independent review of maternity services at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust makes for sombre reading as does the report by Baroness Cumberlege, First Do No Harm - the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review).

This work has informed how we have set out the consultation and the questions we are asking as part it:

  • Scope of reviews: should all of the Standards of Good Regulation be assessed annually for all the regulators?
  • Assessing risk: how can we best identify risks to public protection and public confidence through the performance review process?
  • Decision-making: should we retain the current binary system – where regulators meet or do not meet a Standard – or adopt a different approach?
  • Supporting improvement: how can we ensure that our performance reviews add the greatest value and enhance the work of the regulators in protecting the public?
  • Thematic reviews: do you think thematic reviews – focusing on a single subject of particular relevance and interest area across the regulators – would assist us in our scrutiny of the regulators and enhance our public protection role?

Why launch this consultation now?

We introduced changes to our review process in 2016 and have introduced a new set of Standards for the 2020 review cycle. Have these gone far enough? Are there other ways, better ways that we can help the regulators improve their performance and fulfil their public protection role? We are now nearly a year into the pandemic and we have seen rapid responses by the regulators, including opening up emergency registers to help boost the healthcare workforce, or moving some fitness to practise panel hearings online. We are all working in ways that we may have deemed impossible just a couple of years ago – assisted by technology – so now is not the time to stand still but recognise that we are all working in changing environments. New risks emerge with new, untested ways of working and our oversight role needs to be able to identify and respond to these risks effectively.  

How to respond

You can find all about the consultation on our website. This includes the consultation document itself as well as a summary of the questions (in both English and Welsh). The deadline for responding is 4 March 2021. If you have any queries or want to submit your response, you can get in touch by emailing  PRconsultation@professionalstandards.org.uk


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