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Professional Standards Authority chief executive to step down this Autumn

Harry Cayton CBE will step down from his role as chief executive of the Professional Standards Authority in September.

George Jenkins, chair of the Authority said, ‘Harry is an extraordinary leader who has established the Authority as a leading light in regulation and public protection. He has worked quietly and tirelessly to protect patients through the intelligent use of ‘right-touch’ regulation. He will leave the Authority in good shape for his successor to take forward the legislative reform that he has been so instrumental in bringing about.  Harry is widely and rightly, respected for his knowledge and his wisdom. The staff and Board will miss him too for his humanity and his humour’.

Since joining the Authority eleven years ago, Harry has overseen significant change and improvement in professional regulation:

  • Reform of governance of regulators including the composition and size of their Councils
  • An expanded remit for the Authority including oversight of appointments to the regulators’ Councils
  • The introduction of an entirely new form of assurance and oversight of unregulated occupations – the accredited registers programme – which now covers over 85,000 practitioners
  • Internationally renowned publications including Right-touch regulation, Rethinking regulation and Right-touch reform
  • Development of regulatory case law because of the Authority’s appeals.

Harry Cayton said, ‘I have great admiration and respect for the staff of the Authority. We have achieved so much together and I know they will continue to add to our achievements. But the next stage of reform will inevitably take time so it is right at a period of stability and success for the Authority to recruit new leadership to take it forward.

We have been constant in our commitment to protecting the public. We have done, or supported, ground breaking research which has changed the way people understand regulation. Our policy papers have reverberated around the world, influenced the UK governments and helped us become recognised as the leading experts in professional regulation.  I know I will leave the Authority in safe hands.’

Harry Cayton has been chief executive of the Authority since 2007. He was previously National Director for Patients & the Public at the Department of Health following 20 years in the voluntary sector, latterly as Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society. In 2014, he was appointed to the Press Regulation Panel established under Royal Charter. He is a trustee of the charity Comic Relief and Chair of its UK Grants Committee.

Harry has recently been asked by the Minister of Health of British Columbia to carry out a statutory review and to make recommendations for regulatory reform there.