Scottish Government Review of the Scottish Regulators Strategic Code of Practice

Closed 28 Feb 2018

Opened 16 Jan 2018


Better regulation is good for Scotland and makes it an attractive place to do business. To build upon our better regulation framework, the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act came into power in 2014. Part of this Act allowed a Code of Practice to be developed to assist regulators deliver their regulatory functions.

The aim of the Scottish Regulators Strategic Code of Practice (the Code) is to outline how regulators should apply regulatory principles. It builds on good practice and provides a framework for regulators; transparency for those being regulated; and acts as an enabler to support working together in pursuit of delivering Better Regulation.  It places sustainable economic growth at the heart of the framework while concurrently supporting regulators in delivering their core functions.  The Code requires regulators to exercise regulatory functions in accordance with the better regulation principles (transparent, consistent, proportionate, accountable, and targeted). It highlights that regulators should be enablers, take a risk and evidence based approach, understand those they regulate and communicate clearly and effectively. It seeks to make things better for the regulators, those being regulated and communities.

The Code contains a commitment to commission a review of the effectiveness and progress in embedding the Code.  This is particularly important in the context of the outcome of the EU Referendum. Therefore this is not a Scottish Government official consultation as the Code is already passed by an Act of Parliament and we are fulfilling a commitment.

Purpose and Structure of Review

A review group has been established to provide Scottish Ministers with recommendations on improvements to the Code and its accompanying guidance.  The group is considering:

  • Whether the Code has been effectively implemented and had a positive impact on regulators’ working practices and regulatory outcomes.
  • Whether the content of the Code remains appropriate and fit for purpose - including how to incorporate inclusive growth, consumer interests and an emphasis on a collaborative approach to compliance.
  • How to share best practice and new learning. 

To support this work, the group is issuing a call for evidence to gather wider views on the Code.  We welcome all comments and reflections based on your, or your organisation's, experience, knowledge and circumstances of using and complying with the Code.

The results of this survey will inform the Code review and we are keen for a wide range of responses. We are aware, however, that as some regulators are also conducting their own reviews of their functions and interactions with the Code, you may have already completed an exercise with similar content. We encourage filling in this Government survey, but recognise that repeated requests for similar information are unhelpful. If you have already prepared material relevant to this call for evidence for another purpose, we would be pleased to receive that instead of (or in addition to) completing the questionnaire.


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