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Regulators' Forum

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The Regulators’ Forum is a unique initiative to bring together academics and practitioners in the field of regulation to share insights and lessons regarding contemporary regulatory challenges. Contemporary regulation often takes places within distinct policy domains, with little opportunity to draw on cross-sectoral experiences. CARR’s Regulators’ Forum, supported by LSE’s Knowledge Exchange initiative, seeks to provide for a setting for structured themes about key themes in regulation.

Click on image to watch video | Regulators' Forum Click on image to watch video | Regulators' Forum
Click on image to watch video | Regulators' Forum

Forum 1 | Inspection and Compliance

What are the challenges of risk-based and responsive enforcement strategies? How do different regulators deal with these challenges, how do they combine different inspection strategies, and what is the impact of austerity on enforcement practices? These were the themes of the first meeting of the Regulators' Forum.

Discussion summary | Inspection and Compliance

Forum 2 | Emerging Risks

How problematic are emerging risks for regulators? How can they be identified and communicated? How can emerging risks be incorporated in the day-to-day practices? These were the key questions considered during the meeting of the Regulators’ Forum.

Discussion summary | Emerging Risks

Forum 3 | Regulatory Performance

How difficult is it for regulators to manage and measure performance? This challenge has become increasingly pertinent as regulators are said to be under growing pressure to account for and justify their performance. What is the purpose of performance management? What are the ways in which performance is being measured? And how can behaviour distortions be avoided? This meeting of the Regulators’ Forum addressed these questions.

Discussion summary | Regulatory Performance

Forum 4 | Managing Regulatory Failure

What are seen as regulatory failures? What are different types and causes for regulatory failure? And how can regulators manage failure, both in the short-term and the long-term? These were the questions that featured in this meeting of the Regulators’ Forum. It highlighted the various causes for failure, as well as the problems of managing a crisis in view of dispersed responsibilities.

Discussion summary | Managing Regulatory Failure

Forum 5 | Transboundary Regulation

How do regulators deal with cross-jurisdictional issues? How do they adjust to the demands stemming from different national approaches, whether in the context of UK-devolution or relationship with local authorities, EU membership or wider international commitments? How can regulators remain informed about wider developments? How can they influence other regulators’ activities and how can issues of co-ordination be addressed, for example, in terms of information exchange, consistency in decision-making, or in ensuring that responsibilities are clearly assigned?

Discussion summary | Transboundary Regulation

Forum 6 | Engaging with Stakeholders

One key claim is that participation enhances both the quality of regulatory decision-making and the legitimacy of regulatory decisions. How to ensure such participatory processes has proven far more difficult. There are issues about the timing of stakeholder engagement, about different rationales for engagement, about who the most relevant stakeholders are, about the appropriate technologies and venues for engagement, as well as about the extent to which regulators should be responsive to stakeholders’ perspectives.

Discussion summary | Engaging with Stakeholders 

Forum 7 | Assessment Tools for Regulators

How can regulators evaluate their performance? What are the questions that tools to guide evaluation exercises should ask? Is it even possible to develop a toolkit to support strategic and operational decision-making?

Discussion summary | Assessment Tools for Regulators

Forum 8 | Value for Money in Regulation

What represents ‘value for money’ in regulation?. In an age, where regulators have to justify their activities and, in some cases, their overall existence, there have been increased calls for highlighting the ‘value for money’ of regulation. While ‘value for money’ is a well-established term, it raises particularly tricky issues for regulation, whether in terms of methodology, information, or attribution.

Discussion summary | Value for Money in Regulation

Forum 9 | Regulation and Innovation

How can regulators encourage innovation? Several regulators are required, by statutory objective, to promote competition and, in the UK, there will be an obligation for all regulators to promote economic growth. So how can regulatory agencies ensure that innovation enhances competition and consumer choice without being seen to ‘pick winners’ and risking the downgrading of regulatory standards?

Discussion summary | Regulation and Innovation

Forum 10 | Codes of Conduct

Codes of conduct fulful many purposes – they are therefore central to many regulatory domains. This meeting of the Regulators’ Forum considered the different rationales for a code of conduct, the basis on which codes could be established, and how and when codes could be reviewed and updated.

Discussion summary | Codes of Conduct

Forum 11 | Behavioural Insights

'Behavioural insights’ has become the latest policy boom across governments. Among the many calls for ‘more’ behavioural insights and the attraction of ‘Nudge’-type thinking in regulation, less is known about how behavioural insights inform regulatory practice. In this session, the discussion focused on the experience with, limitations of and opposition towards behavioural insights. 

Discussion summary | Behavioural Insights

Forum 12 | Calibrating Enforcement

Professional regulators are faced with the continuous challenges of achieving a degree of consistency in decision-making and of ensuring that regulatory objectives are re- assessed in the light of public expectations and professional norms. This requires an engagement of both public and professional views that builds on new forms of communication to establish what contemporary ideas about appropriate professional conduct might be.

Discussion summary | Calibrating Enforcement

Forum 13 | Predicting Quality Failure

What strategies exist to predict failure? What does the experience with existing methods of predicting quality failure tell us? This session of the Regulators’ Forum focused on the experiences in higher education in particular, allowing for comparison with other regulated sectors. Existing findings place the future of a ‘data-driven’ world of quality failure prediction into a critical light.

Discussion summary | Predicting Quality Failure

Forum 14 | Brexit

Brexit poses a number of key challenges to domestic regulators. These relate to three central questions. One is to understand the regulatory 'stock' that is shaped by EU provisions and how this stock can be reviewed and changed domestically and (in the future) at the EU level. There are questions about co-ordination across government, i.e. agencies and central government departments as well as devolved administrations, and then there are questions about planning for future events. The following provides an initial contribution to the discussion.

Discussion summary | Brexit

Forum 15 | Adjusting to new Technologies and Business Models

Changing business models represent a substantial challenge to regulators. Similarly, technological changes that encourage change in professional practices, or that might even facilitate the demise of a particular profession, raise existential questions about the role of professional and other regulators.

Discussion summary | Adjusting to New Technologies and Business Models

Forum 16 | Using Data to Inform Regulatory Interventions

Regulators seek to develop more proactive ways of approaching regulation so as to ensure effective, targeted and risk-based interventions. At the same time, a demand for being more risk-based also calls for a move away from perspective approaches towards more focused attention. This has given rise to an interest in using data in more innovative ways to inform regulatory approaches. 

Discussion summary | Using Data to Inform Regulatory Interventions

Forum 17 | Does regulation shape innovation?

The relationship between regulation and technological or business innovation is manifold. There are questions about (i) the degree to which the existing regulatory framework acts as a constraint on innovation, (ii) the degree to which regulatory interventions are used to facilitate certain types of innovation rather than others and (iii) how innovations might be a result of particular regulatory arrangements in the first place.

Discussion summary | Does regulation shape innovation?