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Response to European Commission Consultation on the regulation of professions: Member States' National Action Plans and proportionality in regulation

12 Oct 2016
  • Consultation Responses

The Authority's response to European Commission Consultation on the regulation of professions, published in August 2016.


We welcome the opportunity to respond to this European Commission consultation on the regulation of professions. Alongside our statutory duties in overseeing the performance of the statutory health and care professional regulators in the UK, we also work with colleagues around the world to share ideas and develop our thinking on how regulation can be improved. 

Right-touch regulation

We are supportive of the need for a proportionate approach to regulation. From our experience of the regulation of healthcare professionals we have developed our principles of right-touch regulation. These principles focus on understanding the problem that needs to be solved before deciding on the solution. The approach seeks to make sure that the level of regulation is proportionate to the level of risk of harm to the public. For example, this would seek to avoid regulating based on other objectives where it may not be necessary.

In developing a framework to encourage proportionate regulation of professionals, it is important that the European Commission and national governments recognise the diversity of regulated professions that exist and the varied levels of risk of harm that different professions pose to the public.

It is also important to be clear on the purpose of regulation: to provide adequate public protection and ensure that decisions on regulation are clearly based on an assessment of risk of harm to the public. This is clearly distinct from other objectives such as protecting professional status or controlling entry to a profession which should not in themselves be reasons to regulate professions.