Strategic aim 3:

To use evidence, research and evaluation to develop, deliver and embed a cost-effective and right-touch model for enforcement action.

We will pursue the following objectives to achieve this aim:

Operating and improving our processes

  • Making use of the enhanced technology, process and management information capacity delivered through the end-to-end review, we will further improve timeliness within fitness to practise.
  • We will embed our continuous improvement methodology throughout our processes. Through regular analysis of the variability of performance, we will be able to determine potential causes of delay so these can be remedied or alternatively identify examples of best practice that can be shared. This will enable our average performance to improve over time as we gain greater insight into our new processes and workload.
  • We will evaluate options and consult on proposals for separating the adjudication function from the investigation and prosecution functions.
  • We will use our internal scrutiny and quality assurance processes to identify gaps in our regulatory policy framework and our processes and take steps to address these.
  • We will manage risk in relation to public safety and confidence by operating an efficient and responsive regulatory enforcement (fitness to practise) process.
  • We will develop and deploy a clear set of principles for enforcement action, to enhance understanding among the public, professionals, stakeholders and our staff of how, and in what circumstances, we will use our powers.
  • We will focus our investigation capacity on those cases which raise serious issues that warrant regulatory intervention, basing our decision making on the growing evidence base, particularly in relation to public confidence. We will incorporate ongoing calibration into that process in recognition of the fact that this is not a static concept.
  • We will explore how, and to what extent, we can deploy a broader range of resolutions for matters that are referred to us. This might include:
    • opportunities for alternative dispute resolution
    • developing alternative assessment approaches based on determining criteria
    • considering the introduction of a presumed time bar in certain cases
    • exploring options for early remediation and accepted regulatory outcomes.
  • Informed by the evidence base, we will ensure that our policy framework for enforcement decisions is proportionate, fair and transparent. This will incorporate a better understanding of human factors, and how decision makers should consider the broader context of a case when determining outcomes or sanctions.
  • We will use research and evidence to underpin a review of our criminal enforcement strategy, focusing on public protection and the risk of harm.

Strategic aim 4

To maintain and develop the regulatory framework.

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