Best practice regulation

The Health portfolio plays a crucial role as a regulator and developer of regulatory policy. On this page you will learn about what we are doing to implement a best practice approach to regulation and support the Government's Regulatory Reform Agenda.

Regulatory Reform Agenda   

The Government's Regulatory Reform Agenda aims to achieve effective and fit-for-purpose regulation while minimising the administrative burden on businesses, community organisations and individuals.   

Regulation should:  

  • be fit-for-purpose and easily applied  

  • encourage innovation and productivity  

  • be specific and in proportion to the risk

  • reviewed often

This will support economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.     

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) administers the associated requirements, assessing the effect of a proposal to introduce, change or remove regulation.   

In Health, regulators and policy areas are provided with advice, support, and training on the requirements of the Regulatory Reform Agenda.   

Health Regulatory Policy Framework   

The Health Regulatory Policy Framework (HRPF) outlines how we develop, manage, and review regulation.   

The HRPF identifies the common principles used in our approach to regulation.  These principles guide the decisions and behaviours of our policy makers and regulators, ensuring that we:   

  • value regulation as an asset that protects the health and safety of Australians 

  • consider the impact of regulation and minimise regulatory costs

  • communicate with our stakeholders  

  • adopt a best practice approach when enforcing regulation  

  • build our regulatory capability  

  • maintain good governance  

  • monitor and review our regulation to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose. 

Regulatory stewardship  

Regulatory stewardship ensures that regulation is effective at meeting its goals. We do this by protecting the health and safety of the community while minimising regulatory burden.  

Effective regulatory stewardship involves:    

  • a system wide view of regulation  

  • a proactive and collaborative approach to monitoring, reviewing, and reporting on our regulatory systems 

Regulator Performance Reporting 

Changes to the expectations for regulator performance reporting took effect from 1 July 2022.  

These changes will:   

  • increase accountability  

  • promote best practice  

  • build professionalism  

  • support cultural change among regulators 

Regulator Performance Guide and best practice principles 

The Australian Government released the Regulator Performance Guide (The Guide) on 30 June 2021.  The Guide sets expectations for regulator performance and reporting using three principles of best practice:  

  1. Continuous improvement and building trust 
    Regulators are expected to continuously improve how they do their work. This means better matching regulatory treatments to the risk, so people can trust the system they regulate. 
  2. Risk based and data driven  
    Regulators are expected to identify risks, prioritise and respond to them. In doing so, regulators should minimise the impact of the regulations, but not at the expense of why they are regulating. 
  3. Collaboration and engagement  
    Regulators are expected to be open to feedback on how they regulate, and be clear with the public on why and how they regulate. 

There are 12 regulators that operate under the Guide:  

Health portfolio regulators   

  • Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission*  

  • Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency*   

  • Professional Services Review   

  • Sport Integrity Australia*  

Health departmental regulators  

  • Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme / Office of Chemical Safety*  

  • Benefits Integrity  

  • Gene Technology Regulator / Office of the Gene Technology Regulator  

  • Hearing Services Program*  

  • Private Health Insurance and Private Hospitals** 

  • Supporting Access to Pharmaceutical Benefits  

  • Therapeutic Goods Administration*  

  • Therapeutic Goods Administration - Office of Drug Control  

* These regulators were participants under the previous Regulator Performance Framework  

** Where those obligations do not fall within the prudential regulatory role of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority  

Statements of Expectations and Statements of Intent 

Statements of Expectations (SOEs) give clarity to regulators on government policies and objectives. They are issued to a regulator by the responsible Minister.  

Statements of Intent (SOIs) outline how the regulator will meet these expectations. They ensure that regulators embed these expectations in their performance and planning processes.  

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