During his pre-Budget report, Gordon Brown revealed the recommendations of the Hampton Review of regulatory inspection and enforcement. The Treasury-commissioned think tank is backing a lighter government inspection regime for companies with exemplary records.
In contrast, companies with poor records will face more visits and stiffer penalties.
The recommendations, designed to streamline regulatory processes without affecting outcomes, will offer high achieving firms “earned autonomy” from costly inspections.
Paul Fegan, MD of Absolutely Training predicts big changes for UK businesses who are currently investing hundreds of millions in compliance training solutions.
“Regulators are often criticised for publishing vague guidelines that leave managers wondering just how much is enough. The Hampton Review’s recommendations will give organisations a target to aim for - a carrot to go with the regulator’s stick.
“At the moment, around 6,000 brokers, and countless firms from over 70 other industries, are trying to get authorised and compliant by January’s deadline. The number of disparate approaches to compliance suggests that firms are unsure of what and where to invest. As firms work towards a defined goal of ‘earned autonomy’, we believe the budget range will converge rapidly and best practice procedures will emerge.
“The recommendations give training managers the chance to reduce the regulatory burden and cut red tape out of the business. Training systems that demonstrate as well as educate will be in great demand. By demonstrating that the right people have been trained at the right time, a firm can prove that it is low risk and cut its inspection time.
“Overall, it looks like e-learning will play a bigger role in the compliance plans of UK organisations. It will enable firms, both small and large, to train flexibly, cost-effectively and keep up to the minute training records.”