Building regulatory capability: IPAA seeks guide feedback

By Harley Dennett

December 12, 2014

What makes a good regulator professional? The Institute of Public Administration Australia has tackled the model employee in the government regulation environment in a new guide for building capability in regulatory outcomes released in draft form today. The third tranche of IPAA’s professional capability standards series follows earlier guidance on policy and procurement.

With the public services across the country under pressure to build professional capability, the IPAA series is now tackling how a regulator can build its employee capability across the three stages of government regulation: make, operate and review.

These public sector regulatory professionals may have extensive practical experience in their field of regulation, but many will come from diverse backgrounds outside the field of their agency including law enforcement, legal practice, economics, accounting, science and other technical disciplines, the report says. The breadth of their work will include strategic planning, development of frameworks and systems and programs design and implementation:

“Depending on the size and scope of the regulator, there is likely to be a multiple number of regulatory professionals undertaking this work. Indeed, the number and complexity of processes required within a regulatory program means that a regulatory professional is more than likely to be working in a component part of the regulatory process rather than having a focus on the end to end process.

“Nevertheless, a regulatory professional must have a good appreciation of why and how their component part fits within the regulatory process, and retain a focus on how all of the component parts of the regulatory process contribute to the attainment of the policy goals.”

Covering core skills and capabilities ranging from problem and contextual identification through to regulatory planning, design and review, the report sets out the competencies that development courses should benchmark against.

IPAA ACT president Glenys Beauchamp presents flowers to Alison Turner for her work in developing professional capability standards
IPAA ACT president Glenys Beauchamp presents flowers to Alison Turner for her work in developing professional capability standards

The report’s lead author, IPAA’s Alison Turner, says the draft release is timely for the federal government, amidst a tender for skills training in regulatory impact analysis.

“The work being completed in this area on behalf of IPAA is unique,” Turner said. “Already the standards are being used to support recruitment, career planning and define appropriate educational curricula for professionals in these roles. These standards will support public administrators as they seek to develop public servants that can manage the future challenges and opportunities that are front and centre for the APS.”

The IPAA/ANZSOG collaboration included regulatory experts from national, state and territory governments covering areas including health, primary industry, small business, consumer affairs, occupational health and safety, transport, environment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, legal services and financial services.

IPAA is seeking feedback on the guidance via by January 5, before its final release in February next year.

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