» Effectiveness of accredited standards guidebook launched to ministers

21 November, 2013

A guide to using standards and accreditation to deliver better regulation has been published by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Produced in partnership with the British Standards Institute (BSI), the handbook is aimed at ministers and explains why and how standards and accreditation can be used in their departments as an effective alternative to regulation.

Jon Murthy, Marketing Manager at UKAS said. “Whilst regulation can be an effective tool for bringing about change, it can be expensive to enforce, be burdensome on business and most importantly fail to deliver the intended result. Together, standards and accreditation provide policy makers with a cost effective alternative which delivers increased adoption of best practice and the highest degree of confidence in compliance. This new guidebook aims to raise awareness of the potential benefits of using these business-friendly tools to deliver better regulation through increasing good governance, fair markets and public confidence.”

Standards and accreditation are currently used across a number of sectors to support better regulation. These include diverse areas such as medical laboratories, food safety, climate change, forensic sciences, energy, and building regulations.

The guidebook is part of UKAS’ ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of using accredited standards, which includes annual events at the House of Lords and Holyrood. Murthy continued. “We are delighted that the handbook has received support from the top level of government and hope that its message of accredited standards being an effective alternative to regulation permeates throughout government departments.”

The guide is available in PDF format as a free download. In addition, department officials can also make use of a free e-learning course on the Civil Service Learning website.