Regulation is used in many areas of public policy for a variety of different purposes, such as to protect and benefit people, businesses and the environment and to support economic growth. Regulation can take various forms ranging from strict and prescriptive rules and enforcement to lighter-touch incentives through guidance and codes of practice. ​

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The coming years may also see substantial changes to regulatory frameworks, such as expanded responsibilities or new regulators, to take on functions previously done at EU level, meet environmental commitments or keep pace with developments in technology and digitisation.​

This framework is intended as a useful tool for policymakers and regulators overseeing any given market, sector or regulatory issue. The main audiences for this guide are:​

  • policymakers responsible for the overall policy, legislative and regulatory framework; ​
  • regulators and other bodies that deliver regulatory functions; and ​
  • Parliament and other stakeholders who wish to examine areas of regulation and hold departments and regulators to account.​