About the BIT
The government introduced a business impact target (BIT) in 2015 with the aim of reducing the burden of regulation on business.
The Business Secretary sets and reports on performance against a target for this over the life of each parliament.
In 2016, the scope of the BIT was extended to include the actions of statutory regulators, including The Pensions Regulator. This means that the actions we take that have an impact on business will count towards the BIT.
The specific actions within scope are defined as ‘regulatory provisions’. They are divided into 'qualifying regulatory provisions’ (QRPs) and 'non-qualifying regulatory provisions’ (NQRPs).
All QRPs must be impact assessed. That assessment must then be verified by the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC). The RPC has been appointed as the independent verification body for the BIT. It has statutory responsibility for rating the quality of evidence and analysis used to determine the impact of each QRP. This is to ensure that regulatory decisions are made on the basis of robust, evidence-based policy making. The RPC does not comment on the policy merits of proposals.
NQRPs do not have to be risk assessed but should be described briefly in the form of a summary.
Information about QRPs and NQRPs must be provided to cover a reporting period which, over the current fixed-term parliament, runs from:
- 8 May 2015 to 26 May 2017, with a publication deadline of 9 June 2017
- 27 May 2017 to 26 May 2017, with a publication deadline of 9 June 2018
- 27 May 2018 to 26 May 2019, with a publication deadline of 9 June 2019
- 27 May 2019 to 7 May 2020, with a publication deadline of at least two weeks before dissolution of parliament
For each reporting period we must publish a list of QRPs, along with its BIT score validated by the RPC and a summary of all NQRPs.
This policy statement sets out our approach to RPC verification of its assessments for QRPs and assurance on its summary of NQRPs.
Our general approach will be to submit QRP assessments to the RPC for verification before the change itself has been implemented.
The Better Regulation Executive has provided regulators with a template to use in order to present their assessments. We intend to use this template for all our assessments.
Approach to submission of QRP assessments to RPC
To ensure effective use of resources both for us and the RPC, our general approach to submitting QRP assessments will be as follows:
- Large QRP assessments (where the impact is expected to be material) and assessments in respect of any proposals on which we are publicly consulting will be submitted as soon as they are ready.
- We will group related assessments by theme and send them together, aggregating them into one assessment where possible.
- We will bundle small but unrelated QRP assessments and submit them quarterly. Quarterly periods will begin from the first working day of April, July, October and January.
Publication of verified assessments
We will publish large assessments as soon as possible after receiving RPC verification. If we are consulting, we will aim to include the verified assessment as part of our consultation response. Small QRP assessments that are submitted quarterly will be published quarterly once verified.
Submission close to the end of a reporting period
If a QRP is expected to come into force during the reporting period we will try to submit the assessment at least eight weeks before the end of that period. If it appears unlikely that we will meet this deadline, we will liaise with the RPC and agree with them whether it would be more appropriate to submit it in the following reporting period.
If a QRP is not expected to come into force until the next reporting period, we will try to avoid submitting the assessment during the final eight weeks of the current reporting period.
We intend to provide the RPC with our final draft annual NQRP summary as early as possible so they can provide timely advice on its completeness before publication.
We will keep the RPC informed of any changes to these plans.