The Regulators’ Compliance Code was created in response to the Hampton Review of the UK’s regulatory system. It is designed to embed a risk-based, proportionate and targeted approach to regulatory inspection and enforcement among the regulators it applies to. Regulators should consider the code when determining policies, setting standards or giving guidance in relation to their duties.
In the case of the Insolvency Service, the code applies to regulation under part XIII of the Insolvency Act 1986, which deals with insolvency practitioners and their qualification. The code does not apply to any other part of the Insolvency Service’s work.
In the case of the recognised professional bodies, which authorise the majority of insolvency practitioners, the code only applies to their regulatory functions under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.
The code works alongside, rather than replacing, the Enforcement Concordat introduced in 1998. It encourages regulators to consider:
Undertaking a risk assessment of all their activities.
Information and advice
Providing information and advice in a way that enables businesses to clearly understand what is required by law.
Only performing inspections following a risk assessment, so resources are focused on those least likely to comply.
Collaborating with other regulators to share data and minimise demand on businesses.
Compliance and enforcement actions
Applying enforcement actions, including sanctions and penalties, according to the Macrory principles on penalties.
Increasing the transparency of regulatory organisations by reporting on outcomes, costs and perceptions of their enforcement approach.
Supporting economic progress
Performing regulatory duties so as to avoid impeding business productivity.
The code has been approved by both Houses of Parliament and issued in accordance with the provisions of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006.