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Code of Practice on Guidance on Regulation


A break down on the Code of Practice on Guidance on Regulation, which sets out eight golden rules that Government should follow, when publishing guidance for businesses and third sector organisations on how to comply with the law.

This Code sets out eight golden rules which Government should follow when publishing guidance for businesses and third sector organisations on how to comply with the law. They have been created following views expressed by businesses, the third sector and other organisations and by a formal consultation process.

The latest Code of Practice on Guidance on Regulation (PDF) was published in October 2009 and replaces the Code published in July 2008.

Guidance which is compliant with the eight rules should clearly state this and carry a link to the Code.

The revised Code incorporates three key changes recommended by Sarah Anderson’s review of government guidance:

  • the introduction of quick start summary guidance;
  • the removal of legal disclaimers from guidance; and
  • the inclusion of information within guidance on how to provide feedback.

These changes mean that businesses can be confident that if they follow government guidance, in most cases they will be compliant with regulations.

All guidance will be accompanied by a quick start guide, unless it is already very brief and straightforward. This should be an entry point to the more detailed guidance, allowing organisations quickly to assess whether the regulations apply to them and could include a checklist or set out key steps to compliance.

Instead of legal disclaimers, Government will include a positive statement to let businesses know how they can best use the guidance.

By including contact details on the guidance itself, as well as the link to the better regulation website www.betterregulation.gov.uk, companies will find it easier to offer feedback on guidance, including identifying inaccuracies or inconsistencies.

The accompanying Guide to the Code of Practice on Guidance (PDF) is designed to help officials to meet the Code's requirements when writing guidance on how to comply with the law.