A Primary Authority is a statutory scheme established by the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 (RESA). A Primary Authority enables a business to form a legally recognised partnership with one local authority (the ‘primary authority’) to get assured advice about how they can comply most efficiently with regulation.
This advice, known as Primary Authority Advice, must then be taken into account by other local authorities when dealing with that business e.g. when carrying out inspections or addressing non-compliance.
HIES is proud to announce that we have a Primary Authority relationship with West Yorkshire Trading Standards (WYTS). HIES will be working very closely with WYTS in producing standardised suites of documentation (all approved by CTSI) that members may adopt (i.e. Standard Contracts and T&C’s, Guarantees, Quotation paperwork etc).
Benefits of a Primary Authority
A primary authority provides a business or group of businesses with robust, bespoke regulatory advice on which they can rely. Primary Authority Advice:
- Makes it easier for businesses to comply with the law.
- Significantly reduces the costs of compliance without reducing regulatory protections.
- Enables businesses to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that the resources they devote to compliance are recognised.
- Businesses can quickly establish an agreed means of compliance to new legislation.
Why is a Primary Authority a good thing?
Policies enforced by local authorities have been inconsistently applied in the past, even where the intention had been for a nationally consistent regulatory regime. Varying interpretations of legislation by different local authorities have led to situations where a single enactment might be enforced in different ways by different local authorities. This uncertainty and inconsistency can impose a major burden on businesses operating across more than one local authority, or relying on advice from a trade association, or following certain procedures required by their franchisor.
Primary Authority allows business to access relevant, reliable advice on compliance in a cost-effective way.
How does a Primary Authority work?
A primary authority acts as the main point of contact between its partner business and the local authorities which regulate it. Primary authorities may issue Primary Authority Advice upon which businesses can rely. If an enforcing authority proposes enforcement action which the primary authority deems to be inconsistent with the advice, the primary authority may ‘block’ the enforcement action.
This consistency in regulation and enforcement increases businesses’ operational certainty, reduces the burdens associated with regulation, and increases compliance by giving businesses clear instructions on how to meet a regulatory requirement in a cost-effective way.