Use the gateway to better local regulation
Getting started is simple: just follow the steps below. If you need help at any stage we are here to assist. Once your business has formed a partnership, you will have access to a reliable source of information on local regulation that draws on a detailed understanding of your operations, prevents inconsistent interpretation of regulations, and applies regardless of where your stores, factories or offices are based or where your products are sold.
Step 1: Choose a preferred partner
As a basic requirement, the local authority must be willing to provide a tailored service that meets your needs. Businesses that are already in Primary Authority partnerships have identified three further factors to consider:
History: Do you have an existing voluntary relationship that can be developed?
Geography: Would one council be natural to approach, on the basis of the location of your head office or relevant personnel? This is a particular consideration where regular face to face meetings are likely to be needed to sustain the partnership.
Expertise: Are you confident that the council concerned can provide sufficiently specialised advice to your business, especially if you operate in a specific sector?
Step 2: Decide what to include
You need to determine which areas will benefit from the new approach. Some businesses have taken the chance to receive all they require from a single local authority. However, in some areas different services are delivered by the councils operating at county and district level. If necessary, balance the advantages of having one primary authority against the importance of gaining the right support.
The categories of local regulation that can currently be covered are:
- age-restricted sales
- animal establishments and companion animal welfare
- consumer credit
- environmental protection
- explosives licensing
- fair trading
- farm animal health
- food safety and hygiene
- food standards
- general licensing
- health and safety
- petroleum licensing
- pollution control
- product safety
- road traffic
Step 3: Agree what resources are needed
The level of support required for your partnership will depend on your circumstances, but two areas should be addressed.
At minimum, your business will be seeking advice on specific regulatory matters, or assurance that existing procedures meet legal obligations. You may also want an inspection plan to be developed to focus attention on the areas that matter and guide the generation of useful feedback. Another option is to arrange site visits for staff at your primary authority, so that they can apply an improved understanding of your business to the development of effective approaches to regulatory issues. For a partnership to meet your expectations, sufficient resources must be made available.
In addition, you probably know how much time and cost it currently takes your business to tackle enquiries from local authorities, either at your head office or individual sites. A partnership allows your primary authority to respond to them instead, and in the long run their frequency should reduce due to advice issued to all councils. Further resources to cover this activity also need to be agreed. Our standard agenda for an initial meeting with a local authority to discuss a partnership is available below.
Once the level of resourcing is quantified the financing of the necessary activity must be resolved. Although Primary Authority reduces burdens on business, some investment is likely to be required to unlock its full benefits. We are confident that this will be more than offset by the savings achieved through more efficient enforcement. A partnership enables you to avoid repeated information requests and unnecessary checks, and to tackle broad issues quickly and effectively at a local level.
Step 4: Send the application form
The application form to create a Primary Authority partnership will be completed by the local authority but does need to be signed by both parties. We will process it swiftly, and immediately assign you with an LBRO partnership manager, who will help your realise all the benefits of Primary Authority.
"We now make changes with confidence, knowing that they will be supported by our partner."
Moto Head of Risk Management Jonathan Hayes - 04/01/2010