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2020 Regulator Table

Better Regulators Campaign

About the campaign

Protect wants whistleblowers who raise a public interest concern with a regulator to start achieving better outcomes and responses – and to see regulatory action taken when needed.

Regulators have come under fire for many high-profile scandals in recent years, where they have either failed to act on concerns raised by whistleblowers or there has been a deathly silence from workers in the sector before the scandal broke. Both scenarios leave the general public exposed, whether it’s banking customers through the HBOS fraud, or vulnerable children and adults as we saw in the Oxfam sex for aid scandals.

The Better Regulators campaign saw Protect collaborate with regulators to share and learn best practice with the overall aim of achieving a sea change in whistleblowing.

Our Better Regulators Guide – below – is a product of our productive series of round tables with regulators and professional bodies.

 

 

About Protect

With more than 25 years expertise built through supporting over 40,000 whistleblowers through our Advice Line, we understand whistleblowing like nobody else.

The League Table in Numbers

Out of 65 ‘prescribed persons’ in the League Table:

In addition, of the 21 which were not fully compliant:

Annual Reporting Duties for 2019

The Government made it compulsory for the most powerful UK regulators – those with legal powers – to start annually reporting on the number of whistleblowers approaching them with concerns from their sector. This table represents compliance by those prescribed regulators for the second year of reporting for 2019. To see the reporting for 2018, please click here.

To read more analysis of the 2019 reporting data click here.

 

Name of RegulatorSectorCompliance Star RatingPublished a reportReported number of whistleblowing disclosuresAre there details on the regualtory action they have takenHave they provided a summary of the regualtory impact from disclosuresOverall Compliance
Audit ScotlandBusiness, finance or fraud & Local Authorities4

Compliant

Care InspectorateHealthcare & Social Care4

Compliant

Care Quality Commission (CQC) Healthcare & Social Care4

Compliant

Criminal Cases Review CommissionPolice and Justice 1

Compliant

Children’s Commissioner for EnglandChildren's interest3

Partial

Children’s Commissioner for WalesChildren's interest4

Compliant

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)Consumer protection3

Partial

Commissioner for Children and Young People in ScotlandChildren's interest3

Partial

Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in ScotlandEthics1

Compliant

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)Business, finance or fraud3

Partial

Food Standards ScotlandFood Standards4

Compliant

FRC (Financial Reporting Council Limited)Business, finance or fraud3

Partial

Food Safety Agency (FSA)Food Standards4

Compliant

General Chiropractic CouncilHealthcare4

Compliant

General Dental Council (GDC)Healthcare4

Compliant

General Medical Council (GMC)Healthcare4

Compliant

General Optical CouncilHealthcare4

Compliant

General Osteopathic CouncilHealthcare4

Compliant

General Pharmaceutical CouncilHealthcare4

Compliant

Health and Care Professions CouncilHealthcare & Social Care4

Compliant

Health Education EnglandHealthcare2

Partial

Healthcare Improvement ScotlandHealthcare & Social Care4

Compliant

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)Business, finance or fraud & Tax2

Partial

Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)Data protection and freedom of information3

Partial

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)Police and Justice 0

Warning

NHS ImprovementHealthcare4

Compliant

National Crime Agency (NCA)Police and Justice 0

Warning

National Guardian's Office (NGO)Healthcare4

Compliant

NHS Counter Fraud AuthorityHealthcare3

Partial

NHS EnglandHealthcare4

Compliant

NSPCC (The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)Children's interest3

Partial

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)Healthcare4

Compliant

Ofcom (The Office of Communications)Broadcasting and Communications1

Compliant

Office for Nuclear RegulationHealth and Safety 4

Compliant

Office for Rail and RoadHealth and Safety & Transport2

Partial

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)Charities4

Compliant

Ofgem (The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority)Utilities 4

Compliant

Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation)Education4

Compliant

Ofsted (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills)Education & Social Care3

Partial

Ofwat (Office for the Water Services Regulation Authority)Utilities 4

Compliant

Older People’s CommissionerSocial Care1

Compliant

Public Services Ombudsman for WalesBusiness, finance or fraud3

Partial

Qualifications WalesEducation4

Compliant

Registers of ScotlandHousing1

Compliant

Regulator of Social HousingHousing1

Compliant

Revenue ScotlandBusiness, finance or fraud & Tax1

Compliant

Scottish Housing RegulatorHousing4

Compliant

Scottish Social Services CouncilSocial Care4

Compliant

SFO (The Director of the Serious Fraud Office)Police and Justice 4

Compliant

Single Source Regulations OfficeDefence procurement1

Compliant

Social Care WalesSocial Care1

Partial

Auditor General for WalesBusiness, finance or fraud & Local Authorities4

Compliant

Bank of England (also known as the Prudential Regulation Authority)Business, finance or fraud4

Compliant

Certification OfficerTrade unions 1

Compliant

Charity Commission for England and WalesCharities4

Compliant

Scottish Cases Review CommissionPolice and Justice 3

Partial

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)Transport2

Partial

National Audit Office (NAO)Business, finance or fraud & Local Authorities4

Compliant

Environment AgencyEnvironment4

Compliant

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)Health and Safety 3

Partial

Pensions RegulatorPensions 3

Partial

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)Environment1

Compliant

Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC)Data protection and freedom of information1

Compliant

Water Industry Commission for ScotlandUtilities 1

Compliant

Welsh Revenue AuthorityTax1

Compliant

More information about the League Table:

Our Better Regulator League Table ranks how the various regulators are doing with the new reporting duty around whistleblowing.  The Government made it compulsory for regulators to be more transparent and report on all cases of whistleblowing they have received each year and details of action/impact they have taken. The reporting duty applies to the regulators classed as a Prescribed Person under the whistleblowing law – the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The Government maintains a list of all prescribed person regulators. A Prescribed Person is a body you can make a whistleblowing disclosure to, such as a regulator. Raising a concern to one of these bodies is an easier route for whistleblowers to gain legal protection against detriment or dismissal than a wider disclosure, such as to the press. The most powerful regulators on the list include the Financial Conduct Authority, Care Quality Commission, National Audit Office. A full list of those regulators can be found here. There are some bodies who are Prescribed Persons but are nonetheless excluded from publishing annual whistleblowing reports, and include:

  • MPs
  • Ministers of the Crown (UK, Scottish and Welsh ministers)
  • the European Securities and Market Authority
  • an auditor appointed by smaller Local Authorities

In the interests of making the Better Regulator League Table easy to view we have excluded large local authorites who are Prescribed Persons. The League Table captures the level of compliance for the remaining bodies who are required to report in this area.

The regulators who have to report each year must provide the following anonymised information:

  • The number of whistleblowing disclosures made
  • A narrative on the action taken in relation to whistleblowing disclosures made
  • A narrative on the impact of whistleblowing disclosures

This approach is to encourage not just a report on the number of whistleblowing concerns, but also to examine what action is taken and how this impacts on the way the regulators work.  These three elements are the core of the reporting duty. It is also a requirement for regulators to publish their reports in an appropriate way –  typically regulators have published reports as stand alone documents or webpages on their websites or as part of their annual report.

The Better Regulator League Table scores the various regulators on their level of compliance in reporting on whistleblowing rules.

Comparing the number of whistleblowing disclosures received is almost meaningless given the difference in size of some of the bodies, for example, there is no real comparison between the Care Quality Commission who receive thousands of concerns, from the Certification Officer who oversees the election process amongst Trade Unions.  What our Better Regulator League Table sets out to do is compare which regulators are /are not complying with the new reporting duty, which came into force for the first time in 2018.

Star System
We’re awarding stars for compliance across the four categories that make up the reporting duty.  Four stars is the maximum a regulator can receive if they are doing a good job. The four categories are

1 star  – If the regulator has published a whistleblowing report
2 star – If they have reported on the number of whistleblowing disclosures received
3 star – If they have provided a narrative of actions taken over whistleblowing concerns
4 star – If they have provided a narrative of the impact these whistleblowing concerns have had on their operation as a regulator.

Traffic Light Dots

The Better Regulator League Table is comprised of the four elements of the reporting duty (listed above).

  = is awarded where a regulator is compliant with a particular element, while = indicates where a regulator is not being full compliant. A red dot will mean that one of the four elements is missing from the published report.

⚠= indicates regulators who have published a report but have received no disclosures, these regulators are technically compliant with all parts of the duty but only because they have received no whistleblowing concerns.  We have used to indicate this situation as it questionable as to whether these regulators could be doing more to promote whistleblowing in their sector.  They have also received one star for publishing the report.


Final Judgement

Finally those that are compliant across the four elements, or have reported no disclosures will be judged as Complete, meaning completely compliant.  While those who are not compliant with a particular element of the duty will be tagged as Partial, meaning partially compliant with the duty.  Regulators who have not published a report, have been given a Warning as they have not complied with the reporting duty.

Read our Better Regulators Guide