9. Principles of enforcement - targeting
7.3.1 Targeting means making sure that regulatory effort is directed primarily towards those whose activities give rise to the most serious risks or where the hazards are poorly controlled or against deliberate or organised crime. We will ensure that our regulatory efforts and resources are targeted where they would be most effective by assessing the risks to the regulatory outcomes. We will ensure that, except when a visit is made at the request of a regulated entity or when acting on specific intelligence, risk assessments precede and inform all aspects of our regulatory activity, including; data collection and other information requirements; inspection programmes; advice and support programmes and enforcement and sanctions.
Risk assessment will be based on all relevant and good quality data and will include explicit consideration of the potential impact of non-compliance on regulatory outcomes and, the likelihood of non-compliance. Action will be primarily focused on intelligence lead enforcement or where risk assessment shows that a compliance breach or breaches would pose a serious risk to regulatory outcome and there is a high likelihood of non-compliance by a regulated entity.
7.3.2 Systems have been introduced for prioritising regulatory effort. They include guidance contained in Codes of Practice, the response to complaints from the public about regulated activities, the assessment of the risks posed by a person’s operations and the gathering and acting on intelligence about illegal activities.
7.3.3 In the case of regulated businesses, management actions are important. Persons breaking the law will be held to account with enforcement action being directed against those responsible. Where several people have responsibilities, action will be taken against those who can be regarded as primarily in breach. Repeated incidents or breaches of regulatory requirements which are related may be an indication of an unwillingness to change behaviour, or an inability to achieve sufficient control and may require a review of the regulatory requirements, the actions of the business operator and additional investment.
7.3.4 All commercial premises are assessed in accordance with their perceived risk to the public and are either inspected at a frequency such that the public can be assured that potentially serious risks continue to be effectively managed or,if low risk, they are subject to an alternative enforcement strategy set out by the respective Food or Health & Safety Service Plan. A relatively low hazard activity poorly managed has potential for greater risk to public safety than a higher hazard activity where proper control measures are in place. There are, however, high hazard sites (for example, some major food manufacturers or industrial plants) which will receive regular visits to ensure that the risks, though remote, continue to be effectively managed.
A small element of random inspection will be included in the overall inspection programme to test risk methodology or the effectiveness of our interventions.