The rules and regulations your business is required to follow may differ from one industry to the next.
It’s your responsibility to ensure you are following what’s right for your type of business and that your team are copying your good example too.
Certain organisations are regulated differently. For example, financial services providers, investment firms and consumer credit firms alike are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, while care homes and hospitals are monitored by the Care Quality Commission. Food businesses are regulated by the Food Standards Agency and have to be registered with the local authority.
Even though they are three different sectors, they are accountable to a regulatory body that will ensure everything the business does is ethical, responsible and aligned with the law.
So, who are you regulated by and why is this important? Well, it depends. Ultimately, most businesses are regulated by an industry-specific regulator – but other sectors have less regulation.
The industries which aren’t heavily regulated in the UK include cleaning services, plumbing and recruitment.
That doesn’t mean to say that there is a free for all, everyone must follow the various and continually-changing UK rules and regulations set by Parliament, regardless of whether they have an industry-specific regulator or not.
Rules and regulations can be complicated and maybe a challenge to follow, especially if you’re not an expert on this matter.
But there’s a simple way to build on your understanding of how it works – and we call it the Onion Analogy.
There are several layers to rules and regulations and, aligning our explanation to the Onion Analogy, we’re going to uncover three layers.
Layer one of the onion – The regulatory bodies you must follow
These include, but aren’t limited to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and more.
Generally, these bodies give guidance on the area they cover but they also have enforcement powers when it comes to breaches of the law.
Every company – including yours – must follow various authorities if it is to adhere to UK law.
Layer two of the onion – The industry-specific regulatory bodies you are accountable to
Similar to the earlier examples for the financial, health-sector and food sectors, industry-specific regulatory bodies are the organisations that specialise within the area your business works.
Other examples include the Environment Agency (EA), the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Ofcom, the Gambling Commission and more.
Layer three of the onion – The industry norms. What are others doing which is right?
The final layer within the Onion Analogy is your industry norms – what are others within your sector doing which is right for your consumers.
It’s impossible for us to give you a definitive answer on whether you are following the rules and regulations for your sector. However, if you’re looking for some expert insight and guidance into whether what you are doing is right or requires improvement, our Business MOT is a great place to start.