Why Regulation Matters…


By Helen Whiteman, CEO, CILEx Regulation

So what is regulation all about and does it really matter?

Think about the last time you went to a shop and bought something, let’s say a sandwich.  If like me the big decision was ‘what filling do I fancy’, you probably didn’t stop to think about everything that was in place to make sure that your sandwich was fresh and tasty with no hidden surprises.  You just wanted and expected it to be.

As consumers and members of the general public, we all have certain expectations about what we want from products and services we come into contact with.  These expectations are known as standards and in the legal world they are often looked after by regulators such as CILEx Regulation. We are trusted and tasked with putting the necessary controls in place to manage the standards that consumers and the public expect.

Let’s have another bite at that sandwich.  Much of the regulation surrounding how the sandwich is made and delivered to us is hidden.  But it’s there in the background, acting both as a safety net for you and me, and also a setter of standards for the sandwich maker. The same applies in the legal world, so regulation can be a benefit to all parties.

As regulators, it’s our job to make sure that the standards you expect from services or products are set at the right level.  Now that can be a fine balancing act. We have to identify and weigh up the type of risk that we think you, the consumer or member of the public, might face from a product or service. But also we have to consider the impact on the provider and show a benefit for them.

Final bite of that sandwich: regulation needs to work for all. The egg in the sandwich needs to be fresh but you don’t need the name of the chicken that laid it. Regulation needs to make sure there are no nasty surprises and safeguard your interests if something goes wrong.

So that’s lunch finished. Next time you buy a sandwich, you can enjoy it with some confidence that regulation helps to make sure it meets your expectations. That way the only pickle you find will be right next to the cheese… and ‘what filling did I fancy’? Tuna mayo of course!

Helen Whiteman is the CEO of CILEx Regulation

What do you think of Regulation Matters?

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