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Performance measurement by regulators

This good practice guide aids improvement in performance measurement and reporting by regulators and other organisations seeking to deliver outcomes through third parties. It has been developed in collaboration with regulators and includes the NAO’s experience from working with them and examples of good practice provided by regulators themselves.


Performance measurement is important to enable any organisation to ensure it is achieving its objectives, and making the best possible use of resources. With good reporting, it also enables accountability, which in the case of regulators, includes accountability to Parliament and to the taxpayers and other stakeholders who fund their activities and have a keen interest in their effectiveness.

Performance measurement by regulators is particularly complex because their intended outcomes (for example protection of consumers) are generally delivered by the organisations that they regulate. There are also many external factors outside regulators’ control, and outcomes can take a long time to become evident.

Part one of this guidance sets out criteria for developing performance measurement frameworks and measures, and provides examples of existing good practice among regulators. It also outlines important considerations for regulators in how they report and use performance information.

Part two covers the particular challenges of measuring regulators’ influence over their intended outcomes, and outlines steps that regulators can take to improve their knowledge of how – and how well – their activities influence those outcomes. It also considers how regulators can assess the risks to achieving their regulatory objectives and measure their performance in mitigating them.


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