Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
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Ten years of protecting people and supporting business

Primary Authority, the scheme that helps business comply with regulations, is ten years old and celebrations are taking place.

Today more than 100,000 businesses are in primary authority partnerships that support them in protecting consumers whilst being given the confidence to invest and grow.

To mark the anniversary, a two-day conference will be held on February 26/27 to look at how Primary Authority has grown and where it will go next.

“The ability to address issues before they become problems, puts our members ahead of the compliance curve.”

David Richardson, Regulatory & Commercial Affairs Director, Wine and Spirit Trade Association

“Primary Authority is important to our business as it allows us to be in control – driving standards of compliance forward without the need for local authority intervention.”

Denise Din, Group H&S Compliance Manager, Bannatyne Fitness Ltd

Primary Authority facts

  • 90% of businesses in Primary Authority are Small and Medium Enterprises
  • All the major UK supermarkets are in Primary Authority
  • 136 trade associations and other groups acting as co-ordinators
  • 191 local authorities participating in the scheme

Primary Authority enhances protection for consumers and workers by helping businesses comply with environmental health, trading standards or fire safety regulations through forming a legal partnership with one local authority which provides assured and tailored advice.

Other local authorities must heed this advice, which means businesses can invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that the resources they devote to compliance are well spent.

Businesses can set up their own direct partnership with a local authority or, if they belong to a trade association (or other similar group), join an indirect partnership. This latter option is particularly important for smaller interest to businesses.

The benefits of Primary Authority


  • are better protected are helpful to comply with legislation
  • are at reduced risk as local authorities and can target resources on high-risk areas


  • have access to relevant, authoritative tailored advice
  • gain recognition for robust compliance arrangements
  • draw on an established means of meeting business regulations
  • can be confident that they are protecting themselves and their customers


  • can support local economic growth through stronger business relationships
  • can improve the consistency of local regulation
  • can target resources on high-risk areas
  • can develop their staff expertise via partnerships
  • can protect front line services through cost recovery


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