Uniac - July 2022

30 Nicola Dandridge, the Chief executive of the OfS, stated that (May 2021): Every institution registered with us – from a large, multi-faculty university to a small specialist provider – must meet our conditions, both at Registration and on an ongoing basis. But we recognise that different providers have different experiences of our regulation. We will look at how regulatory burden is experienced by different types of providers, including small providers, and discuss this with the sector in the coming months. We will seek to go further in reducing any duplication of regulation for those providers, usually further education colleges, who are also regulated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. This statement was made in response to a requirement from the government20. The aim to reduce the burden and take a risk-based approach to Regulation, with those providers meeting conditions dealt with through a lighter touch, may not impact upon small and specialist providers for some time to come. More recently, the OfS Director of Compliance and Student protection talked about pivoting from registration to enforcement and driving a strategic and deliberate, rather than a reactive and ad hoc approach. Her view is that irrespective of the enforcement practices adopted, the application of OfS sanctions would incentivize other providers to fix similar issues. There is a wealth of knowledge and understanding across providers and harnessing the opportunities for greater collaboration and sharing of experiences of regulatory engagement could and should bolster governance and management. Several areas merit further attention, focusing on what 'good' should look like: • Designing and using a regulatory compliance framework • Effectiveness reviews and checklists • Communication logs • Reading and reviewing returns – sharing expertise and developing a new culture of assessment and review • Collaborating across critical data sets and targets • Building a collective evidence set of the regulatory impact to inform discussion with the OfS about the unnecessary burden. 20 Reducing bureaucratic burden: higher education 5. Managing regulatory burden