An Evaluation of the Local Authority Programme Joint Authorisation Pilot Project

Transfer of enforcement responsibilities in the motor vehicle repair and dry-cleaning sectors

Wilson S, Tyers C | Research Report RR586 | Health and Safety Executive | Aug 2007

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During 2006 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ran a pilot initiative at Peterborough City Council which involved handing over inspection responsibilities from HSE in two industrial sectors. This transfer was the first of its kind: neither HSE nor the local authority had prior experience of a large-scale handover on a premises-by-premises basis.

This independent report examines the effect of these pilot activities. It has two main components:

  • A process evaluation which assesses the way in which the pilot programme has been delivered, the way in which staff have been supported, the challenges that they have faced, and the successes they have experienced.
  • An impact evaluation, leading to a costs and benefits analysis, which investigates the extent to which the service has resulted in a cost-effective improvement in outcomes.

The report concludes that the pilot succeeded in demonstrating the potential for local authority inspectors to assume regulatory responsibilities in sectors which have traditionally been enforced by HSE. It examines the factors that contributed to the pilot’s success and outlines further considerations should the pilot be extended to other areas of the UK.