Evidence Review on Regulation Culture and Behaviours

Wilson S | Unit Report 37 | Food Standards Agency | Mar 2015

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In response to the 2009 Public Inquiry chaired by Professor Hugh Pennington, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommended work should be carried out to better understand the culture and behaviours in businesses and enforcement bodies, as well as the communication between these two groups that facilitate or inhibit compliance with regulation. The Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre (CWERC) published a report in 2010, commissioned by the FSA, which presented an evidence review in this area.

The aim of this review is to update the findings presented in the 2010 report by examining relevant evidence that has accumulated over the last four years. Like the previous review it was conducted according to the principles of a rapid evidence assessment, and a broad range of evidence was reviewed across a range of regulatory areas. As before, the overall aim of the review was to determine ‘what works’ in terms of culture and behaviour in securing compliance.

Like the 2010 review this review has found very little empirical evidence making a direct link between particular aspects of culture and behaviour within dutyholders and regulators, and levels of compliance. There is a proliferation of descriptive information about approaches that appear to work well, but little in the way of controlled studies which prove the advantages of particular interventions or modifications objectively.