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Experimenting around regulation in Manchester

We are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and regulatory partners to design a different approach to working together around regulation. Our aim is to encourage learning and collaboration between local authorities and regulators like the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted. This project is part of the UK Government’s Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities’ National Changing Futures programme.

The challenge

Greater Manchester and its partners are committed to radically reimagining the way services work so residents achieve their full potential and nobody is left behind.

Relationships around regulation, namely those between regulators, inspectors and local authorities or public service providers, have been identified as barriers to achieving this vision. This is because:

  • Many regulators are encouraged to ‘rate and rank’ providers, framing regulation as a score to be kept.

  • Regulators tend to look at public service providers in the abstract, rather than at the public services that someone experiencing multiple disadvantages relies on.

  • Within regulated organisations, their own internal performance management approaches will often reflect the same scorekeeping approach. This means they take time away from delivering quality public services to prepare for inspections, which feels counterproductive.

Overall, the current relationships around regulation are limiting collaboration and the genuine improvement of services and system change for residents, particularly those experiencing multiple disadvantages.

What we're doing

CPI is working with GMCA, regulators and local authority partners as part of the Department for Leveling Up, Housing and Communities’ Changing Futures programme. We are designing an action research experiment to explore what a more collaborative approach to working together around regulation could be, in a way that improves public services for those experiencing multiple disadvantages.

This work builds on the insights gained from CPI’s Regulation Community of Practice, which brought together 30+ regulators, inspectors, auditors, local authorities and public sector providers. Insights from that Community of Practice can be found here.

CPI is playing the role of a learning partner, in collaboration with the King's Fund. We are supporting partners by designing and facilitating a journey that promotes experimentation and continuous learning. Regulatory partners include Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons.

Explore our work

Curious to find out more about how we're reimagining government in Europe? Check out what else our team has been working on.

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