This report presents the findings of a rapid literature review on what constitutes effective regulation, specifically in health and social care sectors but also more broadly. The review has been conducted to inform development of the Care Quality Commission’s forward strategy.
To answer the overarching question of what constitutes effective regulation, the following sub-questions were set:
a) What activities are available to regulators in undertaking their role?
b) What theories, frameworks and models are used to help understand the role and effectiveness of regulatory activities?
c) What intended and unintended impacts does regulation bring about?
d) Which regulatory activities have the biggest positive impact in different contexts?
e) What factors help contribute to or inhibit effective regulation?
The review presents the current literature in answer to these questions in the findings section. The discussion section looks at the implications of these findings for CQC, before bringing together the main areas of learning in the conclusion.
The review has pointed to significant evidence that there are a range of factors that can either contribute or inhibit effective regulation. These includes factors relating to the regulator, the regulated organisations, to other system stakeholders, and the relationship that exists between them. Critically, effective regulation relies on these three parts of the system working together effectively. CQC should consider how it develops the characteristics required for regulatory effectiveness, including building into its approach those things that are directly under its control, and how it can influence the things that are not.