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Regulatory language is important. However thus far it has not been prioritised, or even sufficiently addressed, in terms of forming part of regulatory capability efforts. This is despite the clear value in having a shared language to help communication and knowledge-sharing between regulators in different areas.

The fact that language frames thought, which in turn produces knowledge, is critical for regulators - especially when this knowledge informs their regulatory practices and regulatory interventions.

Regulatory literacy and regulatory communications matter – it matters because they help to improve:

  • regulatory capability;
  • regulatory capacity;
  • regulator performance;
  • regulatory outcomes; and
  • a range of other matters that shape regulatory culture.

There are potentially significant advantages in regulators using, embracing, maintaining and developing a more common and shared regulatory language. Including assisting with:

  • onboarding of staff into a regulatory agency or their first regulatory roles;
  • assisting staff transitioning between different regulatory roles and regulatory agencies;
  • interactions and interoperability between different regulatory agencies; and
  • conversations between regulatory practitioners, managers, executives and boards.

In short it is hoped that regulators can use language more effectively and efficiently to discuss, differentiate, and develop pathways and strategies to address or mitigate regulatory issues – and by doing so deliver the regulatory outcomes they are charged with delivering on behalf of government, and for the benefit and protection of the wider community.

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