Sustainable Regulatory Model - Cornwall Council

Cornwall Councils’ Public Protection Service has developed and implemented an award winning sustainable regulatory operating model, providing discretionary business support products and services. This case study forms part of our productivity experts resource.

Efficiency and income generation

Cornwall Councils’ Public Protection Service has developed and implemented an award winning sustainable regulatory operating model, providing discretionary business support products and services, and supporting the sustainable delivery of front line services: the Business Regulatory Support (BRS) service

A Productivity Expert was invited to critique and challenge the existing and proposed development plans for the sustainable regulatory operating model (and associated commercial strategy), in order to help drive and grow the ambitions of the Service, and potentially those of associated Directorate Services.

The challenge:

In early 2015 Cornwall Council’s Public Protection Service took a proactive approach in meeting the unprecedented financial and resource challenges it faced, due to funding reductions, by developing and implementing an innovative commercial strategy, in conjunction with the Better Business for All programme.

The Commercial Strategy included the introduction of the award Business Regulatory Support service, providing discretionary business support products and services, generating additional income, and supporting the sustainable delivery of front line services.

The single-point-of-contact BRS Hub offers a full wrap-around business support service including environmental health, licensing and trading standards, as well as associated Directorate Services of planning and building control and fire safety. 

Establishing the Services’ sustainable regulatory operating model has been a complex process, involving bringing together different departments with varying ways of working, internal culture change, collaborative working, and a strong focus on customer needs: emphasising business support, rather than just enforcement.

With ambitions to continue to drive and grow the operating model (and associated commercial strategy), the Service recognised that some of these key challenges and barriers still existed within the Service and needed to be considered and addressed effectively.

The solution:

Senior Management within the Public Protection Service developed a number of proposals and suggestions with regard to enhancing the existing BRS service, including alternative delivery and operational models.

In order to add robust assessment, a Productivity Expert was invited to critique and challenge the proposed development plans, to add comment and develop an implementation plan, as well as add insight into the potential integration of the ‘Regulating Our Future’ principles.


Having conducted a full research exercise, meeting several members of the Public Protection Service and reviewing all commercial and sustainable regulatory operating model documentation and plans, the Productivity Expert produced a final review paper, including a critique, recommendations and suggestions with regard to the proposed changes to the operating model, and development of key commercial opportunities.

The paper was presented and considered by Senior Management, in line with ongoing corporate and Service plans for development, however, due to current restructures taking place within the Service, it was deemed not appropriate for the Productivity Expert to develop further an implementation plan at this time, but instead to focus on a key income generation area: Sustainable Regulatory Solutions)*.

* In response to direct enquiries and recognition from other local authorities on the success of their sustainable regulatory operating model, the Public Protection Service launched the Sustainable Regulatory Solutions (SRS) framework (hosted on RIAMS) in July 2017.

The SRS framework gives local authorities access to template documents, procedures and frameworks developed, tested and implemented by Cornwall, including a Core (commercial) element, and two business product packages: Safer Food Direct (Gain or Retain) and Licensing Direct.

Since its launch, SRS has had strong interest, with several local authorities gaining access to the framework, visiting the BRS Hub to see the Cornwall commercial model ‘in action’, or accessing training around ‘commercialisation’ processes, procedures and culture change, to further support and aid implementation.  Product training on delivery of Safer Food Direct and Licensing Direct is also available.

Continued development includes exploring opportunities to develop a full SRS end-to-end solution, including the use of 3rd party delivery agents where barriers to implementation may require them. 

The impact (including cost savings/income generated if applicable):

The work and impact of the Productivity Expert to the development of a revised and enhanced sustainable operating model for the Service had an unquestionable benefit.

  • A ‘third party’ view point added essential insight to robust decision making at a senior level; highlighting strategic growth potential, as well as ‘underlying’ issues still existing within Service structure and culture
  • The critique added challenge to short, medium and long term strategic plans, helping highlight key commercial opportunities where expertise could be essential for growth and development
  • The final SRS market approach analysis report offered ideas and recommendations around marketing opportunities e.g. customer segmentation/targeting and search engine optimization, all of which are now being actioned.

Lessons learned:

The Productivity Expert highlighted some key findings and areas for the Service to focus on to ensure continued effective and successful implementation of their sustainable operating model:

  • routes of communication and repercussions of negative behavior on an organisation’s culture
  • key commercial opportunities for growth and development
  • reassuring and thought provoking insight – contributing hugely to the future focus and drive of the strategic development of the commercial programme.

Contact: Tori Knight, Business Regulatory Support Hub Manager, or Phillip Finnemore,

LGA contact: Grace Abel Email: