Criteria and code of practice
We conduct our consultations according to the Code of Practice on Written Consultation issued by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). This recommends the following criteria:
- Criterion 1, When to consult
Formal consultation should take place at a stage when there is scope to influence the policy outcome.
Duration of consultation exercises
Consultations should normally last for at least 12 weeks with consideration given to longer timescales where feasible and sensible.
Clarity of scope and impact
Consultation documents should be clear about the consultation process, what is being proposed, the scope to influence and the expected costs and benefits of the proposals.
- Criterion 4, Accessibility of consultation
Consultation exercises should be designed to be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people the exercise is intended to reach.
- Criterion 5, The burden of consultation
Keeping the burden of consultation to a minimum is essential if consultations are to be effective and if consultees’ buy-in to the process is to be obtained.
- Criterion 6, Responsiveness
Consultation responses should be analysed carefully and clear feedback should be provided to participants following the consultation.
Capacity to consult
Officials running consultations should seek guidance in how to run an effective consultation exercise and share what they have learned from the experience.
These criteria should be reproduced in consultation documents.
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