We have created a template available in both PDF and Word document formats that you can use to create your impact assessment. We have also created guidance for each section of the template to help you complete your BRIA correctly.
Title of proposed legislation
This should include any document reference numbers, as well as any related European Commission (EC) directive numbers.
Purpose and intended effect
There are three elements to this part of the assessment: background, objectives and the rationale behind the proposal.
Outline the current situation and whether there is legislation already in place that deals with the issue.
Objectives and rationale
To decide upon the rationale for and the objectives of the proposed legislation you should identify:
- evidence and nature of the problem, and the context in which it arises
- the probability and frequency of the problem
At this stage you should also take into account the five principles of better regulation, and whether there are alternatives to the proposed legislation.
There are three distinct groups who you must consult with and record their input affected the proposed legislation:
All agencies, directorates and enforcement bodies directly impacted.
For a partial BRIA you need only record the details of any informal consultations carried out before the publication of the formal consultation.
For the final BRIA you must record the full public consultation results.
You must engage with six to 12 companies who will be affected by the proposal, ensuring they are diverse in terms of size and location to obtain a representative sample.
If you need advice or support on approaching business contacts, please contact the Regulatory Review Group (RRG).
You should list the different options you have considered. Starting from a baseline of the status quo, the 'no action' option, you should include all alternative and non-regulatory options that could be considered.
Consider the impact, beneficial and negative, of each option on different groups and sectors. Think about the impact on:
- local authorities
- third sector organisations
- equalities groups
If your proposals will affect people in any way, you will need to consider undertaking an Equality Impact Assessment.
Benefits and costs
You will have to identify the benefits and costs of each option you have considered, and quantify these as far as possible in monetary value. Your economist(s) and analyst(s) should be consulted at the earliest possible time. You should consider direct and indirect benefits as well as changes to the environment, people's health and the social impacts.
You can identify the benefits by thinking about the proposals and the risks that are being addressed by it.
You can identify the costs by thinking about what the proposals will require business, consumers and the public sector to do; for example, the costs of labour, equipment or licences.
Gov.uk offers a useful tool to help you evaluate and appraise the costs and benefits of your proposal, called The Green Book.
Scottish Firms Impact Test
In assessing the proposal's impact on business you should:
- consult with all relevant business organisations, such as CBI Scotland, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Business, Scottish Financial Enterprise and Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service
- identify where impacts could change for different parts of a single industry or supply chain
- consult the Scottish Trade Union Congress and other relevant unions
In particular, you must look at the impact on micro (businesses with fewer than 10 employees) and small (businesses with fewer than 50 employees) businesses. These make up the majority of businesses in Scotland.
A core element of the BRIA is to identify, visit and consult between six to 12 businesses likely to be affected to discuss what the proposals mean and the impact on the business.
All new forms introduced as a result of the proposals must be tested as early as possible with the relevant businesses and organisations. You must explain how these forms were developed, what input businesses and organisations had in the development and the results of the testing.
The impact of a proposal on competition between firms must be considered. Where proposals would impact on the competitiveness of Scottish companies within the United Kingdom, Europe or the rest of the world, it can increase costs or remove choice for consumers in these markets. These costs need to be factored into the impact assessment. The competition assessment aims to shape the proposals around achieving the aims of the legislation whilst minimising distortion on competition.
The competition assessment should consider the markets and products affected and any restrictions on competition resulting from the proposals, i.e. on suppliers or consumers.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provides guidance on carrying out competition assessments.
Legal Aid Impact Test
Proposals that could impact on the use of legal processes, such as additional people seeking legal assistance or being taken through the courts, or the creation of new rights or responsibilities, must undergo a Legal Aid Impact Assessment to discover the possible effect on the legal aid fund.
You should consider what implications the proposals have on fulfilling an individual's right to access justice, through availability of legal aid and possible expenditure from the legal aid fund. Such impacts are likely if your policy will create or change a procedure or right of appeal to a court or tribunal, or lead people to consult a solicitor. Consideration should also be given to whether the policy will result in additional people seeking legal assistance or being taken through the courts. If an impact is identifid, some kind of estimate of additional numbers should be given.
Your draft BRIA should be provided alongside a copy of the proposed legislation, the related strategy documents and the consultation report, which will be shared with the Scottish Legal Aid Board.
Enforcement, sanctions and monitoring
This section of the BRIA should describe how you propose to enforce and monitor compliance. It should:
- describe the monitoring process, whoo will be responsible, how frequent it will be, and in what form it will be reported
- take into account existing monitoring processes
- assess compliance against the objective, and be clear what will be counted as compliance
- give full details of sanctions available for non-compliance
Implementation and delivery plan
Here you should outline the options for implementations and delivery. Consideration of this should include:
- aims and timetable of implementation
- ownership of the proposals once the legislation is passed
- communications strategy
- how the proposals will fit into existing initiatives
All implemented legislation that impacts on business should be reviewed against the BRIA within 10 years. This should establish whether the legislation has:
- had the intended effect
- been implemented efficiently
- achieved its objectives achieved
- had the expected impact
- had the expected levels of compliance
- fulfilled the Better Regulation principles
Summary and recommendation
The information gathered for each option should be summarised. The recommended option and the reasons for the recommendation, with reference to the costs and benefits, should be clearly outlined.
Declaration and publication
The Cabinet Secretary or Minister responsible for the proposed legislation is required to sign off all BRIAs prior to publication. If you are conducting a BRIA as part of a non-departmental public body or other agency, the Chief Executive is required to sign off before publication.
Five hard copies of any published BRIA should be sent to the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) and an electronic copy sent to their collections team. Where appropriate, one copy each should be sent to the following:
- the lead committee
- Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee
- Parliament Legal Advisers
You should publish your signed BRIA on gov.scot.
Telephone: 0300 244 1141
Better Regulation Team
5 Atlantic Quay
Competition and Markets Authority (Scotland) telephone: 0131 243 6721