By Tafflab Mentor Dr. David Owen OBE
The modern world is subject to an ever growing body of regulatory demands. These regulations have arisen, primarily, as a consequence of adverse experiences prompting regulatory processes to offer protection from repetitive adverse events and experiences.
The major areas to which regulatory controls apply include :-
- Professional standards, who wants to be treated by a rogue of incompetent doctor or dentist?
- Products, who wants to purchase a product that is dangerous?
- Advertising, how many people have been misled into spending on products that fail to match the claims made?
We are all aware of examples when the regulatory processes have failed but, in most/many instances, the regulations serve their purpose to protect the public and serve as a vital to protect the interests of businesses that act with honesty and integrity from competitors who do not.
A challenge for the establishment of sound regulation is innovation, e.g. new services, new products etc. Regulations are subject to regular updating, albeit, often somewhat delayed. It is the responsibility of those subject to the regulation to ensure they respect and honour the updated criteria.
Relevance to Tafflab:
- Those who work within regulated professions will, on qualification, be made aware of the requirement on them
- The body of products now subject to regulation is ever growing. Whilst most people understand the need to ensure that medicines only become available after experts have had the opportunity to review hard evidence that they are both effective and safe, the products in many other fields of business are also subject to controls; usually a lighter touch than for medicines but still a requirement with respect to safety. In the context of Tafflab,
- those providing food should ensure they follow food safety regulations,
- for cosmetics (defined quite broadly) should follow the cosmetic safety regulations,
- alternative therapies also have their own regulations.
- Please check that you are meeting the regulations appropriate to your business sector.
- Advertising is controlled by the Advertising Standards Authority. These regulators exist to protect the public from unjustified advertising claims for which there is no evidence. Most of you will have seen carefully worded advertisements along the lines of “8 out 10” people said they feel better after taking/applying product X. These are the output of marketing departments pushing as hard as they can without “hard and tangible” evidence. They succeed because people don’t stop to think about the precise wording, if they like the image created. If there was tangible evidence that “8 out of 10” people were proven to feel better, that is what the advertisement would say. Be active promoting your products but, take care with the detail.
Whilst, at a time when your mentor is trying to be as encouraging as possible, introducing regulatory requirements can seem like another obstacle. However, when respected and honoured, they are also :-
- part of your protection in the event of an unexpected adverse event
- your protection from competition with dishonest, dishonourable competitors