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Guide to Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements

1. Introduction

This Guide is about how to meet Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements for government policy initiatives that involve a proposal to create, amend or repeal primary or secondary legislation (a “regulatory proposal”).[1] These requirements are set out in the Cabinet Office circular: CO(17)3: Impact Analysis Requirements and explained here with extra guidance.

Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements support and inform the government's decisions on regulatory proposals. They are both a process and an analytical framework that encourages a systematic and evidence-informed approach to policy development. The requirements incorporate the Government Expectations for Good Regulatory Practice. In particular, the requirements focus on the expectation that agencies provide robust analysis and advice to Ministers before decisions are taken on regulatory change.

The key product of the requirements is a Regulatory Impact Assessment. This is a government agency document which summaries an agency's best advice on the Impact Analysis relating to a regulatory proposal. That Impact Analysis should be completed and summarised in a Regulatory Impact Assessment before the Cabinet paper is drafted.

Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements and this Guide are focused on ensuring high-quality Regulatory Impact Assessments are provided to Ministers to support and inform their decisions on regulatory proposals.

For further advice or information on Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements and Regulatory Impact Assessments, see Treasury's Regulation webpage ( or please contact Treasury's Regulatory Quality Team via


  • [1]See cl 2 of Legislation Bill (Government Bill 275-1) for the definition of “secondary legislation”.
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