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Guide to Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements

2. How to use this Guide

Use this Guide to prepare Regulatory Impact Assessments together with the Cabinet Office circular: CO(17)3: Impact Analysis Requirements.

Sections 3 and 4 of this Guide explain the purpose of Impact Analysis and Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements. They also summarise the topics covered by the requirements.

Sections 5 to 15 of this Guide set out the requirements in detail and explain how to meet them.

2.1.  Policy development for regulatory proposals

This Guide focuses on how to meet the formal requirements for a regulatory proposal. For guidance on policy development of regulatory proposals, see:

Further guidance and tools for the development of policy (in general) are available on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's the Policy Project webpage ( The Policy Project can be contacted at

2.2.  Further information beyond this Guide

The templates for a Regulatory Impact Assessment and forms to support the requirements can be found on Treasury's Regulation webpage.

Developing effective policy interventions is a complex undertaking and the realities of the policy development process may at times differ from the process set out in this Guide. This Guide cannot address all potential issues that may arise in regulatory proposals or policy situations.

Consequently, there will be times when agencies will need to exercise their best judgement on how to give effect to the intentof Cabinet's Impact Analysis Requirements in the particular circumstances they find themselves in.

Some agencies have their own policy development processes and guidelines, or Quality Assurance panels and they may be able to help with advice about individual cases. Otherwise, the Regulatory Quality Team is the authoritative source of general guidance on the development of regulatory proposals and can assist agencies with advice on individual cases, good practice in Impact Analysis and on-going training.

The nature of the Regulatory Quality Team's involvement in individual proposals will depend on the characteristics of the proposal and the policy development process, as well as the existing capabilities and internal Quality Assurance processes of the lead agency. It may involve:

  • working alongside agencies to assist them in meeting Cabinet's requirements, such as by providing comments on early commissioning documentation and draft Regulatory Impact Assessments
  • referring proposals to other agencies or specialists who have relevant expertise in regulatory quality issues or the subject matter.

The Regulatory Quality Team can be contacted via or through your Treasury policy team, who should also be copied into correspondence.

The Treasury may issue more detailed, supplementary guidance on specific topics, where experience shows that such additional material would be helpful. For example, there is a range of guidance and tools available on Cost Benefit Analysis.

The Government Economic Network also provides training in some of the skills required for regulatory and other policy development and advice.

2.3.  Check online for the latest version

This Guide will be updated periodically online, to keep it accurate and as helpful as possible. This version of the Guide was last updated on 30 June 2017.

Check for the latest version of this Guide at

2.4.  Your feedback welcome

We welcome your feedback on this Guide, including suggestions for possible additions or improvements. We would also like examples of good practice that can be shared with other agencies. Any comments or suggestions can be sent to

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