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Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments

The Scottish Government is committed to consulting with all parties potentially affected by proposals for new regulation, or where any regulation is being changed significantly.

All policy changes, whether European or domestic, which may have an impact upon business or the third sector should be accompanied by a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).

The BRIA helps policy makers to use available evidence to find proposals that best achieve the policy objectives while minimising costs and burdens. Through consultation and engagement with business, the costs and benefits of the proposed legislation can be analysed. It also ensures that any impact on business, particularly small enterprises, is fully considered before regulations are made.

Partial BRIAs should accompany the consultation document for a new piece of legislation. These partial BRIAs are designed to inform and assess the impact on and encourage comment from those who may be affected by the proposals.

A final BRIA should then be produced, building on the partial BRIA in light of the consultation and further information and analysis.

More information and guidance on BRIA is available here.


The current service provided by the Better Regulation team in respect of Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments is changing as of 1 May 2015.  

BRIAs should be completed for policy changes and legislation which may have an impact on business or the third sector.  They help ensure through consultation and engagement with business, the costs and benefits are fully analysed and understood. 

Guidance, including a template and toolkit, will continue to provide comprehensive advice on what is involved, the process and sources of further support and advice.

The centralised BRIA quality assurance and monitoring service however will come to an end.    Draft BRIAs should no longer be sent to the better regulation mailbox for comment or information.  From 1 May each Directorate will be responsible for BRIA quality assurance and monitoring, with each policy area ensuring BRIAs are completed and the assessments are robust, consulting with economists and analytical colleagues and others as appropriate, before seeking Ministerial sign off.

The Better Regulation team will continue to be available for general advice.