Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) - Toolkit

This toolkit provides guidance on how to complete a business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) using the BRIA template. BRIAs estimate the costs, benefits and risks of proposed legislation, voluntary regulation, codes of practice or guidance that impact the public, private or third sector

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment Toolkit

For further support or guidance, please contact the New Deal for Business Delivery Unit at

Role of this Guidance Document

This toolkit provides guidance and information on how to complete a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA). It sets out why completing an assessment is an important part of policy development, helpful to both officials and stakeholders.

Officials should use the BRIA template provided to complete their assessment. The guidance provided in this document covers each section of the BRIA template.

Signed BRIAs should be published on using APS. Please contact APS when you have a draft version completed to request a quote and initial accessibility compliance check of your draft file. This will allow any issues to be addressed in advance of providing the final version for publication.

Impact Assessments and policy development

Impact assessments are an integral and necessary part of evidenced-based policy development as well as being a useful tool to inform project plans. They aim to improve and support the Scottish Government decision making processes. They allow officials to collate and set out for stakeholders information which can identify the likely positive and negative impacts of a change in policy or introduction of regulation. Additionally it can set out any mitigating actions that may be taken as a result to address specific issues.

Impact assessments form an important part of the Policy Cycle from developing a rationale for the proposal, through identification of objectives, to options appraisal, monitoring and evaluation. More information is available on the Green Book UK Government webpage.

It can therefore provide the basis of informing the 'best policy option'. Impact assessments provide a structured process for considering implications of proposed polices and actions while there is still an opportunity to shape the proposals and mitigate against any negative impacts.

Business engagement and the New Deal for Business

Recognising the importance of engaging early with businesses to deliver better policy, the Scottish Government has committed to implementing the recommendations of the New Deal for Business Group. Officials should consider the New Deal for Business and how their approach aligns with the Business Engagement Principles.

More detailed advice and guidance on engagement with business is available in the Business Engagement Handbook. This should be used by officials when engaging with business during policy development, assessment and implementation. The Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment can then be used to help record that engagement and set out the identified impacts on business.

Businesses have a core role in the Scottish economy providing goods, services and employment. They are also an important stakeholder in helping deliver the aims and objectives of the Scottish Government in service of the people of Scotland. It is therefore vital the Scottish Government considers how its policies affect them – neutrally, positively and/or negatively – and takes steps to ensure businesses are engaged in the process of policy development and implementation . Many policy options will affect businesses by design, by encouraging them to do or cease certain things to meet preferred set outcomes. However, whether by design or not, all policy has the potential to place direct costs and burdens on business or indirectly impact their operations.

Understanding the potential impacts allows Ministers to make the better decisions that can achieve the desired outcomes without unnecessarily affecting businesses and the Scottish economy. It also allows Ministers to put in place mitigations to implement policy proposals in the most effective way possible by minimising any negative impacts, taking into account the needs of business.

When considering Business Engagement, officials should consider 3 core principles:

  • SG policy development will be aligned and transparent with early, iterative and meaningful engagement with business community stakeholders.
  • All areas of SG will improve communication with the business community
  • All areas of SG will develop improved understanding of the impact of policy on the business community



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