Regulatory Impact Assessment

Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) provides crucial information to political decision-makers to inform better choices. It is now used in over 50 countries worldwide.  


By ensuring policy objectives are clearly specified and all available policy options are identified and assessed, RIA helps to ensure high-quality regulatory choices are made systematically.  Because it is based on benefit/cost analysis (BCA), using RIA helps ensure regulatory proposals are only implemented if the benefits they bring to society justify the costs they impose. 


However, while RIA is an essential decision-making aid, it can never substitute for the exercise of sound policy judgement.  Data problems and other constraints mean fully quantified RIA are often impossible and good RIA practice often involves the use of complementary methods, like cost-effectiveness analysis, break-even analysis, multi-criteria analysis, sensitivity analysis, and risk/risk analysis.


Crucially, good RIA must accept the limits of quantitative analysis and provide a sophisticated integration of quantitative and qualitative elements in reaching its conclusions.


Our RIA expertise


Regulatory Impact Analysis is a core area of expertise at Jaguar Consulting.  Rex Deighton-Smith has over 20 years of experience as RIA practitioner, having developed Regulatory Impact Statements to meet the requirements of the Victorian Government, the Australian Federal Government, and the Council of Australian Governments. Our network of associate consultants allows us to form multi-disciplinary teams as needed to deal with specific technical and other issues. 


We have drafted some of the most detailed and methodologically sophisticated RIA completed in Australia and analysed regulatory options in a wide range of policy contexts.


Rex's work as RIA a practitioner is also informed by his extensive international research on RIA systems and practices in numerous OECD countries.  He has been widely published on a range of RIA-related topics, including as primary author of the OECD-published book Regulatory Impact Analysis: A Tool for Policy Coherence.


Rex previously worked as the Director of the Victorian Government's Office of Regulatory Reform, in which capacity he was responsible for assessing and approving all Victorian RIS.  He also developed a range of guidance materials on RIA issues and policy options and presented RIA training courses to Victorian government officials.  More recently, he has developed resources packages to assist Victorian Government officials in developing better RIA, including tips and guidance on effectively managing RIA consultants.



Our Work


RIA theory and practice


Assessing the Impacts of the Road Safety Remuneration System in Australia: A RIA Case Study. ITF Discussion Paper, OECD, Paris, 2019.


Regulatory Impact Analysis: A Tool for Policy Coherence.  OECD, Paris, 2009.  Rex Deighton-Smith is the primary author of this book, including chapters dealing with RIA methodological issues, supporting RIA through well designed policies, processes and institutions and integrating competition assessments and RIA.  Read the full text here.


Regulatory Impact Assessment: Towards Better Regulation?  Eds: Kirkpatrick C & Parker, D.. CRC Series on Competition, Regulation and Development.  Edward Elgar, London (2007). 


Rex contributed the chapter Regulatory Impact Assessment in Australia: A Survey of Twenty Years of RIA Implementation to this international survey of trends, practices and challenges in relation to RIA. Available here: DOI:


Regulatory Impact Assessment: Best Practices in OECD Countries   OECD, Paris, 1997. 


While at the OECD Secretariat, Rex edited and co-authored the OECD's first book on RIA issues.  His contribution as author involved developing the first list of RIA best practices to be published by the OECD, which were subsequently used as the basis for assessing the quality of Member countries' RIA systems as part of the OECD's program of regulatory reform country reviews.

Full text available here.


OECD Public Governance Review of Mexico: Towards More Effective and Dynamic Public Management in Mexico.  OECD, Paris, 2011.


Rex was part of the OECD review team that researched and drafted this review, being responsible for drafting the chapter Regulatory Tools: Regulatory Impact Assessment and Consultation, which reviewed Mexico's existing RIA and consultation systems and made targeted recommendations for reform. Read the report here:



RIA documents


We have completed over 50 RIA within the Victorian Government's RIA requirements, those of the Australian Federal Government or those of the Council of Australian Governments.  Some examples of major RIA are:


Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Victoria)


This Act replaced the Health Act 1958 as the central legislative instrument governing public health policy in Victoria.  Jaguar Consulting completed the RIA in respect of both the Act and the omnibus Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009, which replaced 11 separate sets of public health-related regulations. 


[Read the RIS for the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations here]


Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standard 2009 (Council of Australian Governments).

The Standard was issued under the authority of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and also incorporated into the Building Code of Australia.  It sets out requirements to make public buildings more accessible to people with disabilities.  The estimated benefits and costs are among the largest of any proposal subject to a regulatory impact assessment in recent years.


Read the RIS here


Regulation of Solaria (Commonwealth Government)


The National Directory for Radiation Protection was amended in 2009 to more tightly regulate the use of solaria.  We completed this RIS for the Australian Regulation Protection And Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPASA).  It included modelling of the current extent of skin cancers due to solarium use and the expected impacts of the tighter regulatory controls.


[Read the RIS here]


Children's Services Regulations 2009 (Victoria)


These regulations set quality and safety standards for the childcare industry.  The 2009 regulations implemented a number of new quality standards, requiring assessment of the benefits of improved childcare quality.


[Read the RIS for the Children's Services Regulations 2010 here]