TWO-PART HALF DAY ONLINE SEMINAR
With Professor Malcolm K Sparrow
Conference Date
Tuesday 13th and 27th July, 2021 (9:00am - 12:30pm AEST)
Location
Online
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Overview


During this two-part seminar we will be discussing the meaning of “success” in a regulatory environment and the associated challenges of performance measurement and management.

Professional regulators and law-enforcement officials certainly deal with customers, and so the normal range of customer-service metrics has some relevance for them. But their principal business is to deliver protections to society against various classes of harm, and towards that end they deliver and, where necessary, enforce obligations, influence behaviors, and manage compliance. The nature of “success” to be pursued and assessed is therefore quite different in the “protective” role of government than in service-provision roles.

Many public agencies select three or four metrics they think are particularly important, and designate them as “Key Performance Indicators,” drawing to them an inordinate amount of internal and external attention. Sometimes this focus can have perverse effects and bias operations in a way that is not quite as valuable as executives intended and may even distort operations in a way that is contrary to the public interest.

For regulators, much attention is typically paid to functional outputs (such as inspection or audit rates), to the rates at which agents discover or detect non-compliance, and to process metrics such as timeliness and accuracy of decision making. Connecting these measures to each other, and to valuable social outcomes, remains a complex puzzle.

This seminar provides an opportunity for attendees to assess their own organisation’s traditions in performance measurement and reporting, and—where necessary—to identify opportunities to broaden the range of indicators and analyses in a way that will enable their agency to present a more rounded and meaningful picture of their contributions to society.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for mid to upper level regulatory and enforcement practitioners.

Choose your level of depth:

Day 1 is designed to cover the core issues
Day 2 is designed to dive deeper into some specific topics
• Participants may sign up either for Day 1 alone, or for Day 1 & Day 2
• Those who previously participated in the October 2020 version of this workshop (the content of which closely matches the Day 1 agenda outlined below), are welcome to come back and join us for discussion of the “deeper dive” issues on Day 2 only. *The option to sign up for Day 2 only is not available to others.

Key Learning Outcomes

Day 1 - Core Concepts
Understanding distinct types of regulatory work (functional, process-based, risk-based, & crisis-response), and the classes of performance metrics relevant to each
• The notion of an “information rich environment,” and making the distinction between management information & performance metrics
• The multiple purposes of performance measurement
Where “customer-service” metrics fit within regulatory operations, & where they do not
• Classic ambiguities in assessing regulatory performance (e.g. When would finding more violations be good news, or bad? How should we interpret increased volumes of complaints?)
• What difference it makes to the performance story when regulators turn their attention to “risk-based” strategies

Day 2 - Deeper Dive
• What it takes to “prove causality”. The meaning of “evidence-based” policy and practice, and how these ideas apply to regulatory & enforcement agencies
• The role of program evaluation. Where it fits naturally within regulatory operations. Other forms of analysis and pattern recognition that count
• The distinctive challenges of performance measurement when tackling invisible risks, catastrophic risks, and risks involving conscious opponents (adversaries)
• The implications of different regulatory structures on performance monitoring and evaluation
• Seminar participants will also have the chance to submit in advance your own performance measurement puzzles. While we cannot promise to address them all, we will incorporate some, of broad general interest, into the agenda.

Some of the testimonials from the 2020 seminar:

“Professor Sparrow generously shares his wisdom and brilliant insight with such ease and good humour. His session on Defining Success & Measuring Regulatory Performance is thoughtprovoking, practical and should be mandatory for all medium to senior-level regulators.”
- Environmental Protection Authority NSW, October 2020

“Outstanding session with application potential in range of settings - highly recommend.”
- Worksafe Victoria, October 2020

“Professor Sparrow’s session on defining and measuring regulatory performance was enlightening. He clearly articulated what a regulator should and shouldn’t consider as a metric and what the pitfalls are in trying to present management activities as performance metrics”.
- NSW Department of Primary Industries, October 2020

This seminar is:

  • Popular: Our highest attended & rated seminar of 2020
  • Highly Rated: With 250+ participants in 2020, Professor Sparrow received a customer satisfaction rating of 98%
  • Tangible Takeaways: 87% of the audience were inspired to make a change in their organisation after attending this seminar
  • Great for Groups: Group bookings are highly popular, with the opportunity to work through the concepts as a team

Key Speakers

Professor Malcolm K Sparrow
Professor of the Practice of Public Management John F Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

What People Are Saying

  • “Professor Sparrow generously shares his wisdom and brilliant insight with such ease and good humour. His session on Defining Success & Measuring Regulatory Performance is thoughtprovoking, practical and should be mandatory for all medium to senior-level regulators.”

    October 2020
    Environmental Protection Authority NSW
  • “Outstanding session with application potential in range of settings – highly recommend.”

    October 2020
    Worksafe Victoria
  • “Professor Sparrow’s session on defining and measuring regulatory performance was enlightening. He clearly articulated what a regulator should and shouldn’t consider as a metric and what the pitfalls are in trying to present management activities as performance metrics”.

    October 2020
    NSW Department of Primary Industries