Regulatory policy

Regulatory Impact Assessment

In series:OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policyview more titles

Published on February 25, 2020

When designing a policy, law, regulation or other type of “rule”, governments should always consider its likely effects. Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) provides crucial information to decision-makers on whether and how to regulate to achieve public policy goals. RIA examines the impacts and consequences of a range of alternative options. RIA also helps policy makers defend a decision not to intervene in markets where the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits. Regulatory Impact Assessment provides policy makers, civil servants and other public sector practitioners with a practical instrument for better designing and implementing RIA systems and strategies. The Principles cover a wide range of institutional organisations, tools and practices and present a list of critical steps as well as “dos and don’ts” for developing RIA frameworks. This report is part of the series OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy produced under the auspices of the OECD Regulatory Policy Committee. As with other reports in the series, it extends and elaborates on principles highlighted in the 2012 Recommendation of the Council on Regulatory Policy and Governance.


Executive summary
Background and context
Best practice principles for regulatory impact analysis
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Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) is a core regulatory management tool. It helps to base decisions whether to adopt or change laws and regulations on facts and evidence. RIA is about taking into considerations all alternative solutions, which sometimes may include non-regulatory ones or simply doing nothing. It provides necessary information on costs and benefits to different stakeholders and analyses economic, environmental and social impacts of potential solutions. RIA makes consultations and engagement with stakeholders a firm part of any legislation-making process.


This new OECD guidance provides a summary of key elements that every good RIA framework should contain. At the same time, it provides useful advice on all important steps policy-makers should follow if they want to implement RIA successfully while also not being too prescriptive and respecting administrative and cultural differences among countries.


For further information, please contact Daniel Trnka, OECD Regulatory Policy Division.