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Introduction

The Primary Authority Scheme provides businesses with assured advice on:

  • food safety
  • health and safety
  • environmental protection
  • licensing and trading standards matters

It is applicable nationally and will provide a secure basis for investment and operational decisions.

Somerset Council as a pro business authority is able to offer the Primary Authority Scheme to businesses within the local area and regionally. Links have also been forged with Devon and Somerset Council’s Trading Standards Department to be able to offer a greater range of services under the scheme.

The Primary Authority Scheme

The Primary Authority Scheme was launched in 2009 and is already being used by many businesses. Its operation is a statutory responsibility of the Secretary of State but undertaken by Better Regulation Delivery Office, which registers partnerships, issues guidance and resolves disputes.

What do primary authorities do

Primary authorities help businesses avoid inconsistent and confusing red tape. This has been shown to increase business confidence and reduce operational costs, allowing enterprises to focus on expansion.

By working closely with the business, a primary authority can apply regulations to their specific circumstances providing robust and reliable advice. This advice must be respected by all local regulators allowing the business to operate with assurance and confidence.

A national inspection plan can be produced by the primary authority to improve the effectiveness of inspection, avoid repeated checks, and enable better sharing of information.

If a problem arises, the primary authority can coordinate enforcement action to ensure that the business is treated consistently and that responses are proportionate to the issue.

A business can choose what level of support it needs from its primary authority. The Council charges for this service to recover its costs.

For more information on how to apply to join the Primary Authority Scheme with Somerset Council, contact the Environmental Health Team on 0300 123 2224.

Last reviewed: April 16, 2024 by Adam

Next review due: October 16, 2024

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