Department of Health

Better regulatory practice framework

Victorians access a number of services to support their health and wellbeing. The Department of Health plays a vital role as a regulator of thousands of professionals, organisations and businesses that support the safety and quality of those services to Victorians. These regulatory responsibilities are very broad – from restaurants to private hospitals, to foster carers and public swimming pools.

Our regulation will contribute to Victorians:

  • having good physical health
  • living free from abuse and violence
  • participating in learning and education
  • being socially engaged and live in inclusive communities
  • belonging to resilient and liveable communities.

  • Our approach to regulation is detailed in our Better Regulation framework which is applied by each of our 11 regulators through their regulatory plans. This framework is the first of its kind within the department, and it sets out a clear and transparent statement about how the department’s regulators will bring a systemic, risk-based approach to its regulatory activities.

    The purpose of the framework is to provide a clear focus on regulatory outcomes, demonstrate a risk-based approach to regulation, inform organisational improvement and improve engagement with stakeholders. This framework draws on better regulatory practice approaches from international, national and state regulatory guidelines.

    Many of the department’s regulators undertake their regulatory functions in cooperation with key stakeholders, particularly co-regulators. The department’s regulators work closely with regulators in local government, other Victorian Government departments and independent Commonwealth and State regulators, both in Victoria and inter-state. They also work closely with other key stakeholders such as Commissioners, Panels and Safer Care Victoria.

    Local government has statutory responsibilities to perform certain functions on behalf of government. This includes registering and inspecting certain food premises to ensure food is safe and suitable for human consumption, registering and inspecting certain business such as tattoo parlours to ensure they are complying with public health regulations, and enforcing and administering Victorian tobacco laws that prohibit the sale or promotion of tobacco products, and prohibit smoking in restaurants, pubs, clubs and a range of other public places.

    In this context departmental regulators have a role in setting overall policy, and also have a relationship with local government, that is responsible for undertaking the above regulatory functions. The department will tailor how it works with local government based on the nature of the risk, the range of non-regulatory tools available (for example, funding arrangements and capability building), and the powers provided in the relevant legislative frameworks.

Regulator Plans

Each of the department’s 11 business regulators have developed a Regulator Plan. The Regulator Plans outline each regulator’s outcomes, key risks, regulatory tools, and the way regulators measure performance. The Regulator Plans have been informed by the Better Regulatory Practice Framework.

Regulator Plans on a Page

Each of the department’s 11 business regulators have developed a plan on a page. The plans on a page summarise each regulator’s key outcomes, who it regulates, its enforcement approach and how it measures its impacts.

Reviewed 01 March 2022

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