Ofcom's approach to impact assessment

We make a variety of policy interventions in the interests of citizens and consumers, where appropriate by promoting competition. Our interventions can range from monitoring and informal engagement to legally-binding requirements and enforcement action.

We recognise that the decisions we make can deliver significant value for citizens and consumers but can also impose significant costs on our stakeholders. It is therefore important for us to think carefully before deciding whether a particular policy intervention may be appropriate.

We use impact assessments to help us understand and assess the potential impact of our policy decisions before we make them. They also help us explain the policy decisions we have decided to take.

An impact assessment is a structured process to consider these possible effects, including:

  • general impacts on citizens and consumers;
  • impacts on the industries we regulate; and
  • impacts on specific groups of persons, including persons sharing protected characteristics identified in equality legislation.

Our impact assessment guidance sets out our general approach to how we assess and present the impact of our proposed decisions. It updates our previous guidance to reflect our legal obligations as well as best practice and experience.

Impact assessment guidance (PDF, 406.7 KB)
Published 19 July 2023