Primary Authority Partnerships – what are they and are they a good thing?
Primary Authority Partnerships exist to provide businesses with consistent legal advice that they can rely on and also provides regulators with flexible ways of working. The intention is that the scheme should make it easier to comply with regulation and run a business in the UK and its popularity is growing with nearly 7700 businesses involved covering almost 250,000 premises across the UK.
In its simplest form, multi-site businesses set up a partnership with one local council (their primary authority) who provides them with ‘assured advice’ on how to comply with food safety, trading standards, health and safety, licensing or fire safety (or all five in some cases). Enforcers in other council areas must notify and liaise with this primary authority if they disagree with that advice or wish to take action against the company.
In 2013, the scheme was extended to allow trade organisations to have primary authority co-ordinated partnerships so that their members can benefit from legal advice relevant to these sectors. Safer Food Scores have assisted their client the Craft Bakers Association to set up such a partnership with Horsham District Council (food hygiene and health and safety) and West Sussex County Council (trading standards).
In recent months, Safer Food Scores have been working closely with Milton Keynes Council so that their clients will soon be able to benefit from their Safer Food Scores food safety and health and safety manuals having ‘assured advice’ status.
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