Skip to content

New Professional Regulator program fills the gap in training for regulators

4 May 2023

News and media


Regulators across Australia will have an accessible, high-quality way to lift their skills and professional knowledge with the launch of the Professional Regulator program, a partnership between the National Regulators Community of Practice, ANZSOG and the Australian National University’s RegNet. 

The program has been designed with input from regulators across jurisdictions and focuses on the common challenges faced by regulators. After a recently completed pilot of the Foundation course involving 100 regulators, which has helped fine-tune content and delivery, expressions of interest are now open for the full program starting in July. 

One of the cohort in the pilot program was Bundaberg-based Emma Street, who works for the Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, as a Senior Water Officer in monitoring and compliance. 

Mrs Street has worked in the compliance area of regulation for 20 years, in different roles with state and local government.  She said that the Professional Regulators program was something ‘that is missing in our field, and it’s encouraging that there is work being done to bridge that gap’. 

“There is a real gap between having a law degree, and doing compliance and there’s nothing really in between. I feel I needed something to substantiate my skill set, and this provided the perfect opportunity.” 

The Professional Regulator is a self-paced course and includes six 90-minute online modules: 

  • Module 1 Who regulates and why   
  • Module 2: Licensing as regulation   
  • Module 3: Understanding and achieving compliance   
  • Module 4: Using information to regulate   
  • Module 5: Regulatory communication   
  • Module 6: Regulatory professionalism and ethics   

In addition to the six online modules, participants also have the opportunity to access six online small-group seminars which extend key learnings from the modules and to explore Australian-based case studies in-depth.  The program is designed to eventually cater for early, mid to senior level regulators from all levels of government and regulatory spheres, with Foundation, Extension, Expert and Leader versions. 

Mrs Street said she found the content engaging and enjoyed both the self-paced units and the chance to talk in depth with fellow regulators during the seminar component. 

“The units got me to turn my mind to seeing things from a different perspective, and it was really good to get that breadth of information about the shared challenges of regulators in other areas.” 

“The seminar was really good – there was only one other regulator from Queensland it was awesome to hear other members of cohort talk about how they approached things in other jurisdictions.” 

She said that one of the key insights for her had been to start thinking about how she was perceived as a regulator by the community and those she regulated. 

“One of my skillsets is that I can relate to a farmer or I can go and see the head of Sunwater (a corporation) and talk to them. I hadn’t really thought before about how I was perceived because I was just focused on the work, but being more cognisant of how people see me had been my major growth through the course.” 

The inaugural cohort came from organisations which are part of the ANZSOG-auspiced National Regulators Community of Practice (NRCoP), who have undertaken the Foundation level program and provided expert feedback on the content. 

The group covered a wide range of regulatory spheres and jurisdictions across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. The course catered for different levels of experience, with 15 per cent of participants saying they were new to working in the regulatory sphere, while 16 per cent said they had a high level of knowledge and were providing strategic direction within their organisations. 

Daniel Richold, who has worked in regulation since 2006, and is currently a team leader in the Gambling Division of the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, was also part of the pilot cohort. 

He said that regulating gambling was a complex area with significant community and media interest. 

Mr Richold said he had taken the course to gain knowledge to help him progress to the next level in his career, and it had given him a broader background of knowledge on regulation. 

“It reinforced what I knew in a lot of areas, but I still found it useful. There was background on why we regulate and on legislation. There were elements I didn’t know – for example licencing is not an area I work in and it was good to get more in-depth information about why we licence.” 

“If you were new to the industry it would be very useful to get all that information.” 

“The seminar was a chance to speak to people from other places and areas of regulation, including policy-makers. There’s quite a big difference between someone in policy and someone like me at the coalface who needs to implement what they have designed as policy. 

“The program has given me more knowledge so I can provide my team with greater context and the broader benefits to our work. I can make better decisions with that knowledge behind me.” 

William Yap has worked for the Victorian Building Authority for 17 years and said he found the course highly relevant. 

“While many of the topics I have already come across from work, I find it helpful that the course brings my different work experiences together, puts them into context, explains the reasons why we do or don’t do certain things, and the pros and cons of choosing different tools/methods etc.  All that will make me become a more effective decision maker,” he said. 

The Professional Regulator will be open for enrolment by all regulators on 1 July. The cost is $1300 +$130 GST. NRCoP corporate members will pay a reduced fee of s $650 + $65 GST for each enrolment (50% discount off full market price). Individual staff can submit an Expression of Interest. If your organisation would like to purchase a bulk package of enrolments for commencement from 1 July this can also be arranged.  Please reach out to the friendly team at regulators@anzsog.edu.au.