Who we are

The National Regulators Community of Practice (NRCoP) is an active network of public sector regulators from all levels of government in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand and from every regulatory sector, professional background, role and level of seniority, who are keen to learn from and with each other.

Its objectives are to support participants to become more professional and capable regulators and to promote the public value and importance of regulation as a key function of government and thereby, to deliver better citizen outcomes.

The NRCoP also welcomes regulatory policy makers and others with a scholarly or professional interest in regulation but its primary focus is on inspiring, connecting and building the professionalism of practising regulators.

But who we are not

The NRCoP is a non-partisan community of practitioners which straddles two countries and all three levels of Australian government in support of the regulatory craft. As a consequence, the NRCoP cannot become a platform for dissemination and promotion of, or engagement with, the regulatory policy settings of individual governments. The NRCoP would lose its focus, credibility and support if it were seen by its practitioner subscribers to be captive to, or the mouthpiece of, a particular government’s approach.

The NRCoP is also not able to represent or speak for regulators in the design or implementation of regulatory policy settings. Governance committees (see below) are chosen for their individual knowledge, broad experience and enthusiasm to advance high quality regulation. The committees are not constituted to act as a representative body and have no mandate to do so.

The NRCoP as a corporate membership body

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the previous business model of the NRCoP, from July 2020 the NRCoP pivoted to a corporate membership model of funding. As of February 2021, 50 departments and regulatory agencies had accepted the invitation to become corporate members, making contributions of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 (plus GST) depending on the number of their staff previously benefiting from NRCoP activities.

Although this change in the business model of the NRCoP was not planned, it has had a number of favourable consequences. These include increasing departments’ and regulatory agencies’ sense of ownership and engagement, redressing the historical dominance of Victoria, better matching the resources of the NRCoP to the growing appetite amongst regulators for its deliveries, and reducing its vulnerability to a single source of income (the annual paying forum in Melbourne).

Consequently it has been agreed between the NRCoP and ANZSOG that the corporate membership model will remain in place for as long as sufficient departments and regulatory agencies are willing to fund it.

The NRCoP is auspiced by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). ANZSOG is responsible for:

  • Providing access to its international and trans Tasman network of leading regulatory scholars, public intellectuals and senior practitioners.
  • Bringing its professional expertise in specifying, curating, promoting, delivering and evaluating face to face and online learning events to NRCoP events.
  • Conducting an annual survey of NRCoP participants in order to gauge the contemporary and high profile issues of importance to practising regulators
  • Evaluating and reporting on the activities, achievements and impact of the NRCoP.
  • Building and maintaining a knowledge base for practising regulators, including resources from previous events, an engaging website and through the NRCoP Regulation Policy and Practice collection on APO, access to reports of interest and relevance to Australasian regulators.
  • Building and maintaining a confidential, up to date data base of NRCoP participants.
  • Where feasible in a post-pandemic environment, utilising ANZSOG’s curatorial, pedagogic, logistical and communications expertise to design and support an annual paying forum(s).
  • Ensuring the governance of the NRCoP operates in accordance with these terms of reference and procedures.
  • Providing the secretariat to the NRCoP Steering Group and any sub committees and virtually attending chapter committee meetings in order to provide direct liaison between chapters and the NRCoP.

The NRCoP is governed by a Steering Group.

The role of the Steering Group is to:

  • Bring members’ regulatory expertise and enthusiasm to the task of turning the vision of the NRCoP into concrete activities which advance regulatory professionalism and inspire, connect and motivate practising regulators.
  • Individually and collectively act as ambassadors for the NRCoP, encouraging their regulatory colleagues to engage with NRCoP national activities and any offered face-to-face in their jurisdiction.
  • Actively engage with corporate member organisations on ANZSOG and the NRCoP’s behalf to ensure they are gaining full benefit from their NRCoP membership and with regulatory agencies outside the NRCoP to encourage their membership.
  • Advise on a program of free online and face to face learning events for regulators which are engaging and responsive to the priority issues raised by participants in the annual survey.
  • Support ANZSOG in designing a thought provoking, timely and effective program for any annual forums.
  • Attend, facilitate and/or present at events themselves as appropriate.
  • Advise on membership of the NRCoP’s chapter committees and from time to time on new members of the Steering Group, in consultation with ANZSOG and where appropriate with the relevant chapter.
  • Attend Steering Group meetings (5-6 per annum) by teleconference and respond to out of session issues raised through email by ANZSOG and other steering group members.
  • Act as intermediary between ANZSOG and the NRCoP’s corporate members on matters of accountability, including collective half year and annual reporting back to the membership on deliverables and achievements.
  • Monitor and advise on the expenditure of the NRCoP’s funding envelope in accordance with a 12-18 month forward plan developed and agreed with ANZSOG’s Dean.
  • Contribute to the sustainability of the NRCoP by collaborating with ANZSOG on the selection, direction and support to the ANZSOG staff dedicated to its work.

The Steering Group is led by a Chair, appointed by ANZSOG. The role of the Chair is to:

  • Convene and chair the meetings of the Steering Group.
  • Act as the face of, and principal source of authority for, the NRCoP in all external dealings.
  • Work closely with ANZSOG in the exercise of ANZSOG’s responsibilities on behalf of the NRCoP.
  • Lead the process of appointments to the Steering Group and chapter committees and the appointment or removal of chapter convenors, consistent with the attached terms of reference and desiderata for Steering Group and committee membership.
  • Provide an authoritative source of advice on NRCoP priorities, current developments in regulatory practice around Australia and the NRCoP’s governance and operating procedures.

The work of the Steering Group is supported by chapter committees which are part of the unified national governance structure of the NRCoP.

The person exercising leadership on behalf of the chapter shall be known as the ‘convenor’, to reduce any confusion with the Chair of the NRCoP.

The role of chapter committees is to:

  • Provide at least three representatives to the NRCoP Steering Group, the chapter convenor and two others.
  • Utilise their networks to locate and profile innovative regulatory practices, programs and experiences from which other regulators across Australia can learn; and bring these to the attention of the Steering Group and ANZSOG.
  • Help build enthusiasm, engagement and momentum for the NRCoP through their agencies and networks, and lead by example in attending and promoting NRCoP learning events.
  • If they so wish, identify and implement opportunities for small, informal chapter-specific activities which do not duplicate the NRCoP or lead to confusion on the part of participants. Possible examples might include offering a safe space for practising regulators to test out work in progress to a small, constructive audience of their peers or to share confidential challenges.
  • Attend committee meetings (3-4 per annum) in person or by teleconference and respond to out of session issues raised through email.

The responsibilities of the convenor are to:

  • Report regularly to the Steering Group on chapter activities and issues emerging from local regulators of interest to others across the network.
  • Ensure prompt, comprehensive two way communication between the chapter committee, ANZSOG and the Steering Group.
  • Convene and preside over 3-4 committee meetings per annum.
  • Work closely with ANZSOG and the NRCoP Steering Group in relation to appointments to the committee consequent upon vacancies.
  • Lead or co-ordinate development and delivery of any chapter-specific activities.
  • The Chair of the NRCoP Steering Group and ANZSOG have sole authority to enter into agreements or relationships on behalf of the NRCoP, or commit ANZSOG and/or the NRCoP to particular actions, or indicate endorsement of any proposal, policy or recommendation.
  • The NRCoP Steering Group recommends appointments to vacancies on the Steering Group in consultation with ANZSOG, and to chapter committees, in consultation with both ANZSOG and the chapter.
  • Appointment to the Steering Group and chapter committees is by formal letter signed on behalf of the NRCoP by ANZSOG It is ANZSOG’s responsibility to ensure an up to date list of Steering Group, chapter convenors and chapter committee members is placed on the NRCoP webpage alongside these terms of reference.
  • The chair of the NRCoP has sole authority to appoint and remove convenors of chapter committees.
  • ANZSOG has sole authority to appoint and remove the Chair of the NRCoP Steering Group.

The Steering Group comprises the Chair, an academic advisor, a pracademic advisor, the ANZSOG staff supporting the NRCoP and at least three representatives from each of the chapter committees, including the convenor of each chapter. The committee may co-opt additional members as appropriate and desirable.

There is no fixed membership size for either the Steering Committee or chapter committees and no quorum is required for meetings. However, it is desirable that each committee have at least 12-15 members to ensure appropriate diversity, to facilitate adequate attendance at meetings and to cover vacancies.

Membership of the Steering Group or chapter committees is entirely voluntary and no sitting fees or out of pocket reimbursements are payable. The exception is where ANZSOG requests a Steering Group member to represent it and the NRCoP at any out of state face-to-face event, in which case all reasonable travel expenses will be covered.

Membership of the Steering Group and chapter committees should reflect the diversity of regulatory experience, sector and role as well as gender and other markers of demographic diversity

The Steering Group and each chapter committee should desirably include members from Commonwealth, State and local government regulators.

The term of office of all persons involved in NRCoP governance is 2 years in the first instance. The term of office may be extended by mutual consent between the individual and the NRCoP Steering Group or in the case of the Chair, between the individual and ANZSOG.


These terms of reference and operating procedures apply from 1/1/2020-31/12/2021.

They will be reviewed for relevance and effectiveness prior to expiry, in consultation with the Chair and NRCoP Steering Committee.