The Basic Tenets and Implications of the Theory of Regulatory Compliance

The essence of the theory of regulatory compliance has to do with the law of diminishing returns as one approaches full 100% regulatory compliance. This effect related to diminishing returns applies to all industries and not just to the human services. Another tenet of the theory is the nature of regulatory compliance data being skewed and the resultant difficulty in identifying the top performers because so many mediocre performers are in the mix. With regulatory compliance, the data distribution will not be normally distributed.

The implication of the above is the need to search for the right rules rather than having full compliance with all rules. It is not cost effective or efficient to emphasize full compliance when there are specific rules that have a disproportionate impact on overall regulatory compliance and outcomes. The use of abbreviated inspections, such as key indicators and risk assessment become options in this search for the right rules. Searching for these most effective rules then makes for a more efficient monitoring system, i.e.: differential monitoring.

These are the major tenets of the theory of regulatory compliance and its implications for the regulatory science field.

About Dr Fiene

Dr. Rick Fiene has spent his professional career in improving the quality of child care in various states, nationally, and internationally. He has done extensive research and publishing on the key components in improving child care quality through an early childhood program quality indicator model of training, technical assistance, quality rating & improvement systems, professional development, mentoring, licensing, risk assessment, differential program monitoring, and accreditation. Dr. Fiene is a retired professor of human development & psychology (Penn State University) where he was department head and director of the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute.
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