Ofcom: Principles for Regulation

Ofcom’s approach to regulation is based on seven regulatory principles, set out below. Amongst other things Ofcom emphasises regulatory forbearance in its operations, relying on markets where possible and operating with a bias against intervention. Where intervention is required Ofcom aims to intervene firmly and promptly, using the least intrusive regulatory mechanisms available.

Ofcom's Regulatory Principles1

  • Ofcom will regulate with a clearly articulated and publicly reviewed annual plan, with stated policy objectives.
  • Ofcom will intervene where there is a specific statutory duty to work towards a public policy goal which markets alone cannot achieve.
  • Ofcom will operate with a bias against intervention, but with a willingness to intervene firmly, promptly and effectively where required.
  • Ofcom will strive to ensure its interventions will be evidence-based, proportionate, consistent, accountable and transparent in both deliberation and outcome.
  • Ofcom will always seek the least intrusive regulatory mechanisms to achieve its policy objectives.
  • Ofcom will research markets constantly and will aim to remain at the forefront of technological understanding.
  • Ofcom will consult widely with all relevant stakeholders and assess the impact of regulatory action before imposing regulation upon a market.


1 Ofcom's regulatory principles may also be viewed on Ofcom's website

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