The Professional Regulator
Risk-based regulatory & enforcement practice
Conference Date
30th & 31st March 2020
The Fullerton Hotel Sydney
Early Bird - Save $400
Book by 31/01/20


Executive Forum with Professor Malcolm K Sparrow

Unfortunately this event is capped and has sold out in under 3.5 weeks. Due to the high volume of interest, we've opened up a waiting list for the 2020 event. Please click below to join the waiting list:

We are looking to bring back Professor Malcolm Sparrow to host another 2-day intensive course again in the coming year - please click below to be amongst the first to be notified of the dates for the next event:

This Executive Forum with Professor Malcolm K. Sparrow examines the role of the “Professional Regulator”, focusing on the practical and operational challenges which are common across regulatory enforcement, compliance or disciplinary functions of government, regardless of the specific industries being regulated.

Regulatory scholarship has traditionally paid much more attention to regulatory policy (the content of the law) than to regulatory practice. This workshop seeks to redress that imbalance. Professor Sparrow has worked closely with professional regulators for more than 25 years, focusing on the strategic and operational dilemmas that are distinctive to harm-reduction or risk-control tasks of government (as distinct from “customer service” roles), which may involve the use of coercive power and associated discretion.

Key themes to be addressed
  • What does it mean to be “risk-based” in enforcement, regulatory or compliance roles?
  • What would it take to institutionalise an operational risk-management or “harm-reduction” approach as a framework for carrying out tasks and reporting accomplishments?
  • How do we measure an agency’s contributions to risk reduction?
  • What is regulatory craftsmanship and how might we as an agency deliver it?
  • What is the relationship between enforcement discretion and effective risk control?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of alternative regulatory structures, including prescriptive regulation, performance-based regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation?
  • What types of risks (“wicked problems”) present special challenges for regulatory operations and how can those challenges best be met?
What will you take away?
Guided by Professor Sparrow, you will come away with a heightened appreciation of the importance and complexity of the role of the Professional Regulator. You will understand the variety of pressures currently acting on regulatory, enforcement, and security agencies around the world, and the various adaptations available as you strive to enhance your effectiveness as a regulator.

Who should attend?
This course is designed for upper level regulatory and enforcement practitioners, for members of professional boards with oversight responsibilities (e.g. medical boards), and for politicians with regulatory portfolios.

Attend to learn:

  • What it means to be “risk-based” in enforcement, regulatory & compliance roles
  • Regulatory craftsmanship & how to deliver it
  • The harm-reduction approach as a framework for carrying out tasks
  • How to measure your agency’s contributions to risk reduction
  • Assessing alternative regulatory structures
  • Tackling “wicked problems” that present special challenges for regulators

Key Speakers

Professor Malcolm K. Sparrow
John F Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

What People Are Saying

  • “Malcolm was exceptionally well informed and knowledgeable. He has added so much more depth and texture to my understanding of regulatory practise. A true master of the profession, I came away thoroughly inspired!”

    Kellie Fonseca
    Assistant Director, Fair Work Ombudsman
  • “Professor Sparrow delivers compelling insights in a compelling, insightful and memorable way. Professor Sparrow managed the room like a true professional and brought the best out of all participants. A pleasure to spend two days with him.”

    Emma Finnerty
    Principal Financial Analyst, Department of Treasury NSW
  • “Professor Sparrow is an engaging and entertaining presenter and his methods make what could be a dry topic very interesting. He uses great practical examples to reinforce the principles and get participants involved. I really enjoyed the two days.”

    Nicola Mitchell
    Project Manager - Compliance, Commerce Commission NZ


  • Date: 11 Aug 2019  By: Criterion Content Team

    While regulation is often described as a threat to innovation, the two go hand in hand as innovation drives efficiency in regulation and regulation ensures proper practice in innovation. RegTech, the use of new technology to facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements, has rapidly risen to prominence.  Regulators often find themselves without the resources to …

  • Date: 21 Aug 2018  By: Ash Natesh

    Professor Malcolm Sparrow will be in Sydney 17th & 18th September 2018 to lead his acclaimed and valuable executive education course The Professional Regulator – How to be a Risk Based Regulator. The 2 day course is designed to induct all regulatory executives and managers who work within an agency to the teachings of Professor …

  • Date: 19 Jul 2018  By: Murray Smith

    The use of enforcement tools by regulators can be a difficult and unforgiving process. Recently in Canberra the territory’s gambling regulator brought court proceedings against a licensed party and then decided not to continue in favour of a negotiated outcome. The outcome indicated that the regulated party would pay $60,000 to an anti-gambling foundation, put …

  • Date: 13 Jul 2018  By: Professor Malcolm Sparrow

    We hear the phrase “risk-based regulation” quite frequently.  Yet there seems to be much greater clarity about what it means for the regulations themselves to be risk-based, and much less clarity about what it means to be a risk-based regulator at the operational level. Regulators, and others with risk-control responsibilities, face a unique set of …