Information sharing is a marathon not a sprint

Damion Nickerson,
Engagement Manager,
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing

In February 2016, the Centre supported Regulatory Delivery, (formerly the Better Regulation Delivery Office) in the delivery of a dedicated workshop for regulatory service practitioners, such as Environmental Heath and Trading Standards officers. The workshop aimed to identify cultural barriers limiting information sharing, identify good practice, and explore characteristics of good information sharing in regulatory environments.

It was also around this time, that I was in full-on ‘marathon training mode’, as I’d agreed to run the London Marathon. It was 26.2 miles that I wasn’t sure my 42-year-old body was ready for – however I’d been sponsored, I had my number and my children were running an internal betting book on how slow I would actually run.

With all this mind, on the 24th April, I stood at the marathon start line at 10am with thousands of other runners hoping that all the information they’ve been using for their training: times, diet, raising support on social media and blogs would help to carry them over the line.

The organisation behind the London Marathon works tirelessly to make the event as flawless as possible, but we the audience only get to see the end result and the runners’ achievements, much like the marathon effort that has gone on at the Centre of Excellence over the past few months.

I was also busy in April working on the report to support Regulatory Delivery – this followed the earlier workshop and further field interviews which took place with regulators from across the country.

The report; ‘Overcoming cultural barriers to information sharing within regulatory services’, took into account the benefits of regulators sharing data, the barriers faced, and explored areas of good practice. The report also made a number of key recommendations which are now with Regulatory Delivery for review and to take forward.

So why is information sharing a marathon and not a sprint? Well, the last few months have seen many changes in government and the recommendations in our report can’t be actioned overnight. However, just as I was delighted to show my children the marathon medal I held in my hands on completing the race, I’m also keen to show you the report we have produced – you can download it here: Regulatory Delivery report

This work for Regulatory Delivery involved us working across numerous local places and it looked at a much wider perspective than just one department or one place and we ensured that our recommendations at a national level take iinto account learning from our other areas of work. It really has been a case of utilising everyone’s capacity, ability and time to ensure that as we approach our individual finish lines that there were no information sharing pulled muscles.

With the London Marathon now a few months behind me and the Regulatory Delivery report having been published and the recommendations being considered, I’ve rested my bones and I’m limbered up and primed in readiness for what will be another informative and challenging marathon week ahead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *