Primary Authority Partnership

What is Primary Authority?

Primary Authority is a means for businesses to receive assured and tailored advice on meeting regulations such as environmental health, trading standards or fire safety through a single point of contact. This ensures start-ups get it right at the outset and enables all businesses to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that the resources they devote to compliance are well spent.

Primary Authority is based on legal partnerships between businesses and individual local authorities. Businesses can set up their own partnership or be part of a professional organisation (such as Quality in Tourism) with an existing partnership.

Direct and Co-ordinated Primary Authority Partnerships

Direct partnerships

A business can form its own direct partnership. It then receives Primary Authority Advice tailored to its specific needs from its primary authority (i.e. its chosen local authority).

Co-ordinated partnerships

Alternatively, a business can belong to a trade association (or other type of ‘regulated group’) to benefit from a coordinated primary authority partnership. In this case, the Primary Authority Advice is still provided by the primary authority, but is shared via the trade association, and tailored

Who runs Primary Authority Partnerships ?

How is OPSS involved?

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) exercises the statutory responsibility for the operation of Primary Authority on behalf of the Secretary of State for BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), nominating partnerships, issuing guidance and resolving determinations. It also manages the Primary Authority Register.

What are the benefits of Primary Authority?


  • have access to relevant, authoritative tailored advice
  • gain recognition of robust compliance arrangements
  • can draw on the best practice of others as an effective means of meeting regulations
  • can be more confident they are protecting themselves and their customers



  • have greater clarity over where responsibility lies
  • can support local economic growth through stronger business relationships
  • can improve the consistency of local regulation and target resources on high-risk areas
  • can develop their staff expertise via partnerships
  • can protect front line services through cost recovery



  • are better protected as businesses comply with legislation
  • are at reduced risk as local authorities better understand the businesses they regulate and can target resources on high-risk areas
  • Can check  the “members” of a co-ordinated partnership to ensure businesses are operating responsibly

What is the Primary Authority Register?

The Primary Authority Register is the secure online service that supports the operation of the scheme. It contains details on every partnership, provides a forum for communications, and allows primary authorities to make important documents and business information readily available to local regulators. There is a publically available register through which the public can see which businesses have a primary authority partnership.

Quality in Tourism in turn produce a register on their website of properties that have been accredited by Quality and Tourism as Safe, Clean & Legal™. This register is open to councils and consumers alike.

What type of partnership does Cornwall Council and Quality in Tourism have?

Quality in Tourism has entered into both a co-ordinated and a direct partnership with Cornwall Council.  This means that they will share advice, guidance and best practice with their members, through the co-ordinated partnership. The schemes operated by Quality in Tourism i.e. Safe, Clean & Legal™ are moderated and reviewed through the Direct partnership. 

How will this Primary Authority Partnership benefit tourism & hospitality businesses?

For members of Quality in Tourism (QT), the partnership will ensure that members are kept fully up to date with regulatory changes and amendments that may affect their business.  Quality in Tourism will work with Cornwall Council to share advice and guidance on how to adapt to any change in regulations, ensuring that members have access to best practice examples to ensure their efficiency.

Cornwall Council, as Primary Authority partner to QT, will act as a central point of contact for local authority enforcement officers in relation to any queries regarding Safe Clean & Legal ™, as well as compliance by members, covering Environmental Health, Trading Standards and fire safety. Consideration will also be given to providing local authorities with any background information that might be helpful.

Quality in Tourism will also look to work with other local authorities across the UK, using the approved Safe, Clean & Legal TM framework of accreditation to help support the growing issues around non-compliance of regulations in the industry.  Safe Clean & Legal TM will give local authorities (and consumers)  the reassurance that their properties have been checked and verified and will also ensure that guests staying in these properties are also protected; staying in a legitimate establishment that has complied with all of the necessary regulations.

How will this Primary Authority Partnership benefit Quality in Tourism participants?

Quality in Tourism is an independent 3rd party accreditation body with experienced assessors to support business owners and operators in Hospitality and Tourism. The accreditation gives all stakeholders, including owners, agencies and most importantly, the general public reassurance regarding standards and that all the necessary regulations have been complied with.

For more information regarding the Primary Authority Partnership and how it may affect you and your business, please contact us

Primary Authority Partnership

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