How to get into… working for regulatory bodies 

In February, the Careers Service hosted a panel of University of Bristol alumni who now work for regulatory bodies in the UK. 

But what is a regulatory body? 

Regulatory bodies are organisations established by governments or other authorities to oversee and regulate specific industries or sectors. Their primary role is to create and enforce rules, standards, and guidelines aimed at ensuring safety, fairness, transparency, and efficiency within their respective sectors. This is an interesting line of work, and one which students might not know a huge amount about.    

The panel that kindly spoke for us all work for regulatory bodies and shared what it is like to work in this area, along with the journey they took to get to where they are now in their careers. 

The panel were: 

Of course, there are other regulatory bodies operating in the UK, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Office of Communications (OFCOM) amongst many others, and it is well worth looking into jobs in this area. 

If you are interested in working for a regulatory body after graduating, here are some of key benefits our panellists spoke about: 

The work you do is often impactful and current 

Our panellists spoke of how exciting it is to be working on projects which link to current affairs and that have an impact on society.  

Samilah from the Competitions and Marketing Authority spoke about how rewarding it was for her to work on a merger bid that made the headlines and she could see first-hand the impact her work was having. You can read about CMA cases on the CMA website here.  

There is a lot of job stability 

We learned that regulatory bodies are often established by governments and because of this tend to have stable and long-term funding. This means employees have a fair amount of job security compared to those who work in industries that are subject to market fluctuations. 

Maddy from the Office for Students felt that she could make a long and varied career, especially given the training she has on the leadership development scheme she is on. 

There is a real focus on professional development   

Working in a regulatory environment typically involves staying up to date with evolving laws, regulations, and industry standards. Our panellists highlighted that this constant learning could provide employees with lots of opportunities for professional and skills development

James from Payment Systems Regulator suggested that staying up to date with the news, as well as reading recent work the regulator has published, will give applicants and those interested in working within regulatory bodies a good understanding of how the sector is evolving and will make them attractive applicants and employees. 

There are a lot of career opportunities 

Regulatory bodies encompass a wide range of sectors, including finance, healthcare, environmental protection, and more. So, there are various career paths and opportunities to specialise in areas of interest. 

All our panellists work in different sectors and feel that there is a lot of scope to pursue interests and use their learning from their degrees. For example, those with degrees in economics find they use their learning from their degree a fair amount, which was rewarding for them.  

There is usually a good work-life balance 

Depending on the organisation and role, working for a regulatory body may offer a stable and predictable work environment, allowing for better work-life balance compared to high-pressure corporate or private sector roles. 

Alex from the Bank of England feels that he is able to have both a work and social life and that there is a lot of encouragement to take care of your own wellbeing. 

There were many more words of wisdom, so if you are interested in this talk and want to hear more from the panellists, you can watch the full recording on Replay here.   

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