Compliance Assessment Scheme

SEPA’s Regulatory Strategy ‘One Planet Prosperity’ is clear – every Scottish business will comply with the law and SEPA will work to ensure as many as possible go even further. SEPA’s Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) rates an operator’s environmental performance against its licence conditions. The annual results enable SEPA to take a targeted approach which allows us to take a more targeted approach to our regulatory programme of work.

Regulatory regimes in Compliance Assessment Scheme
  • Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (PPC) - Part A and Part B
  • Waste management licensing (WML)
  • Controlled Activity Regulations (CAR) - Point source and water resources
  • Radioactive Substances Act (RSA)


These regulatory regimes cover industrial processes; waste treatment and disposal; emissions to air; discharges to water, abstraction and impoundment of water and radioactive substances.

Regulatory approach

In April 2020, SEPA published its regulatory approach to the public health pandemic. The approach outlined the agency’s approach to regulatory positions, permitting, monitoring, compliance and enforcement across the 33 sectors of the economy SEPA regulates.

Across the pandemic, the Scottish Government designated 13 critical national infrastructure sectors vital to the functioning of society. SEPA committed to supporting that national focus on food security, the provision of clean water and the maintenance of critical infrastructure and the support services on which communities rely.

Whilst impacted by the pandemic and by the December 2020 cyber-attack, the agency will publish a report of its regulatory work covering 20/21 in 2022. 

Consulting on a new, publicly accessible compliance assessment approach

SEPA’s regulatory approach was clear that given public health restrictions during the pandemic, SEPA (in line with UK environment agencies) was unable to operate its formal compliance assessment scheme, but would report separately on regulatory positions, permitting , monitoring, compliance and enforcement. 

SEPA remains committed to a publicly accessible compliance assessment approach and later in 2022 will consult widely and gather high level views from a range of stakeholders on a new, publicly accessible compliance assessment approach.