Compliance assessment scheme summaries

2016 assessments summary

We carried out assessments on 5309 licences during 2016.  As in previous years, each licence is given one of six classifications at the end of the year:  Excellent (4030); Good (761); Broadly Compliant (78); At risk (119); Poor (262); Very poor (59).

During 2016, the overall number of licences assessed as non-compliant (at risk, poor or very poor) fell for a second consecutive year, as we continue to prioritise our focus on the poorest performers, and on persistent non-compliance.  However, as in the previous two years, quality and a timely submission of data, which is a requirement for many licence holders, continues to be a significant cause of non-compliance.  In 2016, data submission alone contributed to over 27% of non-compliances.

Since 2012, operators in all major regulatory regimes have been included in the Compliance Assessment Scheme, with water resource activities regulated under Controlled Activities Regulations fully included since 2014.  This makes comparing overall year on year trends easier.  As in previous years, a significant number of lower risk activities are not assessed annually, and inspection frequency varies from once every two to once every five years.  As a result the number of licences assessed and reported each year will vary.  In addition to the compliance data for nuclear and radioactive substances sites published in detail below, we also regulate smaller authorised radioactive sources, many of which are used in the offshore oil industry and onshore in industrial processes.

2015 assessments summary

A total of 5470 licensed activities were assessed as part of the 2015 scheme. There are six classifications in the scheme: Excellent (4246); Good (637); Broadly Compliant (61); At Risk (142); Poor (310) and Very Poor (74).

The overall number of non-compliant sites fell in 2015 compared with 2014 thanks largely to the increased focus on failing and problem sites from regulatory staff. It should also be noted that the numbers of non-compliances recorded as a result of issues identified through the assessment of data returns (a major source of non-compliance in 2014), which certain permit holders are required to submit, have decreased due to increased national focus and the running of a number of national initiatives designed to engage, and work, with the regulated community.

Since 2012, operators in all major regulated regimes have been added to the compliance assessment scheme which should make comparing overall trends year on year a little easier. It should be noted however that a significant number of lower risk operations will not be assessed each year. Such sites will be assessed at a frequency varying from once every two years to once every five years and as a result the total number of sites assessed and reported each year will vary. In addition to the compliance data for nuclear and radioactive substances sites published in detail below, we also regulate smaller authorised radioactive sources, many of which are used in the offshore oil industry and onshore in industrial processes.

2014 assessments summary

The Compliance Assessment Scheme has been further extended during 2014 such that water resource activities which are regulated under the Controlled Activities Regulations have been included fully within the scheme. The activities vary from large scale public water supplies or industrial abstractions to smaller scale irrigation schemes.

A total of 5305 licensed activities were assessed as part of the 2014 scheme.  There are six classifications in the scheme: Excellent (3876); Good (726); Broadly Compliant (64); At Risk (268); Poor (311) and Very Poor (60).

The overall number of non-compliant sites rose in 2014 compared with 2013 thanks largely to the introduction of the water resource sites fully into the scheme.

Since 2012, operators in all major regulated regimes have been added to the compliance assessment scheme which should make comparing overall trends year on year a little easier. It should be noted however that a significant number of lower risk operations will not be assessed each year. Such sites will be assessed at a frequency varying from once every two years to once every five years and as a result the total number of sites assessed and reported each year will vary. In addition to the compliance data for nuclear and radioactive substances sites published in detail below, we also regulate smaller authorised radioactive sources, many of which are used in the offshore oil industry and onshore in industrial processes. 

2013 assessments summary

Our officers have continued to make non-compliant sites a priority. This has resulted in a slight overall improvement, with 90.4 % of operators (up from 89% in 2012) achieving a licence compliance rating of excellent, good or broadly compliant (satisfactory).

Since 2012, operators in all major regulated regimes have been added to the compliance assessment scheme which should make comparing overall trends year on year a little easier. It should be noted however that a significant number of lower risk operations will not be assessed each year. Such sites will be assessed at a frequency varying from once every two years to once every five years and as a result the total number of sites assessed and reported each year will vary. In addition to the compliance data for nuclear and radioactive substances sites published in detail below, we also regulate smaller authorised radioactive sources, many of which are used in the offshore oil industry and onshore in industrial processes. Of the sources inspected this year, 98.3% exhibited satisfactory levels of compliance. Site specific details of these licences have not been published.

For the first time we have carried out compliance assessments on water resource activities which are regulated under the Controlled Activities Regulations. The activities vary from large scale public water supply or industrial abstractions to smaller scale irrigation schemes. Of the sites assessed 73.2 % were considered compliant in 2013. The main cause of non-compliance for water resource sites was the failure to supply data returns required by the licence. Site specific details of these licenses have not been published.

2012 assessments summary

During 2012 we continued our new inspection regime designed to target higher risk and non-compliant sites. This has reduced the number of inspections for the lowest risk permits, including petrol vapour recovery (petrol stations) and solvent-based operations such as dry cleaners, meaning that many of these sites will move on to a five year inspection cycle.

In 2012 we added the radioactive substances authorisations to the compliance assessment system, with the overall results that many more site assessments are reported through our compliance assessment scheme. In addition to compliance data for nuclear sites published in detail below, we also regulate smaller authorised radioactive sources, many of which are used in the offshore oil industry and onshore in industrial processes. Of the sources inspected this year, 99.2% exhibited satisfactory levels of compliance. Site specific details of these licences have not been published.

2011 assessments summary

Our officers continued to make non-compliant sites a priority. This has resulted in a slight overall improvement, with 87% of operators (across various regulatory regimes) achieving a licence compliance rating of excellent, good or broadly compliant.
During 2011 we piloted a new inspection regime to help target higher risk and non-compliant sites. This has reduced the number of inspections for the lowest risk permits, including petrol vapour recovery (petrol stations) and solvent-based operations such as dry cleaners, meaning that many of these sites will move on to a five year inspection cycle.

2010 assessments summary

SEPA officers made non-compliant sites a priority, leading to an increase in the number of PPC Part A sites achieving a rating of excellent, good or broadly compliant of 3.5% from 83.4% in 2009 to 86.9% in 2010, well above the baseline set by us.

2009 assessments summary

2009 was the first compliance assessment year introduced for those sites regulated under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations. Those sites that have been revoked or surrendered since 2009 have now been removed from the table of results all other 2009 results from can be viewed on our website.