Consultation on the revision of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Compliance Assessment Scheme

Closed 30 Nov 2015

Opened 3 Sep 2015


The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on proposed improvements to the Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) used by SEPA and to reflect your feedback where possible in the revised scheme. 

Please note that the implementation date has changed to 1 January 2017.

As Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, SEPA issues a range of environmental licences, permits and authorisations designed to control activities that could, if uncontrolled lead to pollution or harm of the environment. Compliance with these licences is important in ensuring that the environment and human health are protected.

SEPA has measured compliance using its Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) since 2009. This scheme was developed to harmonise compliance assessment across several regulatory regimes covering a wide range of sites. The scheme was phased in over a number of years to cover approximately 10,000 sites

The revision of CAS is part of our Better Environmental Regulation approach. Our aim is to build on the best points of the current scheme to make CAS fairer, more consistent and proportionate for those we regulate with greater focus on breaches that cause most harm to the environment and persistent poor practice. We also want the scheme to be simpler to use by SEPA and businesses and easier to understand and scrutinise by the public.

Non-compliance with environmental regulation is not an option as it puts the environment and communities at risk and undermines businesses that take their responsibilities seriously. The proposed changes to CAS will provide a better picture of compliance and the underlying behaviours of operators. This will allow us to continue to engage, encourage and support those businesses that consistently meet their environmental obligations and also importantly to target our efforts on the minority that are non-compliant.


Why your views matter

SEPA is seeking comments on the proposed improvements to the Compliance Assessment Scheme (CAS) from interested parties including regulated customers, trade associations, representative bodies, local authorities and NGOs, as well as members of the public.

Stakeholder views are important to us and have been essential in shaping our wider Better Environmental Regulation approach. We are seeking your views on the proposals for CAS to ensure the revised scheme is implemented in a way that ensures proper transparency and accountability.

The information provided in the consultation will allow you to make informed comments on the proposed improvements to CAS and your comments will inform the revisions to the scheme.

The proposals can be found in the consultation document provided in the Related Document section below

You are encouraged to respond to this consultation by completing the online survey. However, you can also respond by sending your views and comments on the proposals in this paper to the following address:

Shelley Sergeant, Compliance Consultation Response Collator, SEPA, 31 Miller Road, Ayr, KA7 2AX

Or e-mail:

The response deadling has been extended. Responses should now be submitted to us by 30 November 2015. Earlier responses would be welcomed.

If responding by mail or email, please ensure you include a completed Respondent Information Form found in the Related Document section below.


  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Distilling
  • Hydropower
  • Local Authorities
  • Responsible Authorities
  • Fisheries
  • Industry
  • Landowners/ managers
  • Forestry
  • Aquaculture
  • National Parks
  • SEPA Staff
  • FRM LAG members
  • Team Unit Managers
  • Department Managers
  • Management
  • Operations
  • Science and Strategy


  • Regulated activities
  • SEPA charges
  • Better regulation