Business Plan


Market Assurance

Improvement programme summary

Our Market Assurance programme is focused on enabling the market to develop for the benefit of customers.

Our market assurance work will take an integrated approach to assuring compliance and performance levels of trading parties. A risk-based approach will also see us move away from tactical changes to the Market Performance Framework (MPF) to a comprehensive overview of its effectiveness to drive the right behaviours in the market and associated benefits to customers. It will encompass measures, tools, incentives and ways of working which focus on customer outcomes, accountabilities between wholesalers and retailers, and a smarter means of using data and insight to drive higher quality intervention and rectification.

Work over the coming three years covers the continued evolution and rollout of this integrated approach as an enabler for supporting and driving market improvement.

Our Market Assurance programme includes the development and implementation of:

A Strategic Market Risks and Issues Register - to drive focus and improvement
Timely reporting, action tracking and intervention from audit findings
Insourcing of a proportion of trading party audit work, making the required improvements to the framework as identified by the audits
Clear communication of audit findings
Potential introduction of measures arising from the Strategic Metering Review
Improved measures and incentives that focus on customer outcomes, clearer accountability and targeted interventions (development through 2022/23 with implementation of monitoring in 2023/24).
How trading parties and customers will benefit

This programme is a key component in delivering our Market Improvement strategic priority.

Effective assurance provides comfort to current and prospective market participants, and the regulator, that desired outcomes are being delivered in a way that supports an improving market.

These improvements will be created by a Market Assurance programme that:

Enables customers to benefit from an improved service as parties are held more accountable for underperformance
Improves data quality through the inclusion of, and increased focus on, appropriate monitoring
Supports faster improvements to addressing poor service as a result of improved rectification tools
Enables better sharing of good practice and findings from rectification and audit/intervention work.
“I welcome the shift away from previous misplaced preoccupations - notably, unhelpful tinkering with the Market Performance Framework. The framework is of no value until we have a level playing field against which to assess, compare and report market performance. The new focus is rightly on tackling fundamental issues in the market - such as metering, governance, bilateral processing, and the Codes - which today inhibit effective market operation to the detriment of innovation, service to customers, and the cost of doing business."

Ray Porter, Director of Wholesale and Markets, Castle Water

How the workstream builds on our current 2020/21 Business Plan 

Through our market assurance work in 2020/21 we have responded to the challenges of COVID-19 and integrated additional monitoring. This monitoring has been underpinned by analysis and insight derived from a range of market data points across customer type and supply points. Consideration of our Strategic Metering Review findings will define the focus of work in 2021/22.

Delivery for 2021/22 – milestones and outcomes

Prioritised and integrated assurance
Strategic Market Risks and Issues Register in place

Timely reporting, action tracking and intervention from audit findings

Potential introduction of revised measures (subject to findings of Strategic Metering Review)
Improvement activities appropriately prioritised

Integrated approach to better drive market improvement
Three-year delivery plan

We recognise that significant reworking of the current performance measures and associated incentive framework will require market-wide engagement and detailed planning. As such, the design and delivery of improved and integrated market assurance provisions will be rolled out iteratively across the next three years.

Current year
Year one
Year two
Year three
Integrated market assurance framework
Strategic Market Risks and Issues Register

Timely reporting, action tracking and intervention from audit findings

Develop revised metering measures (subject to findings of Strategic Metering Review)
Progress code changes to embed improved performance measures, monitoring and incentives
Implementation of new performance framework and assurance
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