Victorian Essential Services Commission: Regulator reputation

The Victorian Essential Services Commission committed to improving its reputation as a regulator by understanding and measuring the direct experiences of stakeholders, their perceptions about the value of what the Commission does, and perceptions about the quality of what they deliver.

The Essential Services Commission agreed what it wanted to be known for and these reputation attributes are understood by all people in the organisation.

The Essential Services Commission 2016-17 Reputation attributes are:

  • Trusted and impartial
  • Active (updated from responsive)
  • Connected
  • Transparent
  • Innovative and farsighted
  • Professional and credible

Each year, the Essential Services Commission surveys stakeholders to understand how they are viewed by their stakeholders. Using a survey enables feedback to come from a broad range of stakeholders, including regulated entities, citizens and other government agencies. Survey results drive programs that reach across the entire Essential Services Commission organisation, as well as Divisional improvement plans that map to reputation drivers. The communications team acts as advisor to each division, guiding their action and directly managing external channels. Divisions take pride in managing their own reputation, and that of the whole organisation.

Results from the 2019 stakeholder survey showed sustained increases across all reputation measures Including: overall satisfaction, communication to stakeholders, stakeholder consultation and engagement, providing information to the Commission, the Commission’s processes, interactions with Commission staff and outcomes and decisions made by the Commission.

Examples of programs that reach across the whole organisation which have been implemented include:

  • plain English training
  • development of a two-year digital strategy
  • delivery of a new website,
  • establishment of a social media presence and strategy
  • establishment of a new stakeholder engagement framework, and
  • widespread engagement skills training, using the IAP2 framework.

Source: Michelle Bryne, Victorian Essential Services Commission. ANZOG National Regulators Community of Practice Webinar 11 February 2021.


Prepared for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet by Nous Group.