October 1, 2023

October 20, 2023

Enhancing product safety & policy with the Office of Product Safety & Standards (OPSS)

Developing a practical data strategy to help the OPSS advance its data maturity within essential data-reliant regulatory functions

Digital, Data & Technology


The Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) faced a substantial challenge: their crucial regulatory functions in product safety market surveillance, enforcement and policy formation were hindered by a reliance on a limited number of lower-quality, internal and external datasets, supplemented with open-source intelligence. This constraint severely hampered OPSS’s ability to proactively identify and rigorously assess product safety risks and to substantiate more extensive policy and regulatory transformations. To address the challenge, OPSS asked PUBLIC to advise on essential improvements to their data strategy and maturity across its data-reliant functions.


To provide a practical strategy that improved OPSS’ data maturity from it’s current position, We adopted an approach driven by evidence:

  1. Analysed data landscape: We catalogued over 100 essential data sources that held significance for product safety. This inventory was comprehensive, detailing content, quality, accessibility, value, and pricing of each data source.
  2. Mapped the regulatory regime: To strengthen OPSS’s understanding of the product safety regulatory landscape, we engaged in mapping the entire regulatory framework across the UK. This effort involved identifying key stakeholders responsible for enforcement and documenting their product safety initiatives.
  3. Defined user-centric data needs: In understanding the pivotal role that user needs play, PUBLIC delved into more than 50 user stories from over 10 OPSS teams. These stories uncovered a wide spectrum of data requirements, essential for informed decision-making.
  4. Leveraged global best practices: We generated insights from international product safety bodies regarding the utilisation of data for proactive identification and assessments of product safety risks.
  5. Developed strategic Data Roadmap: We’ve developed a strategic roadmap for data acquisition, seamlessly aligned with OPSS’s digital development plans. This roadmap serves as a guide to diversify data sources, thereby supporting timely risk analysis and comprehensive product safety evaluations.


Our work has helped advance OPSS’ data maturity within essential data-reliant regulatory functions, taking a needs-based approach to acquiring and managing new critical data sources.  The data strategy we’ve developed will help OPSS mitigate future public safety risks and better inform ongoing policy and regulatory decisions that keep citizens safe.


Photo by the author

Julie Michlal

Senior Associate

Photo by the author

Thomas Chalk

Former Team Member

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