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my nous | taku mōhiotanga

Rachael Heslop (Taranaki/Ngāti Haumia)
BA (first class honours)

I was raised in Taranaki and am of English, Scottish and Māori (Taranaki/Ngāti Haumia) descent. I'm in the process of exploring my whakapapa with clues relating to other iwi (Tainui) still being explored. As part of my journey, I'm finding cousins all over Aotearoa, and I love that!  

In terms of how I find myself specialising in professional regulation, I can say there was definitely an element of chance when, in my early 20s, I started my first job in professional regulation - but it's no coincidence that I've stuck with it.

An initial interest quickly evolved into fully-fledged passion for quality professional regulation, and the legislation and policy that supports it.

My experience includes more than 18 years across all aspects of professional regulation (examinations, registration, practising certificates, competence, fitness and discipline), including several years in senior statutory roles and seven years of consulting to regulators of all sizes - both in New Zealand and internationally.

It is through this broad range of experience that I have developed an extensive toolkit of good regulatory principles and practices that can be applied to even the most difficult of situations.  I'm comfortable jumping in the deep end to help sort out those situations.

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my local expertise

My extensive experience in the New Zealand professional regulation space includes:

  • providing Registrar or other senior cover for a range of regulators of various sizes and resource capacity

  • conducting quality assurance reviews of regulatory authorities' policies and case management processes and reporting to the authority on identified risks and suggested remedies

  • training members of disciplinary committees (eg PCCs) and competence review committees

  • developing handbooks for conduct investigations and competence reviews

  • advising on and assisting with the introduction of new regulators

  • working long-term with regulators on implementation of programmes to up-skill practitioners (or a subset of practitioners) in an identified area of concern

  • managing consultations on a broad range of policy and regulatory issues 

  • managing contentious applications for new registration qualifications to be prescribed

  • reviewing internal processes to streamline resources and contain costs

  • partnering with Māori to draft cultural competence standards

  • conducting an analysis of competence, conduct and health cases to identify trends and potential risk factors to assist the authority in moving towards risk-based regulation

  • drafting policy for all aspects of professional regulation.

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my international expertise

My international experience includes provision of both in-country and remote advice.  It is through this experience that I've developed a clear understanding that one size does not fit all, and that any regulatory solution needs to be tailored to the specific context in which it is being applied.  My experience includes:

  • two years in-country assisting a newly established Middle Eastern multi-disciplinary regulator to develop its regulatory framework and related tools

  • working with a South Pacific jurisdiction on the design of a framework for the regulation of health practitioners

  • working alongside local staff in-country to build knowledge and capability for long term self-sufficiency

  • researching best practice in international licensure examinations for doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists, and advising on a proposed approach

  • researching current practice in continuing competence frameworks and advising on a proposed approach for a regulator and professions new to the concept, and with limited resources

  • developing guidelines for health professionals to identify and manage risk in the workplace, weaving in local custom and cultural expectations with international best practice standards.

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my values | kaupapa


Granted - you won't find many people who say integrity isn't important to them - but it's fair to say that it is central to the way I live and work.  Integrity, to me, captures a broad range of qualities - including honesty,  good faith, reliability, trustworthiness and loyalty.  It means acting only in ways that align with my sense of what is right. 


Fairness is integrity's cousin.  For me, fairness means being reasonable and just in any given circumstance.  It also happens to be a critical component of good regulation.  


It's this simple; I get immense satisfaction from doing good work. 


I have a strong social conscience, so it's important to me that the work I do has meaning and purpose. In that regard, professional regulation is a great fit for me. One of my biggest rewards is helping clients improve the way they do things - and knowing that this will result in a safer public.


Having positive and productive relationships with my clients is so important to me.  I love my work and I want you to enjoy working with me. If I can't bring a smile to your face while we work together, I owe you a coffee!

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