Primary Authority for multi-site businesses

A Primary Authority partnership is a government-backed scheme providing businesses with expert and tailored advice on regulatory compliance.

Either direct with individual businesses or co-ordinated with a Trade Association (or other similar group), it is a means for businesses to receive expert and tailored advice on meeting Environmental Health and Trading Standards through a single point of contact.

Once formal Primary Authority Advice has been issued, other regulators or local authorities must follow this advice. This ensures businesses can invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that the resources they devote to compliance are well spent.

The Environmental Health team at Wakefield Council deliver award winning Primary Authority nationally and our experience and expertise dates back to its inception in 2008. Your business does not need to be based in Wakefield to have a partnership with us.

What are the benefits for businesses?

Our business partners, including Cedar Court Hotels, Morrisons, Asda, Primark, Next, Gravity Fitness, the British Frozen Food Federation, Deliveroo and Vue Cinemas have told us that the main benefits they get from their Primary Authority partnership with us include;

  • Consistency in the interpretation of legislation across all elements of their business
  • Targeting of resource to the areas of greatest business risk
  • Recognising good practice and the commitment the business is making to compliance
  • Protection against enforcement action from other regulators
  • Insight into the regulatory world from our officers to business managers e.g. the national Health and Safety and Food Safety inspection priorities
  • Assistance in the development of business managers to undertake self-audits and develop priority based action plans for compliance matters
  • Being involved in emerging regulatory changes
  • Close working with partner regulators including Trading Standards and the Food Standards Agency and HSE.


What do our PA partners think?

"Having formalised our Partnership in October 2012 we have been extremely impressed by the quality of the service we are receiving and the professional strengths of the officers involved. Wakefield Council has proved to be supportive and decisive in their advice to us and in their dealings with other authorities. Their officers are highly professional, knowledgeable and proactive in driving the Partnership forward."

Philip Taylor, Senior H&S Manager, Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC

"Our long standing relationship with Wakefield serves as testament to them being the partner of choice for Health & Safety within our industry. Not only do our members enjoy all the benefits of a co-ordinated partnership scheme they also have the assurance of Wakefield's vast sectorial experience."

Simon Brentnall, Head of Health & Safety, British Frozen Food Federation

What do I get as a PA partner?

By forming a partnership with Wakefield Council you will access our team of highly experienced Officers who have been at the forefront of delivering Primary Authority since its inception as a national scheme in 2008 and prior to that as a pilot programme with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

We currently operate numerous Primary Authority partnerships specialising in the retail, logistics, food, leisure and hotel sectors, including with Morrisons Supermarkets Plc (retail and distribution), Asda Stores Ltd (retail and distribution), Primark Stores Ltd (retail, distribution and manufacturing) and Cedar Court (hotel and leisure) and Gravity UK.

You can see a full list of our partnerships on the Primary Authority Register.

We were one of the first Councils in the country to take on a co-ordinated partnership with a Trade Association (the British Frozen Food Federation) for health and safety expertise.

We continue to contribute to national debate on regulatory matters through our membership of various national steering groups, for example in piloting new ways of regulation through Primary Authority with BEIS and the FSA.

We offer partnerships covering the full range of Environmental Health functions including Food Safety, Health & Safety, Animal Health and Environmental Protection.

Our team is leading the way in providing Primary Authority Advice and PA Inspection plan development.

Good news and awards

Primary Authority Regulatory Excellence Award 2021

The Primary Authority partnership between Wakefield Council Environmental Health and Cedar Court Hotels has won the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) Regulatory Excellence Award 2021.

This is as a result of the work carried out to provide safe accommodation for haulier drivers who test positive for Covid-19 when arriving in the UK.

The OPSS Regulatory Excellence Awards are open to anyone involved in the delivery of regulation and compliance such as local authorities, fire services, businesses and trade associations and this year recognise outstanding regulatory practice in challenging times.

Cedar Court Hotel and Wakefield Council have worked together in a Primary Authority (PA) partnership since 2011. The PA scheme allows businesses to form a legally recognised partnership with a single local authority in relation to regulatory compliance. This local authority is then known as its ‘Primary Authority’. The team at Wakefield Council provides advice and guidance on Food Safety, Health & Safety, Covid and other compliance matters to allow the business to operate with confidence.

More information

View our amazing work with Cedar Court here

Click here to see more of our great PA work with Arla Foods

Primary Authority Regulatory Excellence Award 2019

The Primary Authority partnership between Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc and Wakefield Council Environmental Health has won The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy/Office of Product Safety and Standards Regulatory Excellence Awards 2019.

More information

Fast Response Expert Panels

As valuable and renowned providers of Primary Authority, Wakefield Council Environmental Health has been invited by the Office of Product Safety and Standards to be involved in their Fast Response Expert Panels.

The panels will assist regulators and businesses in the upcoming weeks, months and beyond in the many ways they have been affected by Covid-19. The initial aim of this is to share expertise, avoid duplication of resource and share best practice amongst Primary Authority providers, other Local Authority regulatory services and Business Support at this crucial time.

This support has been of real benefit to business so far during this period and shows how an effective Primary Authority partnership is of huge value to an organisation in all circumstances.

We are excited to be participating in panels concerning; Leisure, Restaurants and Catering, Warehousing and Homeware and Hardware. We are looking forward to developing some useful tools to support the work of all businesses and other Primary Authorities.’


Our partnerships are based on business need and the support provided is completely tailored.  In line with HM Treasury guidance we recover our costs but don't make a profit. The current charge is £70 per hour.

More information

  • Fill out our webform to request a Primary Authority Partnership quote
  • View our Business Advice Services price list in the downloads section of this page
  • Visit the website for more information on the Primary Authority national scheme

Contact us