The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching its first annual integrity survey in the coming days, with the objective of producing a robust benchmark of stakeholder perceptions of the BHA and confidence in its regulatory function, which can be measured and tracked over time.
The need for the survey was identified by the BHA's recent integrity review, which put forward a series of recommendations to ensure the BHA remains at the forefront of the regulation of sporting integrity matters. The BHA is currently working through the full implementation of these recommendations, alongside the findings of Christopher Quinlan's independent review of its Disciplinary Panel, Appeal Board and Licensing Committee.
The purpose of the BHA's integrity function is to ensure that the public and participants can be confident that British racing is run fairly and in accordance with the rules, that crime and corruption is deterred, prevented or penalized, and that there is a level playing field for all competitors.
The survey will establish to what extent the public and the racing industry's stakeholders, and participants have confidence that these objectives are being delivered—and where the main integrity threats are perceived to exist—in order to provide clear insight and evidence on their views on the BHA's integrity work, and areas for improvement in the future.
The survey will be sent to a wide-ranging sample of 9,000 individuals who represent racing's main stakeholder bodies: jockeys, trainers, owners, racegoers, breeders, racecourses, bettors, and the media over the coming days. The data will be collated and published in the BHA's next annual review, and form a benchmark against which future, annual, surveys can be measured.
Brant Dunshea, director of integrity and regulatory operations for the BHA, said:
"The importance of perception cannot be overstated when it comes to integrity in sport. Confidence that the product is fair and well regulated is essential if the sport is to attract and retain fans, customers, participants and investors.
"We very much hope that the wide range of individuals who receive the survey take the time to share their views on this important issue. The data will form a baseline against which we challenge ourselves to improve every year, and it will also help us identify where the greatest risks to the sport are perceived to lie."