Rachael Heslop

General Manager/Policy Consultant
BA (first class honours)

Rachael is a policy and regulatory specialist, not a lawyer. In addition to providing consultancy services to clients, she also manages Claro’s operations and is the General Manager of Claro’s e-learning platform, Clarify – online legal education for NZ’s health sector.

Before starting at Claro in January 2014, Rachael worked in and for the public sector her entire career – both in the front-line and in policy and management roles. She has more than 14 years’ experience in health regulation both in New Zealand and overseas, including acting as Registrar of a small health regulatory authority,  and managing competence processes in a large health regulatory authority.

Between 2011 and 2013, Rachael consulted to a multidisciplinary authority in the Middle East, advising and working alongside local staff to implement robust regulatory systems, and building the capability of local staff to continue this work after the international consulting team’s departure.

Rachael’s experience has given her a strong understanding of the challenges and constraints facing health regulators, healthcare providers and government, and an appreciation of the need for robust policy which is implementable at an operational level.

While specialising in health regulation, Rachael also has policy experience in governance processes, and quality audit and process review skills.


“Health is so personal to us all. When we or our loved ones get sick, we want to know that we can access competent healthcare services, provided in safe healthcare facilities. It’s important to me that my work contributes to creating a better standard of care for health consumers.”

Rachael’s experience includes both New Zealand and international work:

New Zealand
  • Conducting quality assurance reviews of regulatory authorities’ policies and case management processes and reporting to the authority on identified risks and suggested remedies.
  • Undertaking a review of a regulator’s conduct, competence and health cases since the inception of the HPCAA, to compile profiles of the practitioners referred, analyse the results, and identify trends and potential risk factors, to assist the authority in moving towards informed risk-based regulation.
  • Providing Registrar cover for regulatory authorities.
  • Undertaking a review of a provider’s recertification programme and providing a report to the regulator on the programme’s compliance with the regulator’s recertification programme requirements.
  • Researching and drafting cultural competence standards for health practitioners.
  • Managing, and working long term with regulators on implementation of programmes to ensure a profession, or a subset of the profession, upskills in a given area of practice where widespread concerns have been identified.
  • Managing consultations on a wide range of issues relating to health regulation.
  • Managing contentious applications for new qualifications to be prescribed under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.
  • Designing, consulting on and assisting a regulator in the implementation of a continuing professional development framework for a profession new to the concept.
  • Assessing regulatory authorities’ registration policies and workflows to identify efficiencies and recommend resourcing needs.


  • Working with and advising a Pacific nation in the design of a regulatory framework that takes into account the realities of health practice in the particular environment, while meeting international standards of good regulatory practice.
  • Conducting a substantial review of continuing professional development (CPD) practices around the world, and using the results of this review to recommend an approach to an authority introducing CPD for the first time, over a five year period.
  • Conducting a substantial review of licensure examinations for medicine, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy, and recommending a new approach for delivery of licensure examinations in a severely resource-constrained environment.
  • Implementing a new system for licensure of doctors, including an assessment process to determine whether each applicant should be licensed as a specialist.
  • Developing guidelines for healthcare professionals to identify and manage risk in the workplace.
  • Working in-country with local staff to develop their knowledge of good regulatory practice for long term self-sufficiency.