Regulatory Sandbox eligibility criteria

Review our 5 eligibility criteria before applying to the Regulatory Sandbox. 

If you want to apply to test in the Regulatory Sandbox, you must demonstrate how you meet our 5 eligibility criteria 

  • In scope  
  • Genuine innovation
  • Consumer benefit
  • Readiness
  • Need for support

Please provide as much information as possible about how you meet these criteria when submitting your application. Once you’ve reviewed our eligibility criteria, find out how to apply

See examples of proposals that may meet our criteria

Eligibility criteria


Criteria Key question Positive indicators Negative indicators
In scope
  • Are you doing something that is within our remit? Will your customers be in the UK?
  • Your innovation is intended for the UK market
  • The relevant activity is regulated by us or may be used by firms we regulate
  • Your innovation doesn’t appear to be intended for use in the UK
Genuine innovation
  • Are you doing something that’s ground-breaking or significantly different? This could be something completely new, or it could be a new market or a new version of an existing model.
  • Desk research produces few or no comparable examples of innovation in the market
  • Your innovation is a clear step-change in scale
  • There are numerous examples of similar innovations to yours
  • Your innovations appear to be a superficial variation of an existing model
Consumer benefit
  • How does your proposal help consumers (either individuals or businesses)?
  • How is it an improvement on existing services?
  • How will you protect them from any risks your model poses? 
  • Your innovation is likely to lead to a better deal for consumers (eg through lower prices, higher quality, better security etc)
  • You have considered possible consumer risks and how to address them
  • Your innovation will make market entry or compliance with FCA rules easier
  • Potential detrimental impact on consumers, markets or the financial system  
  • Facilitates circumvention of regulatory or fiscal obligations
  • Have you thought about how your model works with our rules? Have you carried out any background research into the regulations that might apply to your business?
  • Can you explain how your business will work? 
  • Are you ready to test the innovation in the real market with real consumers?
  • You have clearly done background research, have sought to understand obligations , and have a clear, defined business proposal
  • You have a well-developed testing plan with clear objectives, parameters and success criteria
  • You have already undertaken testing
  • You have the resources to test in the Sandbox
  • You have sufficient safeguards in place to protect consumers and can  provide appropriate redress if required
  • Any testing partners are in place, or soon will be 
  • If authorisation is required for a test, you are ready to apply in the near future
  • You have made little or no  effort to understand relevant regulations 
  • There are unclear testing objectives and/or your plans for testing are underdeveloped
  • You don’t have the resources for the test
  • Your proposed customer safeguards are inadequate and/or appropriate redress can’t be provided
Need for support
  • Do you have a genuine need to test in our Sandbox?
  • You have no alternative means of engaging with the FCA
  • The innovation doesn’t easily fit our existing regulatory framework
  • You will benefit from using a Sandbox tool to test in a live environment
  • The full authorisation process would be too costly/difficult for a viable and short test
  • You already have a dedicated supervisor who could answer the query 
  • You have  significant regulatory compliance resource  
  • Your  business model easily fits the existing regulatory framework with no particularly difficult questions
  • Live testing is not necessary to answer your question or achieve your goal 

You can also access the full eligibility criteria (PDF).

Examples of proposals that may meet our criteria