The new guidance on the regulatory framework – Regulating the Standards

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The new guidance on the regulatory framework – Regulating the Standards

You sat there on Friday 25th May 2012, fingers tapping impatiently on the keyboard, and finally on the HCA website – Regulating the Standards – the new guidance to the regulatory framework. To try to help you through the translation process (policy into English), here’s our abridged version.

The key principles were clear and pretty straightforward:

The external environment – while it’s horrible out there, the Regulator’s role will be to protect public investment in housing and private investor confidence
Risk – the sector’s in good shape, but there is more risk, and it’s more complex
Regulation – you should be clear on what to expect, clear how it will be done and clear on how judgements are formed.

Co-regulation – it’s generally down to you and your Boards, unless or until you get it wrong. The key points are don’t wait to be told, you are free to get on with it, and take some (well-considered) risks, but you must demonstrate value for money, give the Regulator data that it asks for (so that it can form a judgement of whether it wants to looks more closely at what you are up to) and don’t go broke.

Against that backdrop the Regulator will form judgements on you along these lines:

Level 1 – You’re ok, in control and won’t (shouldn’t) go broke (Compliant)
Level 2 – You’re ok (-ish) but could go broke, if you’re not careful (Compliant but…)
Level 3 – You’re not really ok and best to call the emergency services just in case (Not compliant, but working on it)
Level 4 – Your house is on fire (Not compliant, not compliant.. at all…).

And, if you have fewer than a thousand homes, unless your house is on fire or someone has spotted you are in need of emergency attention, you are on your own.

The Consumer Standards – “Serious Detriment” – the definition is a work-in-progress but basically get your housing and maintenance services up to scratch.

So there you have it. Easy.

Altair is a consultancy specialising in the affordable housing sector. If you would like some more detailed (and serious) advice about the implementation of the new framework and how the guidance may affect your organisation please don’t hesitate to contact us: info@nullaltairltd.co.uk; steve.douglas@nullaltairltd.co.uk tel: 07810 152 840; mark.sweeny@nullaltairltd.co.uk tel: 07887 512 165