Governance is an essential element of compliance, and it is important that housing providers recognise, and effectively manage, the risks inherent to their organisation. Housing governance arrangements should be put into place to ensure compliance with all required standards including all relevant laws, regulatory requirements and to ensure an effective risk management strategy.
What does a Governance Health Check involve?
In order to comply with the governance standards set and actively enforced by the Regulator of Social Housing it is imperative that Boards understand their obligations, responsibilities and organisational risk.
Some of the questions you need to answer include: Does the Board have assurance that the organisation is compliant? Are you able to evidence this? Are you aware of the Regulatory Standard and Code of Governance?
We will review your housing governance arrangements, team dynamics and leadership effectiveness, and we can also provide chair and board member mentoring and coaching to help you overcome the problems you may be facing. This will involve the following:
- Interview with the Chair
- Interview with the Chief Executive
- Board observation and analysis
- Telephone Interviews with the Chair, newly appointed board members (<12 months) and executives
- Use of the bespoke terms of reference developed by a leading co-optee Board member and ex Chief Executive.
The seven sections of analysis
We identify the organisation’s understanding of co-regulation and identify any known current breaches in relation to the governance and viability standards. We also review what key performance indicators are measured and exactly how these are tracked and evidenced.
2. Board Functioning
We identify how the Board is structured and organised, its role within the organisation and the procedures used to appoint new individuals. We will assess whether individuals are aware of their roles and responsibilities within the organisation and if authority is delegated appropriately and in a transparent manner.
We learn what the organisation’s vision, values and strategic objectives are and assess the effectiveness of Board leadership, specifically in relation to how they assess risk. It is important that visions and values remain relevant and accurate in line with a long-term strategic plan.
We ensure the organisation is clear about their current financial position and that they are transparent about their financial fitness.
5. Customer Involvement
We assess the level of involvement of customers in decision-making and consider the extent to which policies take into account their needs. We also assess how risk is calculated in relation to these individuals and seek assurance that any risk is appropriately mitigated.
We review the recruitment process currently in place for hiring and inducting new Board members, as well as the accessibility Board members have to additional training. We also assess worker engagement with the Chief Executive and review how the performance of the executive team is monitored.
We assess audit programmes and review the procedures for disaster recovery. In addition we review how the Board scrutinise and probe for assurance as distinct from reassurance.
For further information about our Housing Governance Health Check, or wider housing governance services, please contact Sarah Davies.
Colin Knox - Compliance Manager, Halton Housing Trust
Head of Consultancy
Head of Consultancy
- International Certification of Enterprise Risk Management
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Joint Honours Degree – English, Literature and History
- Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)
- Management of Portfolios (MoP)
- PRINCE2 and DSDM Agile PM Practitioner
Sarah Davies is our Head of Consultancy and has spent nearly two decades working with organisations across the public and not-for-profit sectors. Starting her career with the Audit Commission before moving into strategic leadership roles in Police, Fire and Social Housing; Sarah has substantial experience in Strategic Procurement, Value for Money and leading complex and large-scale business and digital transformational change programmes and operational services.
As Assistant Director of Business Improvement at a housing provider, Sarah introduced and embedded a new Enterprise Risk Management Approach and advised in the EU procurement of a new repairs service, including an emergency procurement. During her time as Head of Strategic Change for Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire & Rescue, Sarah was the Lead Officer for Digital and Organisation Transformation and Efficiency Programmes; delivering three major collaborations/ mergers with other organisations, including the development and implementation of a back-office shared service for UK Policing (using Oracle ERP technology).