Reflecting on the Pennington Choices Compliance Masterclass

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We were overwhelmed by the turnout at our Compliance Masterclass on 21st November, with Board members, chief executives, directors and managers from all over the country attending. We were incredibly privileged to have so many people from within the social housing sector attend and to have the exceptional speakers that we did.

The three speakers in the morning covered engaging topics, providing essential compliance insight for everyone that attended. This was not only felt by our team here at Pennington Choices but was backed up by the incredibly positive feedback that we received. Many people have continued to engage with us on topics raised at the masterclass, serving to keep the debate going.

Firstly, David Orr gave an engaging and thought-provoking speech, which from the outset identified that only a handful of people in the room could say with absolute confidence that their organisation was 100% compliant across all areas – a remarkably low number.

David’s speech focused on the importance of moving from the approach of demonstrating compliance to that of evidencing safety. He articulated that Boards need to take more responsibility and ownership of compliance by using the evidence in front of them to decide if a building is safe, rather than relying solely on the external assurance of the compliance standards set by the regulator.

Secondly, Helen White, re-enforced David’s point that organisations need ‘assurance’ not ‘reassurance’ that their homes are safe. She suggested that this can be achieved by asking the right questions and ensuring the relevant evidence is available to support the answers.

Angela Holden, from the Regulator, followed on from Helen and emphasised the importance of co-regulation. Boards should not be managing compliance to satisfy the regulator, they should manage compliance in order to ensure the safety of their tenants. Angela also provided an overview of some of the learnings from recent regulatory judgements.

The afternoon remained thought-provoking and stimulating, and all of the workshops sparked engagement from all involved in relation to achieving full compliance.

Our Operations Director, Lee Woods, identified three key themes that were pertinent throughout the day;

  1. Board accountability
  2. Executive accountability
  3. The legality of electrical safety – the focus should be on keeping tenants safe and providing assurance of this. The organisation’s approach to inspection and testing programmes should be determined by leaders and Boards in the context of obtaining this assurance.

These three key themes arose throughout the day, and clearly represent some of the challenges to keeping tenants safe within their homes, and in turn helping organisations to be compliant. These themes are relevant to all housing providers, and they should be aware of how these issues relate to improving the experiences of their tenants. The concluding sentiment was that property compliance and tenant safety needs to be a strategic priority for providers, in a leader led format with an open, transparent, and learning culture.

We found all of the speakers and workshops engaging, thought-provoking and informative, and hope that everyone that attended can use the information to improve their future performance, compliance and tenant safety.

If you would like to discuss any of the topics raised at the Masterclass further, would like a copy of the masterclass presentations and handouts, or would like further information in relation to compliance and ensuring tenant safety, then please contact Jenny Neville or call on 07496110879.


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