Scrutiny is part of tenant participation’s DNA and therefore part of TPAS Scotland’s DNA too.

TPAS Scotland celebrates its 40th year in 2020 and as part of the celebrations we hosted Scrutiny Week. This was a great opportunity to share real experiences and reflect on how we can further develop our approach to performance monitoring and exploring tenants’ experiences.

The strength and power of tenants to really “closely examine” their landlord’s service, isn’t new and as Lynne Cooper of ng homes said, “Communities and tenants were getting together to explore service delivery long before us.”

We hosted three full mornings in collaboration with our wonderful members’, tenants, landlords and staff teams. It was a brilliant, interactive few days, full of golden nuggets of wisdom from our presenters, great questions, and comments from participants and many new and some not so new faces.

Lesley Baird, CEO of TPAS Scotland said, “I want to thank everyone who made such a great contribution to our Scrutiny Week’s success. We really appreciate the contributions of presenters and those that joined us. It was great to get so many positive reviews and suggestions on how to do it better next time. We know how important our customer’s views are, we are always keen to hear them and willing to use them to improve.”

On the first day: 16th November 2020

  1. Kevin Stewart MSP, the Scottish Government’s Housing Minister launched the first ever TPAS Scotland’s Scrutiny Week and set out his and the Scottish Government’s absolute commitment to social housing tenants’ participation and scrutiny. He highlighted the Scottish Governments’ practical support for participation and the ongoing benefits of the Stepping Up to Scrutiny programme and the Government’s interest in supporting and spreading the great work of tenants and landlords.
  2. Tony Kelly, Development Officer at TPAS Scotland provided a tour de force around scrutiny adding his wisdom and reflections on his 40 years’ experience of tenant participation. He provided real insight into the challenges as he examined key factors in building a solid relationship between all those involved in formal scrutiny approaches.
  3. Echoing the Scottish Government commitment, Michael Cameron, CEO, Scottish Housing Regulator acknowledged that landlords, staff, and communities are the front line during this pandemic. He applauded the transformative power of accessible quality information, to make services so much better for tenants.

17th November 2020

On our second day we focused on sharing performance data and we heard from:

  1.  Kirsty Wells, Housemark Scotland explaining their approach to interrogating data and using comparative benchmarking tools (which are used by many landlords and tenants) to get behind the data, use it to guide change and promote value for money.
  2. Lynne Cooper, ng homes speaking about and how ng staff and tenants have developed a system of regularly monitoring performance throughout the year and using their discussions to direct service inspections and enhance services
  3. John Houston and Claire Houghton, Fife Council – outlining their approach to sharing performance data in ways that tenants can respond to and how the Scrutiny Group use the data and tenants’ responses to benefit and improve services.
  4. Craig Baxter, Fyne Homes – discussing the Association’s approach to informing tenants about performance, gathering tenant’ responses to what they’ve learned, and using responses to benefit service delivery

18th November 2020

On day three we heard about examples of tenants using performance data, a variety of approaches to investigate services and how they have successfully benefited tenants and communities.

  1. Link Housing tenants’ scrutiny panel – who have successful undertaken many reviews and made key recommendations for change that were agreed with and implemented by their landlord.
  2. Aberdeen City tenants Housing Services Review Group – who explained their many lessons in undertaking service reviews.
  3. Kingdom HA – who along with Fife Housing Group tenants jointly investigated the annual rent setting processes.

And finally, we discussed the importance of building strong networks among tenants involved in scrutiny activities and the benefit of the regional scrutiny networks.

Watch all sessions again on our YouTube channel – here

Talk to us about:

  • the Stepping Up to Scrutiny programme and tailored training for staff and tenants – here
  • developing and supporting service improvement
  • how you can benefit from scrutiny activities
  • how TPAS Scotland can provide independent support to Scrutiny Panels and groups – here

Download and view all the presentations slides Here.

Still time to complete your scrutiny week feedback here