There are around 500 scrutiny panels in England and Wales, set up and supported by social landlords of all types - housing associations, ALMO’s and Councils that still own and manage stock.
Much of the work undertaken by the panels is carried out with great commitment but, little national recognition – even though landlords are required to empower their tenants to carry out a scrutiny function. This gives tenants a hugely influential role in terms of reviewing service delivery procedures and policies and making recommendations for change to the main Board of the housing association or council committee/cabinets. Landlords invest a significant amount of time and money in supporting their panels, demonstrating the importance of tenant scrutiny in terms of service improvement and co-regulation – helping Boards and Committees to get a better understanding of the quality of services and policy changes required.
With the CSI Awards we have for the first time a dedicated Awards Programme celebrating and highlighting good practices in tenant scrutiny and inspection. In addition to tenant scrutiny, we are also recognising the work of tenants who have formed designated panels that help landlords and tenants to resolve tenants’ complaints locally. This is a new initiative, introduced under the Localism Act.
Awards that celebrate and highlight good practices in tenant scrutiny
The CSI Awards 2014 are being chaired by Linda Levin.
Click here to read more about Linda and the CSI Awards committee.
Our first awards ceremony will take place in Manchester at the Lancashire County Cricket Club on Thursday, 30th October 2014.
We anticipate a strong submission of nominees for each of the Awards and for places at the ceremony and will therefore be making up to 350 places available for landlords, tenants and high profile guests and speakers.
Our chair for the evening will be Nick Atkin, Chief Executive at Halton Housing Trust and one of the top influencers in the housing sector.
Our key note speaker is planned to be Kris Hopkins MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government.
Awards will be presented by the awards judges and additional high profile figures from housing. We are in the process of finalising our panel of judges who will all be prominent influencers and practitioners in the area.
The awards are launching in mid February; followed by an ongoing campaign to invite submissions for awards.
There is this website and a helpline for the submissions to help promote the awards ceremony. Closing dates for submissions will be announced shortly.
Short listing will be completed by mid 2014 and an announcement will be made at that time.
To find out more about nominations email Austin Ambrose at email@example.com
The objective is to recoginse the role that Customer Scrutiny plays in every sort of social housing situation. With this in mind there are nine categories of award to recognise large and small as well as individual contributions to the sector.
There will be awards for Panels in the North, South, Central and Wales areas.
The award will go to panels who can demonstrate:
A track record of achievements – to be illustrated by the reviews they have completed and the outcomes from these. The quality of reviews and the positive changes achieved will be more important than the number of reviews completed.
Independence – the panel must be able to demonstrate that they operate independently e.g. managing their own budgets, choosing their own topics, networking with others to pick up on good practices, writing their own reports.
Partnership – the panel will be able to demonstrate that they have an excellent working relationship with their landlord and board or councilors.
Communications – the panel will be asked to provide examples about how it communicates with other involved tenants, wider tenant body and their landlord.
The award will go to panels who can demonstrate:
A track record of achievements – to be illustrated by the inspections and mystery shopping they have completed and the outcomes from these. The quality of inspections and mystery shopping.
Independence – the ability of the tenant inspectors and mystery shoppers to work independently, with minimal support from their landlords. Including ability to summarise their own findings and to do follow on checks.
Positive changes achieved for the benefit of all tenants.
The award will be presented to :
A panel member, inspector or mystery shopper who has demonstrated a high level of skill and knowledge. A good team player, who helps others in their role e.g. by mentoring and who demonstrates exceptional commitment to their role.
The award will be presented to the panel who can demonstrate :
Innovation in relation to the design and makeup of the panel. Value for money – training and numbers of tenants involved is proportionate to the number of complaints they will be dealing with. Capacity – training and experience of the panel. Effectiveness – use of the panel to date (are tenants choosing it rather than other choices such as contacting a Councillor, MP or Housing Ombudsman); outcomes in terms of successful complaints resolution.
This award will go to the panel or inspection team that has carried out a review or inspection that has brought about significant improvements in terms of cash savings, improved performance and customer satisfaction.
The submissions for Scrutiny Panels, Inspection and Mystery Shopping, will be used by the judges to decide who overall should get the award for best overall impact.
This award will go to a relatively new panel (set up in the last 12 months) that has made significant progress e.g. recruitment of the panel, training, and completion of a first quality review.
This award will go to the panel or team of inspectors that makes effective use of social media, blogs and websites (their own or their landlords), as well as customer newsletters to inform other tenants about the work they do and the results they achieve.
Linda has 30 years professional housing experience mostly working at a senior level in the sector. During this time Linda held the positions of Assistant Director of Housing at Wirral MBC and Operations Director at Halton BC before becoming a housing consultant and trainer in 2003.
In recent years, Linda’s focus has been on tenant empowerment projects, including helping landlords and tenants to develop tenant scrutiny panels and reviewing landlord’s involvement strategies. She is currently Managing Director of Linda Levin Partnership Limited.
The popular Tenant Scrutiny Newsletter is published and written by Linda - click here to read the March 2014 edition.
Over the last couple of years Linda has trained, coached and mentored many Panels with many notable outcomes.
For the past 12 years Phil has been the leading authority on tenant involvement in housing and communities. In his two senior roles as Chief Executive of TPAS and Executive Director of Tenant Services at the Tenant Services Authority, he has ensured tenant involvement is at the heart of the new Regulatory Framework and the work of social housing.
Phil is currently an independent consultant, speaker and commentator working with a number of Housing Associations, ALMOs and Councils. He is also Vice Chair of Wulvern.
Sasha has over 20 years experience in the social housing sector and is currently Deputy Chief Executive of Wulvern Housing, based in Crewe where she has responsibility for strategic direction, operations, growth and finance.
Prior to Wulvern, she worked independently as a consultant and Project Director with a wide range of social and commercial organisations. She has led on many major regeneration projects.
She is committed to developing people, as well as organisations, believing that this is the key to success. Major achievements include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for HACT and One Brick At A Time – a charity refurbishing schools in rural Uganda. She was delighted to receive the award of ‘most inspirational mentor’ in 2013 from the inaugural Women In Housing awards in recognition of her work supporting others to succeed.
Jessica Crowe is Executive Director of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, an independent charity founded in 2003 to promote better scrutiny and accountability in decision-making across the public sector.
Prior to joining CfPS in 2006, she was a councillor for eight years in the London Borough of Hackney, where she was Deputy Mayor. In 2010 she became one of three Commissioners appointed by the government to help improve the governance of Doncaster Council and in 2013 she was appointed to the Welsh Government's Recovery Board for Pembrokeshire.
In 2007-08 she was on the independent Councillors Commission, which investigated the barriers and incentives to becoming an elected councillor. She has also been a school governor and a non-executive director of her local Hospital Trust.
Jon has been the editor of 24housing magazine since August 2010. A journalist with 17 years’ experience, he has been writing about housing for 10 years, during which time he has developed key relationships with sector leaders and government ministers.
As editor of 24housing, he is regarded as an influential yet irreverent voice on housing issues and is regularly asked to chair events. Jon is a board member of Herefordshire Housing, and last year wrote the Parliamentary Review for housing.
Nick has been fully paperless for the last 12 years and has driven through a fully flexible / remote working approach as part of his current role as Chief Executive at Halton Housing Trust.
He is a keen advocate of the use of social media and particularly the linkages to Gen Y and Z issues. He tweets on a regular basis (@nickatkin_hht) and has a stated aim to move the Trust away from all internal email by the end of 2014 and for 90% of Trust customers to be accessing services online by 2018.
For the last three consecutive years he has been included in the 24 Housing Top 50 Power Players List. The Trust is also the most digitally connected organisation in the Visceral Business 2013 Connected Housing Index in which Nick was also named as the most influential digital leader.
Our sponsors are vital to the success and growth of the Customer Scrutiny Inspection Awards, so we would like to express our gratitude for their involvement in making these Awards happen. Below is a list of the organisations involved for 2014.
The Centre for Public Scrutiny is a charity whose principal focus is on scrutiny, accountability and good governance, both in the public sector and amongst those people and organisations who deliver publicly-funded services. Form the CFPS's perspective accountability, transparency and involvement are requisite as the foundations of planning and delivering public services. Effective scrutiny and accountability can hold services to account and create opportunities for communities and decision-makers to improve the quality of services by producing solutions to problems together.
The Centre for Public Scrutiny supports individuals, organisations and communities by sharing research and analysis of current and developing best practice through publications, consultancy and events. We also create and support networks and on-line forums. The bulk of our work focuses on local government and the wider localism agenda, but we also work extensively with and for health and social care bodies, and others such as police, park and fire authorities, housing associations and other housing management organisations, universities, regulators, Parliament and select committees and government departments.
24housing magazine is the sector leading monthly publication that inspires, inform and entertains housing professionals with a rich mix of news and views, celebrating the humanity at the heart of Social Housing.The publication has a strong focus on the social housing sector and has built an industry-wide reputation for expert analysis and an unrivalled ability to dissect complex issues with clarity. 24housing is a must-read magazine for all professionals working for and with the Social Housing sector.
Sponsors play a strategic role in the Awards Ceremony. As sponsors you will present one of the Awards of the Evening and will have an exhibition space. Being part of the CSI Awards 2014 will provide you with direct access to landlords, tenants, suppliers and buyers from across the housing sector - there is no better forum for lead generation. But, being part of the programme will also provide you with exposure on all marketing materials produced before, during and after the event.
We anticipate a strong submission of nominees for each of the Award Categories and for seats at the ceremony. There will be 350 places available for landlords, tenants and high profile guests and speakers
Contact Austin Ambrose on 07736 921 685 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
To find out more about nominations, attending the dinner and awards ceremony or sponsorship packages simply call Austin Ambrose on 01625 800 260 or 07736 921 685 or email him at email@example.com
The Customer Scrutiny Inspection Awards are operated by Delegate Central on behalf of the CSI committee.
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