The success of in-depth assessments (IDAs) conducted by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) is reliant on registered providers being honest and transparent.
That’s according to an evaluation by research group IFF that found some registered providers feel the assessment process could be improved.
The report reads: “It was felt the effectiveness of IDAs is often primarily contingent on the RP being willingly open, honest, and interested in the process.
“Some felt the IDA process was not in depth enough to identify weaknesses if the organisation chose to hide them.”
- Revealed: 20% ethnicity pay gap within Regulator of Social Housing
- Six social landlords fall under regulator scrutiny
As part of the review, online surveys were sent to 218 registered providers and 12 interviews were conducted with chief executives of registered providers that had had an IDA during the past two years.
The review found that 38% of providers that received a downgrade following an IDA were expecting it; while 100% of those that received an upgrade has expected it.
92% of providers who retained their existing gradings said they had expected to do so.
According to an online survey, 77% of respondents agreed that IDAs are an effective means of gathering assurance; while 94% of those that received a downgrade agreed that the assessments are effective.
When asked about the impact of IDAs of their organisations, 14% of respondents thought no changes were needed following the assessment.
The most common changes reported were stress testing and mitigation planning (59%), risk management (31%), board reporting (28%), and board skills (23%).
‘Not speaking plain English’
The report also found that some respondents referred to “minor communication frictions” where IDA teams were not “speaking in ‘plain English’” or making comments felt to be “misjudged”.
Commenting on the report, Maxine Loftus, director of Regulatory Operations at the RSH, said: “We welcome the results of this survey of providers, which shows that providers value the IDA process and the way in which it is carried out.
“We are grateful to those who took part in the survey, and we will take into account their feedback, as well as our own internal reviews, as we continue to develop our approach.”
The report was commissioned by the RSH.
Image: Billion Photos/Shutterstock
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.