18 December 2019 - guidance SHR staff use when deciding whether landlords are complying with the Regulatory Framework


15 September 2022

You asked us to provide:

the guidance or other information that SHR staff use when they decide whether landlords are complying or not complying with the regulatory Framework. I would like this information for each Charter Standard & Outcome, and for all of the Standards of Governance & Financial Management including the Guidance Statements for each Standard.

Our Regulatory Framework explains how we regulate and use our powers. This is supported by a suite of statutory guidance that explains in more detail how we use our powers.

Alongside these documents, our series of ‘How we work’ publications provides detailed information on how we regulate. The published series consists of:

  • Information about whistleblowing
  • How we will deal with whistleblowing concerns about your organisation
  • How we assess risk in RSLs
  • How we appoint statutory managers and governing body members
  • Statutory mangers list
  • Statutory appointee information note
  • How we assess risk in local authorities
  • Dealing with potentially serious issues in RSLs
  • Significant Performance Failures: information for social landlords

All these publications are available from our website: www.housingregulator.gov.scot.

In addition to these publications, we have internal procedure notes that provide further guidance to our staff on issues relevant to your request. Our procedure notes provide staff with information on the procedures we will follow when we consider specific issues relating to our regulation of social landlords. In general, the procedure notes focus on the processes we follow, the issues we may consider and our expectations of social landlords. Some of the content of these documents is drawn from published Statutory Guidance or Recommended Practice publications.

The following internal procedure note are relevant to your request:

I have concluded that we can release these procedure notes to you. We keep these documents under review for factual accuracy and completeness and update them regularly. I have provided you with an electronic version of the most up to date version of each. I have not withheld any procedure notes that are relevant to your request.

Secondly, you indicated that our original response did not address each of the Regulatory Framework requirements individually. Later in your email you noted that you expected SHR to have guidance covering each of the requirements in our regulatory framework.

Our staff use their professional regulatory judgement and experience to make decisions about organisations’ compliance with our regulatory requirements. Our internal procedure notes support their decision-making. Staff also draw on their regulatory knowledge and our extensive published material. This includes our Statutory Guidance and Recommended Practice publications.

We operate a clear, transparent system of delegated authorities which sets out which staff are responsible for each statutory regulatory decision. You can read this here: https://www.housingregulator.gov.scot/publications/operational-delegation-of-statutory-powers. We also use general staff line management for quality assurance and a case-conference approach for specific landlord engagement issues.

Our internal guidance does not specifically cover each regulatory requirement individually. I have given you all our internal guidance that relates to the requirements set out in section three of our Regulatory Framework. As I have explained, our staff use their professional regulatory judgement and draw on internal and published guidance, knowledge and experience.

Thirdly, you indicated that it was unclear how the information we gave you relates to the specific regulatory requirements. In our original response we tried to give you details of the breadth of information that feeds into our regulatory work. Hopefully my response gives you a fuller picture.

Finally, you might be aware that the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations published a ‘self-assurance toolkit’ in July this year. The toolkit provides advice for social landlords’ governing body members on the types of questions they should be asking themselves relating to regulatory requirements and standards. SFHA developed the toolkit in conjunction with us, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations and the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers. You can find out more about the toolkit here and you can download the toolkit itself here.