The Consumer Standards: From Compliance to Impact

Are you missing the point?

Three months into the new Consumer Standards for registered providers, you’ve done the gap analysis, ticked the boxes, and believe you’re on the right track. But here’s the real question: Are you making a difference?

Simply meeting the technical requirements isn’t enough. The Regulator isn’t just looking for evidence of compliance – they want to see the impact of your actions. So, how are you turning compliance into meaningful outcomes for your tenants?

What Do We Mean by Technical Compliance?

Technical compliance refers to the basic steps required by the standards. It’s about having the right policies, procedures, and documentation in place or providing the right information and in an accessible format. For example, having tenant scrutiny panels or feedback opportunities might seem like you’ve covered expectation 2.2.1 of the Transparency, Influence, and Accountability Standard (TIA). But so, what? What difference does it make? Have you used these panels to drive real change? Have you documented the impact?

This is what the Regulator is looking for…

The Missing Link: From Data to Action

Let’s delve into the above example. Expectation 2.1.1 of the TIA Standard requires understanding the diverse needs of your tenants. You may have gathered robust data through surveys and panels. Great, but so what? What difference does it make? How have you used this information to ensure fair and equitable outcomes? Have you created a diversity map, analysed service gaps, and implemented changes? More importantly, is this process documented and shared with your Board? Are they actively challenging and verifying these actions?

The Importance of Evidence and Scrutiny

It’s not just about collecting data; it’s about how you use it. The Regulator will scrutinise the information provided to your Board and the minutes of your Board meetings. They want to see evidence of a robust process where data is transformed into action, and these actions are critically evaluated. This means your Board must be more than passive recipients of information – they need to be active participants in ensuring compliance and driving improvements. For this, they need the understanding of the regulations and the skills to be that critical friend.

Example in Focus: Tenant Influence and Scrutiny

Consider expectation 2.2.1 of the TIA Standard. You might offer numerous opportunities for tenants to influence and scrutinise your strategies, policies, and services. But again, what difference does it make? How have tenant inputs led to changes? If no changes were made, have you justified this decision, documented your considerations, and included this in Board reports? Has your Board asked the right probing questions about the ‘so what’ and have these been recorded in the minutes?

Moving Beyond Box-Ticking

The new Consumer Standards are about more than just ticking boxes. They’re about fostering a culture where tenants’ voices are heard and where compliance leads to real documented positive impact on landlord services. The best registered providers will understand this and implement robust processes to ensure that their Boards and Councillors are effective in their roles as critical friends in ensuring this. This approach will help you achieve the coveted C1 grading by demonstrating not just compliance, but excellence in delivering fair and equitable outcomes.

Our Support and Resources

To help you on this journey, we offer a comprehensive consumer regulation compliance and assurance tool. This tool goes beyond checklists and gap analyses – it helps you answer the crucial ‘so what?’ question. We also provide training for your Senior Leadership Team as well as you Board or Councillor to ensure they are effective challengers and critical friends. Remembering ultimately, they are the ones responsible for ensuring compliance.


The new Consumer Standards represent a significant shift towards impactful compliance. It’s not enough to simply meet technical requirements. The true measure of compliance is in the tangible benefits delivered to tenants. By focusing on the impact of your actions, ensuring rigorous documentation, and fostering a culture of scrutiny and improvement, you can navigate this new regulatory landscape successfully.

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