The new dawn in consumer regulation has begun

In the wake of the Regulator of Social Housing’s (RSH) new consumer regulation regime taking effect on April 1, 2024, it heralds a pivotal shift for registered providers of social housing (RPs), encompassing housing associations and local authorities. This transformation underscores a transition towards a more proactive and participatory approach to ensuring compliance with consumer standards, setting a new dawn in consumer regulation.

Navigating the shift: Embracing co-regulation

At the heart of this evolution lies co-regulation, emphasising the crucial role of boards and councillors in making sure that their organisations not only meet but also uphold the new consumer standards. It’s a call to action to thoroughly assess and refine their assurance processes, demonstrating compliance with the outcomes and expectations outlined by the RSH.

This responsibility is not new, but it is an ongoing commitment that should have been ingrained in operational ethos long before this regulatory shift.

Key strategies for compliance: The role of assurance processes

A recent panel discussion by MSB, featuring insights from the Chief of Regulatory Engagement at the RSH, underscored the critical nature of self-assessment and self-referral in this new era. With the absence of a one-size-fits-all guideline, navigating the nuanced landscape of self-referral requires transparency and diligence. RPs must understand when and how to engage in self-referral, drawing on guidance from seasoned professionals in the field.

Additionally, the introduction of Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) serves as a tool of demonstrating initiative and compliance, showcasing a proactive approach to regulatory compliance. RPs are encouraged to identify, address, and rectify potential compliance gaps through these plans, positioning themselves as leaders in continuous improvement and customer welfare.

Empowering providers: Insights for success

As we enter this new phase of consumer regulation, it’s crucial for RPs to subject their compliance frameworks to rigorous stress testing, challenge existing processes, and seek expert advice on navigating the complexities of the new regulatory requirements.

The MSB Regulation and Governance team, led by experienced professionals like Tom Knox, is ready to support organisations through this transition. Our services, ranging from external compliance reviews to guidance on the self-referral process and PIP development, are designed to equip RPs with the insights and tools necessary for a smooth transition to the new consumer regulation standards.

The introduction of the new consumer regulation regime marks a significant milestone in the evolution of social housing in England. By prioritising assurance processes, embracing self-referral nuances, and proactively engaging with the standards set forth, registered providers can navigate this new landscape with confidence and integrity. The journey ahead involves collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement, all with the aim of enhancing customer lives and strengthening the fabric of our communities.

If you have questions about the new consumer regulation regime, your assurance processes, or need advice on self-referral, feel free to reach out. We’re here to support you.

Contact us, we are here to help

We’re here to help, so please pick up the phone or drop us an email and one of our dedicated team will help with your enquiry.