We were the first ever SMART review client, this is what it did for us

Friday 6th of July 2018

Last June Tpas launched a new service called the 'SMART review'. The idea was simple, for a flat fee we would review how an organisation was performing against the regulatory requirements and the National Engagement standards.

We'd then help the client to understand what's working, what’s not and where to improve.

Weaver Vale were one of the first organisation's to complete the SMART review last year. Read about Emma Gilpin, Neighbourhood Manager at Weaver Vale experience of going through the process. 

Tpas SMART Review – the Weaver Vale experience, nearly 1 year on…

Back in November I wrote a blog about our experience at Weaver Vale Housing Trust going through the Tpas SMART review and some of the work we were putting in place.  Well here’s the latest! 

We’ve made a huge amount of progress on improving the input Customers have into our Strategies and Corporate Plan and are really lucky to have a fully engaged Board committed to hearing directly from customers.  Some of the things we’ve done are:

  • Holding a Customer Event in January as part of developing a new Corporate Plan supported with consultation via email and Social Media.  We are currently planning a follow up event on 29 June to feedback to Customers and to carry on the consultation work
  • Our Tenants Consultative Committee have changed their name to the Customer Voice Panel (CVP) to better reflect their role.  The group are taking on even more responsibility, providing assurance on the Regulator of Social Housing’s Consumer Standards
  • Improving links between customers and the Board.  The Chair of the CVP meets quarterly with the Chair of the Board and provides quarterly updates to the Board on the group’s activities alongside an update showcasing the wider engagement work.  The CVP and the Scrutiny Panel now meet twice a year with the Board too discussing current topics, sharing information and agreeing plans
  • Bringing in a new more pro-active approach to supporting teams across the Trust to ensure meaningful customer input into key service areas using different methods such as customer journey mapping, focus groups and online engagement
  • Developing the recording and reporting on customer engagement work to best showcase the value of involvement and the impact it has for the Trust using all the latest tools such as PiktoChart Infographics and Biteable videos


Our new Corporate Plan puts "Our Customers" at the very heart of our work and a new Corporate Project is being developed to ensure we hear from the full range of our customers and act on their views.This will include looking to implement tools to help us co-ordinate feedback from a range of sources, quickly identify trends and take action.

It’s been an exciting time to work on this project with Customer Engagement high on the agenda for the sector as a whole.  There’s still a lot of work to go but, with the help of the SMART review to focus our minds, we’re definitely heading in the right direction!

If you want to find out more about the Trust’s approach please get in touch:  Emma Gilpin, Neighbourhood Manager, 01606 813410, emma.gilpin@wvht.co.uk

Or follow us on Twitter - @EmmaGilpin1 and @weavervale

Click here for more information about the SMART review