My first few months as a Tpas Associate

Monday 30th of October 2023

I started as an associate with Tpas in January this year and have been lucky enough to have worked on a range of projects since then. I’ve carried out a Smart review for a medium sized landlord which was followed up by a one day face to face workshop with the Board Chair and members, the CEO, senior staff and a range of involved tenants. I’m also in the middle of a Smart Review Plus for a large local authority. This piece of work has involved a slightly more in depth report, more reality checks and some observations of existing panel meetings. It will also finish not just with recommendations against each of the 7 Engagement Standards, but a detailed and prioritised action plan so that the landlord can focus their efforts on the most important changes first.


These two reviews, along with an accreditation I’ve been working on for another large landlord, are a great way to touch all the key elements of engagement, learn from everyone’s good practice and support landlords to really strengthen their efforts to hear their residents’ voices.


But it’s not all full scope reviews. Some of what I’ve been doing has been much more focused. I’m working with a large provider across the south east to trial new approaches to Scrutiny. We’ve held a face to face bootcamp day on one topic so far, we’re holding a series of online task and finish group sessions between now and Christmas, and we’ll do one more pilot in the new year. We kicked off with a Scrutiny Awareness training session where a wide range of staff took part and it’s great to see colleagues who don’t usually engage with tenants throwing themselves in to it, and to see new residents engaging with their landlord too.


I was also part of a short run of face to face and online resident focus groups where the landlord wanted to offer an independent facilitator to gain some high quality feedback on their services, and I’m just about to kick off one more project where we’ll be working to review the way the engagement team function within the organisation, how their core groups operate with each other, and to help them co-design a task and finish blueprint that works for their residents and organisation.


There’s so much good work going on with landlords and all, generally speaking, with a shared goal to strengthen the attention that’s paid to residents’ voices at a governance level, to make sure their scrutiny offers are robust and effective for residents and boards, and to make sure they’re in a strong compliance position.


Ellie Darling, Tpas Consultant