We aim to get to know the agencies that we regulate and the social businesses that they operate. This is not successfully achieved by sitting at a desk in our office so visits to an agency’s office/s and housing sites are part of our normal engagement.
Frequency and intensity of engagement
We use a risk based approach to our engagement with agencies. Generally this means we spend more time dealing with the larger agencies, primarily the housing associations.
We have developed and implemented a Regulatory Engagement Tool (RET) tool to enable us to make an objective, informed judgement of the risk related to an individual agency. Our staff apply the RET annually with each agency during the annual regulatory review process.
The RET produces a score for an agency which places it within one of four categories of perceived risk – very high, high, moderate or low. Each category guides the number of engagement meetings for a regulator with an agency during a year. The assessed category for an agency is shown in its annual review report and related engagement frequency is identified.
The Registrar holds six monthly regulatory forums which all registered agencies are invited to attend. The forums enable us to give and receive information about regulatory issues and initiatives from a number of agencies at once. The forums are usually held in May and November each year, but timing is flexible to accommodate sector and Registrar commitments.
Registered agencies are required to provide the Registrar with notice of reportable events that may affect the capacity of an agency to meet performance standards or are of other major significance to the agency. These reportable events are submitted through CHiMES.
Enquiries, complaints and Ministerial correspondence
In responding to various enquiries, complaints and Ministerial requests during the year there is often engagement with a specific registered agency. This may vary from a single contact to many interactions over a prolonged period of time.