Scrutiny and Empowerment Partners Ltd (SEP) is owned by Yvonne Davies. It is a partnership with landlords and their tenants to develop and sustain excellent tenant scrutiny and empowerment arrangements. Yvonne is an experienced consultant and former Head of Housing & Economic Development at the Audit Commission and Managing Director of a Liverpool HA. She wants to support tenants and landlords meet and exceed the expectations of customers.

SEP offers a comprehensive range of services and tools to help tenants and landlords achieve excellence across all services. We are experienced in service review and we can build the capacity of your staff and tenants in a way that promises to challenge the way you work as well as delivering practical outcomes for landlords and customers.

Our products and services are always tailored to suit the context of the organisation we work with, we know that one size does not fit all and so we will work with you to develop a brief that meets your needs.

Why not join and become a member of our scrutiny network?

SEP set up benchmarking arrangements with members of our web based national scrutiny network, Scrutiny and Empowerment Partnership. SEP has also taken over the running of of NHC’s Scrutiny.net from February 2012, so we are now one big and experienced happy family.

Recent FREE meetings have discussed tenant involvement in supporting landlords on welfare reform; new complaints expectations and actions; value for money actions for tenant groups and staff, tenant cashback and involving tenants and new regulatory expectations on empowerment.

Each meeting happens in a different organisation and is themed, members decide the agenda, based on what is currently important to them. Discussions on what works and mutual support for members are all part of our performance club agenda.

The network gives access to free performance clubs – 4 times a year, advice, guidance, good practice and from your desk you can share what other members are doing, including their activity, success, hints and tips as well as their working structures and scrutiny reports on services scrutinised (to name but a few). It will save you time and effort. Take a tour of the features part of the site to see what you could access.

Why not become a member of our Scrutiny and Empowerment Partnership to access all of this extremely useful information on Tenant Advisor?

Membership fees are £450 a year and that gives you discount at our conferences and NHC conferences on empowerment and regulation.

Organisations with 1,500 properties or less pay only £250. Once you join, we will send you a unique password for access to all the information available on www.tenantadvisor.net

Read on to find out more about our most popular service offers, but remember if you don’t see what you want on the list, just give us a call.

1. Supporting landlords and tenants to set up scrutiny arrangements

Are your tenants and staff getting ready to up the tempo on scrutiny arrangements as the new changes to the tenant empowerment standard appear this autumn? Services we offer include the following:

Helping you to develop your approach to scrutiny

We can help you to develop your approach to scrutiny, taking into account your operating context, what your tenants want and the regulatory framework.

Scrutiny arrangements will need to fit in with governance structures in order to meet regulatory requirements from April 2012 as the regulator monitors consumer protection through the governance standard and tests the effectiveness of the tenant challenge:

Recruiting scrutiny panel members and customer inspectors

Preparing your staff and Board for scrutiny

Induction training for tenants on how to scrutinise

 Tenant involvement in Complaints and setting up a Designated Complaints Panel

2. Training & support for staff and tenants, including away-days, taster sessions, one off bespoke training and a series of accredited training.

Training can truly empower your tenants and build their capacity and help to address worklessness and career progression. Investment in the right type and level of training will reap huge rewards for the tenants and landlords, particularly when it’s as practical as ours. We offer a range of accredited training, including CIH qualifications. Here are just some of the most popular.


– Team building and soft skills development, for example: assertiveness, presentation, and negotiation skills. It is so important for tenants and landlords to work together. Respecting each-others’ point of view, reaching agreement and demonstrating a united front will help any panel to achieve amazing results.

– Technical skills in broad terms, for example: interviewing skills, analysing data, recording evidence, producing reports and monitoring action plans.

– Reality checker training: including:

Support for the personal development of tenants

Hot topic workshops and away-days for staff and/or tenants

Interactive training and networking on practical topics can be one off, a series of workshops, or, can be delivered through staff and tenant away-days such as:

Why not join with another landlord(s) in your area and commission a joint workshop session and keep your costs down?

3. Service reviews using our assessment expertise and involving your tenants in a major way in those reviews

We have built a bank of good practice in empowerment and our experience of regulation and service review enables us to use inspection techniques, hand in hand with your tenants to complete service health checks and service review.

Our service provides landlords with a robust assessment of their services and an action plan for change/improvement to achieve excellence: This service involves your tenants in service reviews alongside us, building their capacity at the same time as your services are subject to independent scrutiny:

4. Accreditation rewards and awards

The regulator and government are encouraging independent validation. We are working with the Centre for Public Scrutiny to develop a good practice guide on behalf of the TSA, based on learning from the 10 co-regulatory champions. We are using that experience to work with landlords and tenants to pick up the best practices which work and to develop an accreditation scheme to recognise developing, good and excellent practices for landlords and their tenants involved in scrutiny which is outcome based.

Recognition of the hard work landlords and tenant volunteers put in is the best way to celebrate your investment in scrutiny and can help to take you to the next level. Accreditation assessments are underway with 10 organisations.

Our scheme has three levels of accreditation for incremental improvement:

By working through the levels, or going straight for Gold as Salix and Soha achieved, you will be incrementally improving and embedding learning, whilst both the organisation and the tenants get to show off what they have achieved in earning their award.

In a speech at the Centre for Public Scrutiny recently, Soha expressed how proud they were of winning the award and the fact that the external  perspective has given them an action plan to improve further and become even more excellent.

5. Reviewing and enhancing Customer Involvement Strategies, linking this to continuous improvement strategies, the role of governance and the achievement of value for money.

6. New product development, for example: Helping you to develop & promote the Right to Manage and Tenant Cashback; helping you to use social media and to involve young people.

Right to Manage (RTM)

Our experienced associates have set up over a dozen co-operatives from scratch and used the RTM as a pick and mix to take on the management of small local services and whole estate management. New directions in July from the CLG will mean a greater expectation for landlords to promote RTM in 2012.

Tenant Cashback

From April 2012 landlords will be required to introduce tenant cashback schemes. We know there are pros and cons. In learning from our customers who are pilots, we can help facilitate the debate with your tenants, covering issues such as:

Social Media and feedback from un-involved tenants & young people

Are you up with the times?

Why choose to work with SEP?

We could not possibly cover all of our services but we hope we gave you a flavour of what we can do. Do you want to know more about our services, or ask any questions?

Please call us – we will listen and design a service which is specific to your needs



Email: yvonne@tenantadvisor.net

Telephone: 07867 974659