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Monitoring and assessing registered agencies

The Housing Registrar undertakes regulatory engagement with registered agencies to monitor and assess compliance, performance and continuous improvement opportunities.

Regulatory engagement

The level of regulatory engagement between the Housing Registrar and a registered agency is determined using a risk-based approach based on the range of evidentiary information gathered by the Housing Registrar about a registered agency, including compliance, performance and other reporting information.

The Housing Registrar’s assessment of risk may differ from a registered agency’s own detailed assessment of the risks it faces.

The use of risk-based regulation allows the Housing Registrar to prioritise resources and plan how to engage with registered agencies through further engagement, monitoring and intervention as required.

This approach also reduces the regulatory burden on registered agencies that do not pose the same degree of regulatory risk as larger or more complex organisations.

The Housing Registrar may identify compliance and performance risks about a registered agency in the course of ongoing regulatory engagement. Registered agencies are required to address identified risks through regulatory action plan items.

If a registered agency is not able or willing to resolve the identified risk cooperatively in a reasonable time period, the Registrar of Housing Agencies (Registrar) may undertake regulatory intervention as a last resort under Part VIII of Division VIII of the Housing Act 1983 (Vic).

The Housing Registrar engages most intensively with registered agencies during the annual compliance assessment process, which generally takes place between September and March.

Annual compliance assessments

On an annual basis the Housing Registrar reviews and assesses each registered agency’s:

  • compliance against Performance Standards for the performance year
  • performance against key performance measure (KPM) benchmarks
  • financial position including financial forecasts
  • delivery of the business plan for the performance year and business plan for the following year

Registered agencies are required to submit regulatory reporting through the Community Housing Information Management and Engagement System (CHiMES).

The Registrar reviews all evidence available to determine a registered agency’s compliance status as part of the annual compliance assessment.

The Registrar will assess a registered agency as either ‘meets’, ‘capacity to meet’ or ‘does not meet’ against the Performance Standards for each performance year.

This assessment will be accompanied by an Executive Summary, Residential Rental Provider Report (publication of key performance measures for the 2019-20 Performance Year onwards) and a Regulatory Action Plan (which is an internal regulatory document focused on continuous improvement and ensuring ongoing compliance with Performance Standards).

Annual compliance assessments consider the registered agency’s compliance and performance each financial year, including progress against any regulatory action plan items.

The Housing Registrar aims to complete each annual compliance assessment within six weeks of receiving all reporting from the registered agency. 

The annual compliance assessment provided to each registered agency has 5 sections:

1. compliance with Performance Standards

2. compliance with legislative requirements and demonstration of continuous improvements

3. a performance improvement plan and engagement profile

4. summary of non-financial Key Performance Measures (KPMs) and financial measures

5. an executive summary of the outcomes of each registered agency’s annual compliance assessment, which is published on the Public Register.

Demonstration of compliance and performance by registered agencies

The Housing Registrar takes an integrated approach to regulation focussing on both the compliance and performance of registered agencies. Compliance with Performance Standards requires registered agencies to demonstrate continuous improvement each year in service delivery and outcomes for tenants.

The Registrar’s evidence guidelines describe how a registered agency demonstrates its compliance with Performance Standards.

In practice, compliance is demonstrated through a combination of the registered agency’s:

  • policies and procedures stored and updated on the Community Housing Information Management and Engagement System (CHiMES)
  • performance against KPMs related to Performance Standards
  • self-assessment of annual compliance against Performance Standards submitted to the Housing Registrar within 28 days of holding its annual general meeting
  • self-assessment of performance against the registered agency’s business plan objectives and financial reports
  • other business practices which are monitored through regulatory engagement activities, complaints referrals and complaints register, and through feedback received from other parties such as the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing  regarding allocations from the Victorian Housing Register

Each year continuous performance improvements for each registered agency are identified during the annual compliance assessment process.

The Housing Registrar monitors the implementation of these improvements within specified timelines through a registered agency’s regulatory action plan.

Registered agency regulatory action plan

A regulatory action plan contains regulatory action items identified by the Housing Registrar to improve the compliance and performance of a registered agency.

Regulatory action plans are agreed with registered agencies and are informed by the range of evidentiary information available to the Housing Registrar, including annual compliance assessments, reportable events, complaints and the outcomes of regulatory engagement meetings.

The Housing Registrar monitors a registered agency’s progress against its regulatory action plan and agreed timelines to ensure identified risks are addressed.

If a registered agency does not satisfactorily complete regulatory action plan items, the Registrar may consider issuing a direction or if necessary, consider intervention in accordance with the Intervention Guidelines.

Reviewed 01 March 2021

Housing Registrar

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