We were appointed by the Industrial Dwellings Society (IDS) to conduct a high level Compliance Health Check of the organisation’s approach to the following areas: gas safety, electrical safety, fire safety, asbestos management, water hygiene and lifts/lifting equipment. Specifically, IDS needed to know what it needed to do in order to demonstrate full compliance with regulation, legislation and approved codes of practice in all of these areas. It was apparent that since the new Chief Executive took post in March 2017, significant improvements had been made to negate compliance risks to both the organisation and the safety of its tenants.
The extent of our work with IDS was split over two main areas; an initial Compliance Health Check including support with a compliance roadmap, followed by a review audit the following year.
What We Did
The Health Check – Our team carried out an assessment of each of the compliance areas under review which looked at the organisation’s documents and record keeping, their data management arrangements, all relevant policies, procedures, and process maps, and how this documentation stacked up against the legislative requirements, regulation, and sector best practice. Following this, we assessed the level of compliance reporting at management and governance level, and reviewed all internal and external auditing regimes. Our findings were then drawn together in to a Health Check Report from which we made recommendations for improvement. The Roadmap – Following the findings of our Health Check we provided IDS with a Compliance Roadmap which identified the activities/actions/tasks which needed to be implemented in order for IDS to be fully assured that they were compliant with their statutory obligations. We introduced a data validation exercise with the aim of producing a set of “clean” data that IDS could use to manage compliance moving forward. We reassessed the way in which IDS managed their compliance data and implemented a series of self-calculating and reporting Excel workbooks which could be used to drive the compliance programmes, including the identified catch up programme, in the interim whilst a new IT system was procured and implemented. We supported IDS in the production and implementation of new compliance policies, procedures, and process maps for each of the areas under review. Furthermore, we encouraged IDS to create a Statutory Compliance Strategy document, which set out their intentions and expectations for all areas of compliance in one easy to understand document. What we did – the follow up audit By the time of our next visit IDS were well underway with the Compliance Roadmap and had implemented nearly all of the recommended actions. As a result they were in a much stronger position with regards to compliance. Upon our return we looked at how well these actions had been implemented and whether they were working at a practical level. We assessed how compliance data was being managed, if the newly implemented policies, procedures, and process maps were being adhered to, and how the Board and Senior Leaders were being updated on compliance performance. Following this, we made a reassessment of the organisation’s approach to compliance and found them to be in a significantly improved position with a strong understanding of their statutory obligations.
As a result of the Compliance Health Check, the follow up audit, and the improvements which were made as a consequence of each, IDS can demonstrate how they identify, manage, monitor, and report on their property safety compliance obligations.