Supporting Communities & TPAS Scotland: Working together to raise standards in Tenant Participation

by Lesley Baird, TPAS Scotland


Lesley Baird, the Chief Executive of TPAS Scotland, is working closely with Supporting Communities to bring the Tenant Participation Standards and Accreditation to housing providers in Northern Ireland.

Working together, we have adapted the TPAS Scotland accreditation model for Northern Ireland and have begun rolling it out here. We asked Lesley to tell NI housing associations a bit more about what accreditation means and how it can help raise our standards province-wide.

In this blog piece, Lesley asks and answers the question, “Why bother?” with accreditation. Gaining an organisational accreditation is never easy, she says, but this one is very worth doing! We certainly agree!

 

Supporting Communities and TPAS Scotland have enjoyed a long and successful relationship and have now strengthened our Celtic connection by collaborating to bring the Tenant Participation Standards and Accreditation to Northern Ireland.


We will continue to work together to bring our experiences of tenant participation in our nations to this project.


Why Bother?

Do you know how good you are? Do you know if there are barriers to tenants participating with you, either real or perceived? Going through the accreditation process will help you answer some of these questions and give you tangible ways to improve your participation offer, your information, and how you communicate with tenants.


I think it’s worth it! Everyone wants to get better.


Recognition

TPAS Accreditation is awarded to organisations which have demonstrated that they are among the best in the country at involving and working in partnership with their tenants and residents. It is a prestigious national award that demonstrates the landlord is committed to tenant participation and community engagement principles.


Achieving accreditation provides recognition for the hard work carried out by tenant volunteers and the work carried out by staff engaging with and empowering tenant groups and individuals.


Getting Involved with TP Standards

The process to achieve accreditation is challenging; it’s a brave thing to be assessed and scrutinised by an independent organisation. I always introduce myself as your critical friend, and constantly remind folk that!


What you get is an independent assessment of your policies, strategies, information, communication and most importantly, how you work with people. We identify missed opportunities, new ideas and support you through the process.



One happy TPAS Scotland Gold Accreditation award winner told us, “It’s really hard work - but so worth it! We knew we were good, but couldn’t see the areas we needed to improve on until we went through the accreditation process. Thank you, TPAS, we have raised our game!”


 

At Supporting Communities, we have already begun the accreditation process with one of the largest housing providers in Northern Ireland.


If you are interested in learning more about the TP Standards for your housing organisation, get in touch with Siobhán ONeill at siobhan@supportingcommunities.org.

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