Covid-19 Supplemental Guidance to SFHA Self-Assurance Toolkit now available
Supplemental Covid-19 Guidance to the SFHA Self-Assurance Toolkit is now available. This guidance provides additional Covid-19 "flags" to consider in conjunction with the SFHA Self Assurance Toolkit; an updated template process for developing an Annual Assurance Statement in 2020; and suggested clauses for use in the Annual Assurance Statement to take account of Covid-19.
The SFHA conducted a review of its Self-Assurance Toolkit following the submission of the first round of Assurance Statements (AAS) in October 2019 and publication of the Scottish Housing Regulator’s (SHR) Lessons Learned document in March 2020. Feedback received from SFHA members was on the whole positive, and as a result only minor tweaks to the Toolkit were required. These amendments were mainly to update legislative references, but we had also intended to expand the document with further guidance relating to materiality and legislative requirements.
This all changed however when the Coronavirus emergency began in March 2020. As the situation evolved, the SHR intimated that the AAS requirement may have to be adapted to some extent in 2020, and it was clear that the process to gain the necessary self-assurance would also need to take into account the very different circumstances this year. As a result, SFHA took the decision to delay any update to the Toolkit until there was further clarity on what the SHR’s requirements would be in respect of the 2020 AAS submission.
Following a consultation, the SHR issued guidance on its Annual Assurance Statement requirements for 2020 on 31 August 2020. This extended the deadline for submissions of the AAS to 30 November 2020 and provides further guidance on Coronavirus considerations in respect of regulatory requirements.
The SFHA document (available in the downloads section to the right of this article) takes this SHR guidance into account and acts as a Covid-19 supplement to the SFHA Self-Assurance Toolkit (and associated guidance). It includes:
- Additional Covid-19 “flags” to consider in conjunction with the SFHA Self-Assurance Toolkit
- An updated template process for developing an Annual Assurance Statement in 2020.
- Suggested clauses for use in the Annual Assurance Statement to take account of Covid-19
As such, the original Toolkit document itself has been updated to include only minor updates to legislative references and hyperlinks at this stage. It remains relevant to the preparation of the 2020 AAS but has not substantively changed from 2019. A further review of the Toolkit itself will be conducted in early 2021, following the submission of the second round of AAS, which will incorporate the intended guidance on materiality and legal obligations. A summary of the minor updates applied to the Toolkit this year is available.
The Covid-19 Supplemental Guidance to the SFHA Self-Assurance Toolkit is available in the downloads section to the right of this article, or by clicking on the link below.