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Decorative 'Customer Scrutiny Panel' logo

What does our Group Scrutiny panel do?

What is the Group Customer Scrutiny Panel?

As set out in The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, the Bolton at Home Group will engage and support tenants to hold us to account, specifically through scrutiny activities.  We acknowledge that this brings about massive improvements, enhances transparency and helps us deliver more effective services. 

Our Group Customer Scrutiny Panel gives tenants and residents the opportunity to scrutinise our policies, services and actions with the aim of making continuous improvements for customers.  The panel will act as a critical friend providing constructive, evidenced feedback.

The panel is made up of a maximum of 12 tenants and customers.  The panel currently meet monthly on a formal basis.   The panel aim to carry out two formal service reviews annually where we look at an area of the business in detail.  Other examples of activities include carrying out policy reviews, giving feedback on customer documents, participating in focus groups, attending conferences and training, visiting projects on site and holding Q & As with service managers.

Full expenses are provided, as well as necessary IT equipment and anything else required for the role.  In order to value the time and effort of our involved customers, we also offer online shopping vouchers in line with the time given to the role.

Recent work of our Customer Scrutiny Panel

The work of our Customer Scrutiny Panel has led to tangible changes and improvements for customers.  Some of the areas they have covered in the last two years include:

2022 - 2023

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  • Seven new members recruited to the panel and trained.
  • The panel carried out a full service review focussed on how we deal with damp, condensation and mould, leading to changes in how we collect information on the number of cases, accessible customer friendly communications campaign focussed on how to prevent, deal with and report such issues, training for all staff on recognising and responding to reports of issues,
  • Panel members were trained to assess community grant applications for projects and initiatives across our communities.
  • Review of income management letters sent out when customers in rent arrears.  Improvements included changes to wording, improved design and accessibility and more information regarding support services included.
  • Older People’s Services Manager Q&A with feedback leading to changes in testing of Careline pendant cords.
  • Review of our Consumer Standards self assessment leading to changes and clarification of certain wording, demonstrating tenant transparency with what we share with our regulator.


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  • Three new members were recruited to the panel and trained.
  • Our panel contributed to the consultation which resulted in several changes to our Repairs Policy, namely changes to our response times for non-urgent repairs and clarification of when repairs are the responsibility of us or of tenants themselves.
  • Our panel had input into the content of our new Transparency Policy, including what matters most to tenants and also into the tone and layout of the policy.
  • The panel helped redesign the Terms of Reference for their own panel.
  • Feedback on the design and layout of our annual Business Plan leading to improvements in readability and accessibility for all customers.
  • Full service review focussed on our Enforcement Service.  This led to a full review of the website content for customers making it more useful and accessible, a number of social media posts with the aim of managing customers’ expectations of the service, co-design of a new Good Neighbour Guide for customers, changes to the Pet Guide taking account of customer vulnerabilities and raising awareness of support services available.