1. The Declaration

Accreditation is about accountability: to be accountable there must be a voluntary declaration by the supplier or manager of the housing to a set of processes or standards (normally both). The declaration should be regular and normally should take place every three years.

2. Verification

A scheme must verify that those who sign up to meet standards are doing so. Time has shown that to maintain both consumer and landlord confidence there must be a regular and transparent process that checks on the standards being met, issues some form of report and where any shortcomings are identified, a landlord must agree to an improvement package. Whatever the verification process is, it must be public, realistic and achievable. A complaints system alone is not sufficient to ensure verification.

3. Continuing Improvement

Verification should not be simply about standards being met. The notion of continuing improvement sets the mental tome for accreditation: it is about doing better from a base standard and accepting that there is always room for improvement in management outputs.

4. Complaints

There must be a proper complaints process that should be simple, inclusive, transparent, rapid and known.

About the Core Values

As the sector developed, ANUK recognised that, of the many and varied schemes operating across the country, there were some which were poorly conceived and administered. In 2007, in order to help professionalise the sector and to protect its future reputation, ANUK determined, on the basis of broad consultation, a set of four core values which accreditation schemes should commit to.

In reviewing the potential core values, ANUK surveyed the wide spectrum of worthwhile and successful scheme types, ranging from the successful skills-based scheme run across London by LLAS to highly regulatory schemes with complex systems of assessment and verification, such as the National Codes for Larger Student Developments.

In embracing this diversity, ANUK concluded that any definition had to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate different species of scheme, but also sufficiently robust to exclude schemes that were little more than individual campaigns or mail shots.

Read more about the Core Values in the Accreditation Handbook.