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Terms of reference for the resident advisory panel


1. For the purposes of this document, the term ‘residents’ and/or ‘tenants’ include leaseholders, shared owners and anyone accessing or residing in Supported Living accommodation fully or partially owned by Sanctuary. The term ‘Customers’ is used to encompass anyone living in accommodation fully or partially owned by Sanctuary.

2. The panel is also open to members of the community who can serve as co-opted members.

1. Name of Group(s) and Purpose

1.1 The Resident Advisory Panel (RAP). Hereafter, the use of the term ‘Panel’ will refer to RAP.

1.2 The position of the Panel within Sanctuary’s governance structure is set out in Appendix 1.

2. Objectives

2.1 The Panel will:

a. Work with us in developing new policy, strategy, and ways of working.

b. Influence our Group Board and Executive Committee by being a voice of residents through consultation, feedback, and expert views.

c. Make recommendations to our Group Housing Board.

d. Act as our critical friend to improve resident experience.

2.2 The steps the Panel will follow in fulfilling the objectives is set out in Appendix 2.

3. Co-ordination of the Panel

3.1 The Chair of the Panel will have overall responsibility for the direction of the Panel, ensuring it is well managed and led.

3.2 The Chair will encourage the Panel to work together well as a team.

3.3 The Chair will present an update of the Panel’s activities for review at each Group Housing Board meeting. This will be done alongside the review of the activities of the Resident Scrutiny Panel, to ensure the Panels are working in a complimentary way.

3.4 The Panel will act as a voice of residents, using resident feedback, that either already exists or is specifically commissioned.

3.5 The Panel can commission specific consultation and feedback from residents affected by a new strategy, policy or way of working.

3.6 The Panel will present the findings and recommendations to the appropriate senior management team.

3.7 The Panel will submit the final recommendations to Group Housing Board.

3.8 The Chair of the Panel will carry out an annual review of each Panel member with a member of staff and ensure that the skills and capacity of the Panel are maintained through succession planning and recruitment. This will include the development of individual development plans for each Panel member, with support from Sanctuary’s Learning Academy,

3.9 The Head of Consumer Regulation and Engagement (or nominee) will carry out an annual review of the Chair of the Panel

4. Recruitment of Panel Members

4.1 New members will be appointed through an agreed selection process based on the experience or skills the individual can bring to the Panel giving due regard to the diversity and experience of existing panel members. The appointment will be made at the subsequent Panel meeting following the completion of the selection process.

4.2 There will be a clear set of commitments and expectations for every Panel member.

4.3 Residents of Sanctuary are eligible to apply to join or be members of the Panel, provided they:

  • are not Board or Committee Members, and they are not involved in governance related activities (e.g., Trustees, Sanctuary in Rochford Committee).
  • are not employees of Sanctuary Group; and/or
  • are not in breach of their tenancy / lease conditions.
  • Do not currently have a complaint at independent review stage of the complaints policy, have a current damage claim or have a case lodged with a First Tier Tribunal.

4.4 Examples of types of breaches include those who:

  • have a notice seeking possession in place.
  • are in rent arrears without an agreement to repay, other than when this solely relates to the timing of the benefit cycle.
  • have breached their agreement to repay arrears.
  • are subject to any antisocial behaviour order or investigation; and/or

(This list is not exhaustive).

4.5 Should a member leave a Sanctuary property during their term, the next meeting will be deemed their last.

4.6 The Panel may co-opt additional members with no voting rights if they feel they add a particular skill or expertise that is not catered for on the existing Panel. Consistent with the appointment of new Panel members set out in 4.1, the Chair and a Sanctuary staff member will approve the appointment of co-optees and may recommend up to two co-optees where it feels would benefit the skills mix of the Panel. Any co-optees will be appointed for the duration of a specific project (up to a maximum of 12 months). Any appointment of a Co-optee as a Chair or Vice Chair will be made by Sanctuary alone.

4.7 Members of the Panel will participate in an induction programme to help them fulfil their role and in any further training and mentoring as identified through their individual development plan.

4.8 Panel members will usually be appointed for a term of up to three years. With agreement of the chair, should several appointments be made at the same time (including but not limited to the formation of the panel) members may be appointed for an initial term of one or two years to preserve the stability of the panel. In this instance, membership of the panel beyond two terms will be dealt with as set out in 5.2 but will not exceed six years.

4.9 There shall be a maximum number of 12 members, not including Co-optees.

4.10 Any on-going expressions of interest to join the Panel will be held by the Consumer Regulation Team. These will be followed up in chronological order as vacancies arise.

5. Succession

5.1 Any member wishing to serve a second term will be required to have an interview with the Chair and the Resident Engagement Manager. Any member who serves a second term should stand down for 12 months at the end of six years, after which they are eligible to put themselves forward for membership again.

5.2 With the agreement of the Chair, there could be the opportunity for a members’ term of office to continue after the end of their second term dependent on circumstances at that time. Any extension after the end of six years would be subject to a formal annual review.

5.3 The annual review, attendance record and compliance check against the eligibility criteria set out in 4.2 and 4.3 will also be used to assess future suitability for the role.

5.4 An unsuccessful resident may appeal to the Head of Consumer Regulation and Engagement.

6. Panel meetings

6.1 It is expected that the Panel will meet four times a year.

6.2 The quorum of any formal meeting shall be 50 per cent of the current Panel members, in addition to either the Chair or Vice Chair. By way of example, if the Panel membership is 12, this would be six members plus the Chair or Vice chair.

6.3 The Panel will aim to reach decisions by consensus. If this is not achieved, members will vote on an issue by a show of hands; a majority will be required to agree a decision. In the event of a tie, the motion will not be carried, and the Chair will not have a casting vote.

6.4 Sanctuary employees who provide support to the Panel will always seek to ensure the independence of the Panel.

6.5 Panel members must declare any interest in any of the activities the Panel will be undertaking, including eligibility set out in 4.2 and 4.3. This will be recorded at the Panel meeting. If there is a clear conflict of interest a member will be expected to withdraw from scrutiny in that area.

6.6 If a member misses a meeting without giving apologies or without prior arrangement, the Chair will make arrangements to contact the member. If any further meetings are missed without contact, the member will be asked to step down from the Panel. Members will be expected to attend at least fifty per cent of all meetings and mandatory training in a 12-month period, including three formal meetings. The Panel may agree to long-term absence based on a members’ individual circumstance.

6.7 All Panel members will be able to claim expenses for reasonable costs incurred in their role on the Panel in line with Sanctuary’s expenses policy. Broadband costs and other Technology costs, including the provision of an appropriate device, can be covered if required during the term of office.

6.8 The Panel will be supported and co-ordinated by the Consumer Regulation Team, who will work with the Panel to support them in all aspects of the Panel’s activities.

6.9 All members of the Panel will be required to comply with the Panel Code of Conduct (acceptance form attached as Appendix 3). They must not disclose any confidential information to anyone else outside of the Panel or become involved in any activity which brings the name of the Panel or Sanctuary into disrepute. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a member being removed from the Panel. Where there is a breach of the code, the Panel member will be asked to attend a meeting with the Resident Engagement Manager and the Chair of the Panel (if appropriate) to discuss the matter.

6.10 The result of the discussion will be referred to the Head of Consumer Regulation and Engagement for a final decision which will be binding.

6.11 In the event of a breach of the Code of Conduct by the Chair, representation should be made to the Head of Consumer Regulation and Engagement who must investigate the matter fully.

6.12 If a Panel member wishes to resign, they should inform the Chair, via the Head of Consumer Regulation and Engagement in writing or by e-mail.

7. Appointment of the Chair

7.1 A Chair will be elected from existing Panel members for a two-year term via self-nomination, followed by a closed ballot of Panel members. The post is eligible for re-election for a second two-year term of office as with membership in 5.1, after which the chair must step down from the panel for a period of one year. The potential four-year term is calculated from the date of election to the position of Chair.

7.2 The election of Vice Chair, will wherever possible, be staggered from the election of the Chair. A Vice Chair will be elected using the same process as 7.1, but for a one-year period.

7.3 Sanctuary may recommend the co-option of an independent chair, as set out in 4.6 where it feels this would benefit the skills mix of the Panel.

8. Equality and Diversity

8.1 It is the responsibility of Sanctuary staff to try to ensure that the Panel is representative of the residents it serves, and positive action may be taken by staff to encourage applications from any under-represented groups.

8.2 The Panel will consider the impact of Equality and Diversity in all aspects of its scrutiny work.

9. Working with Senior Management, Resident Scrutiny Panel and Group Housing Board

9.1 The appropriate Executive Committee members (or their nominee) and other relevant staff will attend Panel meetings, to discuss proposals to develop new or change existing strategy.

9.2 The Panel may commission wider resident consultation through the Resident Scrutiny Panel to inform its customer view.

9.3 If the Panel feels that the ‘customer view’ or feedback regarding any item have not been addressed, the Panel can ask for the this to be considered by the Group Housing Board at its next meeting.

10. Annual Review

10.1 Each year a review of the Panel will take place to make sure it is performing its duties effectively; this will be agreed with the Panel.

10.2 If there are concerns with the performance and/or conduct of the Panel as a whole, the Group Board have the right to commission an independent review of a Panel. The Group Board has the right to dissolve the Panel if, following the independent review, it is felt that the Panel's performance or conduct has irrevocably broken down.

10.3 These Terms of Reference will be reviewed by August of each year

Relationship of the Panel to Sanctuary's governance structure

Role of Resident Advisory Panel - Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Code of conduct for Panel members

11. Communication between members

11.1 It is essential for Panel members to be in contact with each other and to share information. Getting everyone together costs money and members have a responsibility not to ask for unnecessary meetings.

11.2 Panel members and Sanctuary staff should remember that not all members have access to email and should make sure that nobody is left out of communications. This is part of the role of the Chair, but everyone shares the responsibility.

11.3 Sanctuary will give all Panel members the names and contact details of the Consumer Regulation Team and of the Panel members. Those lists will be kept up to date.

11.4 Panel members should respond to communications (email, phone messages, letters) within five working days, unless a shorter or longer response time has been set.

11.5 If a member is going to be out of contact for some time e.g., because they are going on holiday or are unwell, they should inform the Chair and/or the Consumer Regulation team

12. Conduct

12.1 The Chair is responsible for the proper conduct of the meeting and for encouraging everyone (members, staff and visitors) to follow this protocol.

12.2 Panel members must:

  • Treat everyone with respect, be courteous to each other and staff members and support and assist other members in seeking the best possible solution to problems being discussed.
  • not be negative, abusive or threatening.
  • follow the guidance of the Chair in the conduct of the meetings.
  • bear in mind the rights of individual residents and the duties of staff when proposing solutions to problems.
  • support the Chair allowing everyone the chance to take part, supporting effective decision making and keeping to the agenda.
  • work for the good of the community and not raise personal issues.
  • make available any correspondence sent on behalf of the Panel to all members of the Panel.
  • make comments at meetings through the Chair.
  • remember that the meeting is to benefit residents generally and not specific individuals.

12.3 The Chair will:

  • Keep members to the business on the agenda.
  • Make it possible for everyone to participate in the meeting and encourage people to ask questions.
  • Be impartial and not impose his/her view on the meeting.
  • Treat everyone fairly and encourage a relaxed but business-like atmosphere.

13. Bringing personal experiences into meetings/scrutiny work

13.1 Panel members may have got involved because they have had specific personal experience of Sanctuary services. The information they bring can be very useful when it is used to illustrate a wider point being experienced by other residents. However, any information must be clearly evidenced.

13.2 Panel members have privileged access to Sanctuary staff, and they must take care not to abuse that privilege by using a scrutiny meeting as a way of getting a personal matter dealt with. They should remember that they are there to serve the interests of all Sanctuary residents and use the same channels as other residents to get their own issues resolved.

13.3 Panel members must never allow any personal relationship with a resident to conflict with duties as a Panel member.

13.4 Panel members must never allow themselves to be compromised by, or take advantage of, any relationship with residents.

14. Declarations of Interest

14.1 Panel members must be meticulous about declaring any actual or potential conflicts of interest as they arise, affecting them, their close family, friends or associates.

14.2 Panel members must declare to the Chair of the Panel any financial or non-financial interests that could bring about conflict with the Group’s interests and take no part in any discussion (leaving the room if necessary) and refrain from voting on that matter. (If the Panel’s recommendation can have any financial effect, loss as well as gain, on you, then the interest should be declared). If in any doubt, you should seek the advice of the appropriate Director or the Head of Consumer Regulation and Engagement. Where an interest is declared in accordance with the above at any meeting of the Panel, the declaration must be recorded in the minutes of that meeting together with any action taken.

15. Financial Conduct

15.1 Panel members must safeguard the Group’s funds and resources from abuse, theft or waste. You should strive to ensure value for money for the Group, its residents and any public or charitable funds.

15.2 Panel members must be aware that it is a serious criminal offence corruptly to receive or give any gift, fee, reward or other advantage in return for doing (or not doing) anything, or showing favour (or disfavour), to any person or organisation. Any such criminal offence may result in the withdrawal of membership of the Panel.

16. Failure to follow the Code of Conduct

16.1 Panel members must recognise that failure to follow this Code of Conduct, or to knowingly behave in any way that brings the name of Sanctuary into disrepute, might result in the withdrawal of their membership. The procedure for investigating a breach of the code of conduct is outlined in 6.13 the Scrutiny Panel Terms of reference.

17. The Chairperson

17.1 The Chair of the Panel has responsibilities and should always remember that they act on behalf of the Panel and not in isolation. The Chair must:

  • Ensure the efficient conduct of the Panel’s business and that the relevant advice or assistance is requested where appropriate.
  • Ensure that all Panel members are given the opportunity to express their views before any important decision is taken and that appropriate standards of conduct and behaviour are maintained.

18. Balancing confidentiality and openness

18.1 The Group wishes to act in an open and accountable way in relation to its residents, local communities, local authorities, and other interested parties. In general, information about the Group, its work, Board / Committees / Panels, staff and members, should be available unless confidentiality or practicality suggests otherwise.

18.2 The law requires that certain types of information must be available to members and that other types must never be passed on. Training will be provided in the induction process. By way of example, personal information about the Group’s residents, applicants for housing, staff or members must be regarded as strictly confidential.

18.3 Panel members must not use any information obtained as a member of the Panel for personal gain or benefit, nor should you pass it on to others who might use it in such a way.

19. Behaviour during a meeting

19.1 If a member of the Panel does not follow the code of conduct during any meeting the Chair will issue a warning.

19.2 If there follows a second breach, they may be asked to leave the meeting.

19.3 The decision of the Chair is final.

19.4 The Chair may give any member of the Panel warnings to a maximum of two warnings, in any one meeting or in three consecutive meetings, before the matter is addressed following the protocol set out in 6.13 above.

Appendix 4

Privacy Statement

1. Purpose of our privacy statement

1.1 Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation, we are required to explain to you why we are asking for this information about you, how we intend to use the information you provide and whether we will share this with anyone else.

2. Who are we?

2.1 We are Sanctuary Housing Services Limited and Sanctuary Supported Living, parts of Sanctuary Group (“Sanctuary”) one of the UK's leading providers of housing, care and commercial services. Our address is Chamber Court, Castle Street, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1 3ZQ.

3. Our data protection officer

3.1 Our Data Protection Officer is responsible for overseeing what we do with your information and monitoring our compliance with data protection laws.

3.2 If you have any concerns or questions about our use of your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer by writing to The Data Protection Officer, Sanctuary House, Chamber Court, Castle Street, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1 3ZQ or emailing

4. Why are we collecting your information?

4.1 The information that you provide to us during your contract is completely voluntary and is not required by Sanctuary to provide our basic services to you. Our aim is that by further understanding your individual needs, we will be able to provide an improved service.

5. What information are we collecting?

5.1 We are collecting information about you which you provide to us in any correspondence received during your tenancy and in your participation in Resident Scrutiny Panel and related scrutiny activities.

5.2 Some of the information which we collect will be special categories of personal data (also called sensitive personal data), which includes information about your health and racial or ethnic origin.

6. What we are going to do with your information

6.1 The information you provide to us will be used for the following purposes:

6.1.1 It will be stored and used by us in accordance with this privacy statement and in accordance with your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation.

6.1.2 It will be collected and used by us fairly and openly for the purpose of providing services which are supplementary to our basic service.

6.1.3 It will allow us to provide services which are tailored to your needs.

6.1.4 It will be used to improve the services you receive from us AND / OR

6.1.5 It will be used for your involvement in Resident Scrutiny Panel and related scrutiny activities.

6.1.6 It will allow us to make contact with you in the most appropriate way. For example, we can provide literature in large print if you have difficulty reading smaller print; or provide documents in an alternative language if English is not your first language.

6.2 An understanding of your personal situation and individual needs will allow us to provide a tailored service that meets any physical, cultural or financial needs that you may have.

7. What is the legal basis for using your information?

7.1 In accordance with the data protection laws, we need a "legal basis" for collecting and using information about you. There are a variety of different legal basis for processing personal data which are set out in the data protection laws.

7.2 The lawful basis on which we rely to use the information which we collect about you for the purposes set out in this notice will be:

7.2.1 You have provided consent to our use of your information, given by you signing the “Terms of Reference for Resident Scrutiny Panel”.

8. Sharing your information

Members of Sanctuary Group

8.1 Sanctuary Group is made up of a number of related companies. We will share your information with other members of Sanctuary Group where necessary to best provide the services to you in accordance with the contract between us.

8.2 Your information will only be accessed by other companies in the Group where it is necessary to do so to provide services to you in accordance with our contract. The obligations which are set out in this notice shall apply to the other members of the Group to the same extent that they apply to us.

8.3 For more information on which companies make up Sanctuary Group, please go to

Other organisations

8.4 We may from time to time share your information with other organisations, including, but not limited to:

8.4.1 Community groups with whom Sanctuary liaise to organise events which benefit the local community OR

9. Transferring your information abroad

9.1 We will not transfer the information you provide to us outside of the European Economic Area.

10. Security of your information

10.1 The information that you provide will be stored securely on our systems [and the form that you complete will be shredded]. Our security measures and procedures reflect the seriousness with which we approach security and the value we attach to your information.

10.2 Only relevant members of staff will access the information you provide to us.

11. Can we use your information for any other purpose?

11.1 In limited circumstances we may use your information for a purpose other than those set out in this policy. If we intend to do so, we will provide you with information relating to that other purpose before using it for the new purpose.

12. Storing your information and deleting it

12.1 We will store the personal data which you provide to us for as long as you remain a resident and subject to you not withdrawing your consent. Once the identified purpose comes to an end, unless there is another identifiable purpose for which it is necessary to hold on to your information, we will delete your information.

13. Your rights

13.1 In relation to the information which we hold about you, you are entitled to:

13.1.1 Ask us for access to the information.

13.1.2 Ask us to rectify the information where it is inaccurate or is incomplete.

13.1.3 Ask us to erase the information and take steps to ask others with whom we have shared your information to erase it.

13.1.4 Ask us to limit what we do with your information.

13.1.5 Object to our use of your information and ask us to stop that use.

13.1.6 Instruct us to provide you with the information we hold about you in a structured and commonly used format or transmit that information directly to another organisation (for example, if you want the information to be sent to another housing provider).

13.2 Our obligations to comply with the above rights are subject to certain exemptions.

13.3 Where we are using your information because you have provided your consent to that use, you are entitled to withdraw your consent at any time. The lawfulness of our use of your information before consent was withdrawn is not affected.

13.4 To exercise any of the rights referred to above, you should contact our Data Protection Officer by writing to The Data Protection Officer, Sanctuary House, Chamber Court, Castle Street, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR1 3ZQ or emailing

13.5 You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (the "ICO") if you are not satisfied with the way we use your information. You can contact the ICO by writing to Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.