Developer Services FAQs
Water UK answers common questions on Developer Services reporting by water companies
How were these service levels selected?
They were chosen as they cover the vast majority of services provided to developer and self lay customers by companies’ Developer Services departments. Consultation took place with key stakeholders such as Defra, the industry regulator Ofwat, HBF (Home Builders Federation), HBA (House Builders Association), and self lay organisations prior to commencement of monitoring.
How were the target standards determined?
Standards set out in the Water Industry Act 1991 have been used where they exist. The remainder were proposed by the water industry as reasonable standards to attain and set after consultation with key stakeholders.
Can I see detailed definitions of the service levels?
Will the suite of service levels which are reported on change with time?
There are benefits in maintaining a stable suite of service levels to monitor against so that valid comparisons of performance over time can be made . However, a review will be conducted after the first year of reporting to establish if changes are required.
What quality assurance has been undertaken on the data?
Significant work has taken place by companies to ensure that the data is a reliable guide to performance. In addition, companies have instituted internal quality assurance procedures, consistent with existing regulatory reporting. The data is independently collated by Water UK.
Is compensation payable for poor performance?
The key aim of the reporting is to provide transparency as to individual companies’ performance in this area of activity with a view to driving up standards. Comparative competition is an important feature of the UK regulatory landscape and is used extensively by Ofwat. The question of whether a specific compensation scheme should be introduced will be kept under review. Disputes over performance levels may also fall within the scope of the water sector’s dispute resolution procedure – see WATRS: The Water Redress Scheme.
Why does the reporting only apply to England and Wales?
The published data does not include any information for Northern Ireland or Scotland as they have different regulatory, legislative and development frameworks so including their performance and activity levels would not be directly comparable. As a Water UK member, Scottish Water has been actively involved in this work and will be presenting their performance against comparable measures in Scotland on their website: www.scottishwater.co.uk
Are all water companies in England and Wales subject to reporting these levels of service?
All 10 of the major water and sewerage companies in England and Wales are participating in the initiative as well as water only companies. Sutton and East Surrey Water has recently joined the initiative and submitted data which will be published in the next quarterly report, on 29 October 2015. Water UK is also in consultation with newer entrants to the water industry with a view to them also participating.
Why are individual service activity levels reported as ranges rather than actual numbers?
Ranges are given since detailed information is commercially sensitive.
Are there any other proposals in the pipeline to help further improve service levels?
The industry is looking to introduce a customer satisfaction survey scheme to provide a qualitative assessment of companies’ Developer Services service levels on a quarterly basis. This would complement the quantitative work which is now being reported.
Water UK is also working with members on two closely related topics which influence performance in this area; charging and the interaction with the planning system.
Why are there some blanks in the performance and activity levels tables – tables 1 and 2?
These reflect areas where there has been no activity during the reporting quarter. See the Notes to the tables for further details.
In Table 1 why are some companies with similar performance sometimes shown in different quartile bands?
Quartile and performance scores are rounded to the nearest whole number, so two scores with the same percentage may fall within different ranges because calculations are based on actual numbers, not rounded whole numbers.
Can I download the data to produce my own analysis of individual service activities?
Yes, for each quarter Table 1 and Table 2 are provided as downloadable Excel files.
If I have a query who should I contact?
Please address your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org