The overall objective of the research on definitions of ownership was to improve the quality and accuracy of the data collected through the Regulatory and Statistical Return (RSR). The first project, completed in 1998, helped to specify the nature of the problem. The second, completed in 1999, examined the appropriate definition of ownership to ensure accuracy as well as the range of information required to provide a complete picture of registered social landlord (RSL) activity. The third, reported here, operationalised the recommended changes and put the form out for trial.
The approach taken was to issue a Shadow RSR to a range of RSLs, accompanied by Guidance Notes and a helpline; to compare the completed Shadow RSR forms with the current RSR to undertake in depth studies of why differences occurred and to obtain more general feedback. The result is a series of recommendations about how to proceed.