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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Supporting People jargon explained

The following list should help to untangle some of the mysteries surrounding Supporting People jargon. If you come across an odd phrase during your journey with Supporting People that isn't listed below, please contact us and we'll include it in the list.


This is the process that we go through to check that a service provider is able to provide a quality service. We check the provider is competent, capable and financially viable.

Administering Authority (AA)

The local authority - Birmingham City Council


Similar services are compared in terms of quality, performance and cost.

Best Value

Local authorities have to continually review their services to ensure they are effective, efficient and good value for money. This must be done in consultation with the people who use the services and the wider local community.

Block Contract

The purchase of support services for more than one person, usually before the service is delivered.

Block Gross Accommodation Contracts (BGC)

Payments are paid to providers assuming that they are operating at 90% capacity. The payments are fixed even though the provider may be operating at below or above the 90% level. Therefore, the same payments are made every month. If the levels of support being provided fall significantly and consistently below the payment levels, then the Performance Panel will pick this up.

Block Subsidy Contracts (BSC)

Payments are paid to providers depending on eligible clients within their schemes. This can differ from month to month, and providers are asked to notify the SP team when any changes take place. However, any changes that occur can only be made up to the maximum capacity level as indicated in the contract.


Communities and Local Government.

Commissioning Body (CB)

The Commissioning Body is made up of representatives from the council, health and probation services. Its role is to strategically direct and scrutinise the programme.

Contract Reviews

The Supporting People team will regularly review provider contracts to ensure quality services are being delivered and provide value for money.

Contract Schedules

These form part of the Supporting People contract. They detail the services to be provided in the contract, the cost of the services and the criteria against which service performance will be measured.

Core Strategy Group (CSG)

A group that considers operational matters around the delivery of the programme and make recommendations to the Commissioning Body. Member representation includes LA officers, National Federation, Probation and Health.

Cross Authority Group

Neighbouring local authorities work together to plan and develop policies.


Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse.

Eligibility Criteria (EC)

A document that sets out what tasks Supporting People money can pay for and those it cannot.

Floating Support

Support that is provided to tenants and homeowners in a number of different places, rather than in one specific property. Floating support is low-level support which can be provided to vulnerable tenants living in ordinary accommodation.

Grant Condition

Produced by CLG, these set out how the money is to be spent and how the programmes are to be managed.

Home Improvement Agency (HIA)

An agency that provides help and advice to ensure that vulnerable people can maintain the fabric of their homes for the foreseeable future and remain independent.

Housing Benefit (HB)

A means tested state benefit paid to tenants who need help paying their rent.


The Supporting People Knowledge website at www.spkweb.org.uk

Managing Agent

This is an organisation providing housing management services on behalf of another body - usually a registered social landlord. The managing agent may also provide support services.

National Service Framework (NSF)

Set up by the National Housing Federation to set standards for supported housing. They have been developed to address the variations in standards of care from one provider to another. NSFs will achieve greater consistency in the availability and quality of services by putting in place processes which will enable everyone to receive the best possible care.

Needs Mapping

The AA has systems in place to update the housing related support needs of all vulnerable groups and at appropriate intervals analyse the outcomes of reviews and the implementation of the five year strategy for the programme.


Probation Accommodation Grant, paid by the Home Office to provide accommodation and support for ex-offenders.


Primary Care Trusts. PCTs are the cornerstone of the NHS, responsible for the planning and securing of health services and improving the health of the local population. For example, PCTs must make sure there are enough GPs to provide for their population and that they are accessible to patients. PCTs must also ensure the provision of other health services including hospitals, dentists, mental health care, Walk-In Centres, NHS Direct, patient transport (including accident and emergency), population screening, pharmacies and opticians. In addition, they are responsible for integrating health and social care so the two systems work together for patients.

Registered Social Landlord (RSL)

A non-profit making group formed to provide affordable housing. This is usually a housing association.

Service User Involvement

The ALA needs to have mapped, relevant, established groups for involvement and consultation.

Service users and their carers are consulted during the service review process and their views are sought.

The ALA needs to be able to show the outcomes for service users and that it is reaching individual user groups who have not previously been involved.

Sheltered Housing

Housing aimed at older and disabled people. It enables people to live independently knowing that help is available if needed. A warden may visit every day or live on-site.


Supporting People.

SPOCC - Supporting People Oxford Computer Consultants

SPOCC is the dedicated SP database system purchased from Oxford Computer Consultants. The system contains details of all the providers, contracts, schemes, contacts, properties, performance indicators, service reviews and payments.

Spot contract

The purchase of support services for individuals, usually on an emergency basis or on demand. Such purchases can also be paid for after the service has been delivered.

Steady State Contract (SSC)

Awarded in place of an interim contract once a service review is successfully concluded.

Support Provider

Organisation providing housing-related support services - could include Registered Social Landlords, voluntary sector organisations, local authorities and the private sector.

Support Service

A service eligible for funding through Supporting People that provides housing-related support to help vulnerable people achieve or maintain their independence.

Supporting People Grant

The money paid to the local authority by the CLG from 1 April 2003 to fund housing-related support services.

Validation Visit

A Supporting People Contract Monitoring Officer visits will visit a service provider to check that the provider is achieving the standards they have been contracted to deliver. The Contract Monitoring Officer also talks to staff and users to find out their opinions of the service.


A regional group comprising of Supporting People lead officers from all AAs in the West Midlands region.