Improving Performance Assurance: Your feedback in action

Alongside the Code Manager, we have started to improve the Performance Assurance service based on your feedback. Our key changes so far are detailed below.

In late 2023, we collected feedback from all our REC services users as part of our Annual Satisfaction Survey. This feedback, combined with the input we received through workshops, additional surveys, and direct communication, has guided our priorities for change in 2024 and 2025. A key area for improvement identified in the feedback was our Performance Assurance service. Specifically, stakeholders expressed the following needs: 

  • Clearer communication and engagement regarding Performance Assurance; 
  • More education on Performance Assurance to understand its purpose and accomplishments; 
  • Make it easier to submit Performance Assurance Data on the REC Portal and address gaps in the data; and 
  • Provide clearer requirements for the Theft Detection Incentive Scheme and stricter controls over the process. 

Alongside the Code Manager, we have started to improve the Performance Assurance service based on your feedback. Our key changes so far are detailed below. 

We’re improving our communication 

In our annual satisfaction survey, 28% of respondents highlighted that improving ‘communication/consistency of response’ should be a top priority to enhance the Performance Assurance service in the next 12 months. We recognise the importance of getting answers to your queries quickly. To improve response times, the Operational Account Managers and the Service Desk staff have undergone training to ensure that they can answer more Performance Assurance-related questions at the initial point of contact. 

Some Parties expressed an interest in having more direct interaction with the Performance Assurance team to explore issues in greater depth. One comment in our Annual Satisfaction Survey stated,  

“I’d prefer a better one-to-one feedback system rather than group meetings. This will allow for more professional expertise to be considered.”  

Another respondent mentioned they would like,

“direct engagement at a participant level to allow for more open debate and pragmatism.”  

In response, at the start of 2024, we piloted Performance Assurance check-ins between the Performance Assurance team and a small number of REC Parties. These were very successful, providing insights that enabled both the PA team and Parties to better understand and take action to improve performance. We will now be extending these sessions to more REC Parties. Over the next quarter, we will prioritise expanding these sessions to Suppliers who have the most detailed data contributing to the Annual Performance Ratings. 

Finally, REC Parties expressed confusion about why Performance Assurance Techniques (PATs) are applied and what actions they need to take. Other than to deal with significant performance failures, PATs will now be applied to market participants on a quarterly basis, taking into account their performance over the entire period. If PATs require action from the Party, RECCo has proposed a change to the agreed Service Design where the Performance Assurance team will reach out with a direct call to explain what needs to be done. 

We’re improving the quality of our training and guidance 

We are improving the way we educate Parties on Performance Assurance activities and progress. Our quarterly webinars now focus on what is important to REC Stakeholders. As shown in our latest June webinar, these meetings now prioritise the benefits of Performance Assurance for REC Stakeholders and consumers, actions that REC Parties need to take to meet the Performance Assurance requirements, and attendee interaction. For example, the June webinar prompted attendees to help determine the Performance Assurance priorities for 2024-2025. The Performance Assurance team has also adopted a collaborative approach, engaging with the REC Issues Group in advance to select the right recommendations for the Performance Assurance Board (PAB). 

Reporting and submitting data is now easier 

We have received significant feedback regarding data and reporting through the Performance Assurance service. One respondent mentioned,

“You need to improve data quality and introduce appropriate monitoring.”

This was echoed by several other comments about data submission and processes. In response, we have created instructional videos explaining the purpose of the dashboards, the required reporting, and how to submit data. 

Many respondents provided feedback on the usability and limitations of the REC portal. The Performance Assurance team and RECCo have been working with the portal team to address current limitations, make processes more intuitive and less cumbersome, and improve the user interface, 

We have also re-evaluated the quantity and purpose of the data we require and streamlined the Performance Assurance Report Catalogue by removing any reporting that is no longer required. Finally, we have implemented an escalation process for missing Performance Assurance data to ensure the necessary data is available to the PAB when making decisions. We would remind Parties of the importance of submitting their data in the timescales and format required 

Improvements have also been made in this area for the Theft Detection Incentive Scheme. Greater controls over the key calculation steps have been introduced, and improved guidance has been issued and explained at the webinars and in a podcast. The Performance Assurance team has worked closely with many Parties to help them fulfil their Theft reporting obligations. 

We’re committed to service excellence 

One of our key strategic focuses is service excellence across our core services. We want to ensure our services are efficient and effective and meet users’ high standards. You can find out more about our improvement plans in our latest Strategy & Forward Work Plan here. Throughout this year, the Performance Assurance team will continue to focus on simplifying and improving reporting targeting, streamlining the qualifications process, and supporting the portal team in improving the useability of the REC portal. 

If you would like to submit further feedback about the Performance Assurance service, please email: anna.weeks@retailenergycode.co.uk