Rating manual - Volume 2 - Section 1 : Co-ordination

Section Contents

1. Introduction and the need for Co-ordination

Co-ordination of practice, principles and values is an essential element in getting valuations correct at Revaluation and defending lists.

It is the responsibility of all involved in Non Domestic Rating to be aware of the need to engage with co-ordination at the appropriate time and in a relevant way.

The structure of the Valuation Office Agency [VOA] and its communication systems put the Agency in a strong position to co-ordinate effectively.

Co-ordination is a mandatory part of the VOA’s business. It is essential that it is clearly set out and operated in a way that can be recorded and monitored.

The Practice Note for each Revaluation sets out the approach to be adopted.

2. The Co-ordination Model

Full details of the Valuation panels and class co-ordination teams can be found here.

The shape of the co-ordination model has regard to the structure and business of the VOA. Each part has a definable and complementary role.

  • NSU Specialists
  • Unit Heads
  • NDR Unit RMATs
  • Experienced caseworkers
  • RLOs
2.1

The objectives of co-ordination are to -

  • ensure that a correct and consistent approach in principle, practice and valuation is achieved for Rating
  • provide a clear structured framework within which caseworkers can operate
  • assist caseworkers by providing information and support
  • promote quality casework
2.2

The matters liable for co-ordination are extensive and will vary in different circumstances. The test is an objective one. In all cases the question to be addressed is “will the intended actions have an impact beyond the matter under immediate consideration” If the answer is yes then in some form a co-ordination activity must take place.

The following list is not exhaustive but identifies major areas where co-ordination may well be required -

  • issues and application of rating principles and law
  • issues and application of rating practice
  • consistency in valuation models and basis of assessments
  • consistency in application of allowances, adjustments and relativities
  • consistency in treatment of material changes of circumstances
2.3

Compliance with this will be subject to qualitative tests and the results will feed through to the appropriate Score Card.

3. Valuation Panels (VPs) and Class Co-ordination Teams (CCTs)

Valuation Panels (VPs) and Class Co-ordination Teams (CCTs) ensure accuracy and consistency in the various categories of property that are their responsibility. This embraces valuation principles generally, and valuation in the more specialised categories in the main retail, office and industrial categories (such as large food stores, distribution warehouses etc) as well as the more miscellaneous classes (such as cinemas and golf courses etc).

The VPs and CCTs are responsible for delivery of the Practice Notes and/or revaluation instructions that form the valuation basis for these classes and continue to be responsible for providing class specific co-ordination advice during the life of the rating lists.

4. How does this work relate to Unit caseworkers?

YOU MUST:

  • follow the advice given at all times. If you are concerned about the advice, then please discuss this with the relevant CCT or NSU specialist.
  • not depart from the guidance given on appeals or maintenance work, without approval from the VP CCT or NSU specialist .

always seek advice from the CCT before starting on any work. The CCT has full responsibility for its designated class. All activity in relation to its classes, including the programming of appeals, must be organised through the CCT (programming by Scat Spreadsheet)

5. Valuation Panels -

There are five valuation panels, each headed by a Grade 6.
  • Valuation Panel 1 - Commercial Sector
  • Valuation Panel 2 - Leisure Sector
  • Valuation Panel 3 - Industrial Sector
  • Valuation Panel 4 - Healthcare, Education and Miscellaneous
  • Valuation Panel 5 – Telecommunications and Utilities

6. The Mechanisms of Co-ordination

Managers are expected to identify co-ordination needs, personally assume, or specifically delegate the responsibility for co-ordination and to have mechanisms in place to ensure that the responsibilities are met.

6.1 Rating Manual and Instruction & Advice procedures

A pivotal feature of the co-ordination arrangements is the provision of and adherence to advice and instruction contained in these formats. Rating NSU commits to provide advice in a timely and relevant manner and in an easily accessible and understandable format.

6.2 Units –Non-Domestic Rating Folder in the L Drive

Non-Domestic Rating Folders are embedded in the L Drive. There is a prescribed skeleton structure of folders and all Units must use clear common sense sign posting of sub-folders and documents to provide easy retrieval.

6.3 Rating Classes Folders in the Local Taxation Folder

Rating Classes folders are now part of the NDR Folder in the L Drive [see para 4.2 above] and provide VOA wide access to co-ordination material including, local instructions, rental details, settlements and other data. Each Rating Class folder provides a comprehensive set of individual class folders for the majority of non-bulk types of property.

Unit managers must ensure that the Rating Class folders are used and maintained with the aim of providing all VOA users with the ability to easily interrogate the folders. There is an expectation that as a minimum folders will contain for each Revaluation details of the valuation scheme, underlying evidence and details of defence for the class of property.

Experience has shown that it is not possible to be prescriptive in how the folders are individually maintained and operated. It is recommended that the Rating Class Folders be positively managed by the ‘owner’ to ensure that they remain relevant and in good order.

The class folder contains two subfolders called “Instruction” and “Other”. It is recommended that “Instruction” be used for material that has some permanence in the way of instruction and advice.

Good practice has included the creation of additional folders to hold valuations of hereditaments and this may continue with the suggestion that there are separate valuation folders for each list.

Folders have been created in P:\VPs & CCTs for each valuation panel. Within these folders are folders for each CCT, with sub-folders for minutes, market knowledge etc.

6.4 Specific Co-ordination requirements for Revaluation

It is essential that co-ordination arrangements be part of the central core of the planning and execution of the Revaluation. Project managers at all levels must actively ensure that arrangements are in place and operated effectively.

6.5 The Central Data Base

The Central Data Base puts the VOA in an unrivalled position for the interrogation of rating lists and property details. The facility gives all users the ability to carry out extensive co-ordination searches on refineable parameters.

NDR Procedures Manual

6.6 Special Category Codes [SCATs]

SCAT Codes provide a means of identifying properties that share common characteristics for co-ordination purposes and to facilitate retrieval of statistical information.

SCAT Allocation

6.7 Statistical Analysis Summary Lists – [SAS Lists]

The information contained in these lists is drawn from networked interrogation by CEO of the rating lists and updated on a regular basis and provides a powerful tool for co-ordination purposes. The format provides users with the ability to search and refine data.

6.8 Programming of appeals

Programming provides an opportunity to more effectively manage the progress of the defence of a class. For more detail see NDR Procedures manual England or Wales.

6.9 Contact Details

Effective co-ordination is very much about making contact with the right person at the right time.

The latest information on Valuation Panels and Class Co-ordination Team members can be found here and also as a link from the R2017 homepage

6.10 National Ratepayers Valuation Forum [NRVF]

Introduces forums for discussion between the VOA and representatives of ratepayer organisations and professional bodies on a local and national basis. The published minutes of meetings and development of the initiative will provide a useful co-ordination medium.

ratepayer forums project

6.11 Valuation Office Ratepayer Contact [VORC]

Introduces the concept of a single point of contact within the VOA for designated companies.

R2005 IA 201202 - Valuation Office Ratepayer Contacts, see paragraph titled 'Do you own a number of properties?' for contact details (V O R C s)

6.12 Valuation Tribunal Service Web Site

The majority of tribunal decisions are published on the web site and provide a useful co-ordination facility.

Valuation Tribunal Home Page

6.13 Enhanced applications on the Intranet

Developments to the Intranet including an enhanced Rating Homepage, R2017 Homepage and facilities for other specialist sections are ongoing and will be incorporated into this section as appropriate.

7. Compliance

Co-ordination procedures will be subject to scrutiny by Quality Audit and NDR PPA team and forms part of the balanced scorecard input.

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