Supporting you to prevent homelessness


NPSS is synonymous with the Gold Standard programme; a peer review scheme designed to support local authorities deliver more efficient and cost effective homelessness prevention services. The Gold Standard begins with local authorities participating in a peer review of their frontline homelessness service in preparation for applying for each of the 10 Local Challenges. By achieving the 10 Local Challenges, local authorities are able to demonstrate that they have in place a comprehensive prevention focused service for all customers. The Gold Standard is a peer review scheme designed to help local authorities deliver more efficient and cost effective homelessness prevention services.

NPSS supports local authorities to work together in clusters of three or more to undertake Diagnostic Peer Reviews of their services. An authority will be able to make an application for the 10 local challenges if a score of 60% or more is achieved during the DPR. Making Every Contact Count, a report written by the Ministerial Working Group on homelessness, provides the basis for the 10 local challenges:


  • Assess how they are preventing and tackling homelessness
  • Identify key strengths and weaknesses in service delivery by identifying gaps in provision and highlighting good practice
  • Identify recommendations for service improvement
  • Develop effective improvement plans to help maximise homelessness prevention where possible
  • Help to make the best use of current resources
  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 1

    Adopt a corporate commitment to prevent homelessness which has buy in across all local authority services

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 2

    Actively work in partnership with voluntary sector and other local partners to address support, education, employment and training needs

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 3

    Offer a Housing Options prevention service, including written advice, to all clients

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 4

    Adopt a No Second Night Out model or an effective local alternative

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 5

    Have housing pathways agreed or in development with each key partner and client group that includes appropriate accommodation and support

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 6

    Develop a suitable private rented sector offer for all client groups, including advice and support to both clients and landlords

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 7

    Actively engage in preventing mortgage repossessions including through the Mortgage Rescue Scheme

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 8

    Have a homelessness strategy which sets out a proactive appr -oach to preventing homeless -ness and is reviewed annually so that it is responsive to emerging

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 9

    Not place any young person aged 16 or 17 in Bed and Breakfast accommodation

  • challengeLOCAL CHALLENGE 10

    Not place any families in Bed and Breakfast accommodation unless in an emergency and then for no longer than 6 weeks

There are no failed applications for the 10 local challenges, if a local authority applies but does not meet the criteria, NPSS will provide support to develop and implement a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP). By achieving the each of the 10 local challenges, local authorities are able to demonstrate that they have comprehensive prevention services in place for all clients, both the statutory and non-statutory homeless. The application process is voluntary which involves local authorities demonstrating that they have met each of the 10 local challenges which comprise the Gold Standard.


DPR Guidance Documents

To support local authorities to organise and undertake a peer review, NPSS has produced the following guidance handbooks:


Planning a peer review



Undertaking the review



Feeding back the results of the review


These handbooks should be read in conjunction with the Diagnostic Peer Review Toolkit which is free for local authorities and can be obtained by emailing

Local Authority Achievements


Gold Standard Authorities

  • Basildon Borough Council
  • Hambleton District Council
  • Hart District Council
  • Oxford City Council
  • Ryedale District Council
  • Stafford Borough Council
  • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
  • The Royal Borough of Greenwich
  • Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Winchester City Council
  • City of York Council

Silver Standard Authorities

  • Bath & North East Somerset Council
  • City of London Corporation
  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Cornwall Council
  • Dacorum Borough Council
  • Derby City Council
  • Mendip District Council
  • Mole Valley District Council
  • Borough of Poole
  • Salford City Council
  • Selby District Council
  • Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
  • West Berkshire District Council

Bronze Standard Authorities

  • Barrow in Furness Borough Council
  • Bournemouth Borough Council
  • Braintree District Council
  • Bristol City Council
  • Carlisle County Council
  • Cherwell District Council
  • Cheshire East Council
  • Christchurch and East Dorset District Council
  • Craven District Council
  • Darlington Borough Council
  • Doncaster Council
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • East Cambridgeshire District Council
  • Harrogate Borough Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Newark & Sherwood District Council
  • North East Derbyshire District Council
  • North West Leicestershire District Council
  • Norwich City Council
  • Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
  • Richmondshire District Council
  • St Albans City & District Council
  • Sefton Council
  • Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council
  • South Lakeland District Council
  • South Somerset District Council
  • Stockton on Tees Borough Council
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Test Valley Borough Council
  • Thurrock Council
  • Tower Hamlets Council
  • Trafford Council
  • Waverley Borough Council

Please contact the National Practitioner Support Service if you require any additional, advice, support or guidance in relation to participating in a peer review or applying for the 10 local challenges.