Trusted Assessment

Organisations across the Golden Key partnership have been working together to develop a shared assessment process for clients within the homelessness prevention pathways*.

At the start of the Golden Key programme, many clients were reporting that in order to access support they were having to go through details of their past and current difficulties – their story – every time they changed or moved between services.  Early on in the programme, the Independent Futures (IF) (Golden Key’s advisory group made up of people with lived experience of complex needs) identified this as an issue and began developing the idea of “telling your story once”.

The Trusted Assessment model has grown out of this idea, and has brought together housing providers from across the city to find a new solution. People with lived experience, staff and clients have all fed into the design of the assessment model. This has resulted in the co-production of a set of Aims and Principles which guide the approach, as well as a shared Trusted Assessment form.

*Homelessness prevention pathways are groups of housing providers working together in partnership to provide services for clients with different levels of need. The idea is that clients are able to seamlessly progress through their pathway – from one provider to another - with support levels being adjusted to reflect their changing needs.


Through the implementation of the Trusted Assessment, our ambition is that in future:

  • Clients will not be asked the same questions multiple times as they move through services
  • Clients will need to answer fewer questions, especially around historic information
  • Clients will be asked questions at an appropriate time, in a sensitive and psychologically informed manner.

A co-productive development process

The Trusted Assessment Aims and Principles, as well as the associated form, have been developed with the involvement of a wide range of people, including organisations across Golden Key, commissioners, housing providers, clients, staff and people with lived experience.

The following diagram illustrates the stages of the development process:

Trusted Assessment process

Trusted Assessment process

Trusted Assessment process


The Trusted Assessment is currently being implemented and it is a positive development for clients and organisations alike. Independent Futures say:

“We feel that there will be less need for clients to be repeatedly open about trauma. By recording clients’ experiences in the Trusted Assessment, later questions can be specifically about housing needs. This also lessens the amount of trauma that is needlessly offloaded onto key workers, leading to a more positive environment for clients and staff alike.

The Trusted Assessment will mean that staff know what has been said in the past; if key workers have this information in advance then clients will feel listened to and understood.

The Trusted Assessment system will provide appropriate information about individuals to the housing pathways. By listening to and documenting people’s experiences, providers will place clients in suitable accommodation.”

Wider implications

Whilst the Trusted Assessment model is currently focussed on the housing pathways, it is Golden Key’s intention to share learning gained through the development process with other sectors, so that assessment processes can be improved for clients accessing a variety of services.