Dripping Tap

Run a Handyperson Service

If you look in a dictionary, a handyperson is “a person skilled at a wide range of odd-jobs, typically around the home.”

But there is another breed of handyperson. Those commissioned by the public sector aren’t just about delivering “odd-jobs”. They are a “Handyperson Service”. They still turn up in a van and do jobs around the home, but they do much more besides.

Handyperson Services have been around in one guise or another for a long time, funded as a public service for more than 25 years. Each service is individually commissioned and developed to meet local needs, but they all have 3 things in common:


This guide is aimed at operational managers of Handyperson Services in England. It provides a range of practical information and resources to help you manage an efficient and effective service.

As with all our guides, if you have any suggestions on how we could improve or expand the content for the benefit of others across the country then please get in touch.

  • Job descriptions
  • Risk assessments
  • Finance and charging fees
  • Fitting minor adaptations / trusted assessor
  • Home safety checks
  • Service Standards

Job Descriptions

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Risk Assessments

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Finance and Charging Fees

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Fitting Minor Adaptations

Minor Adaptations Without Delay was developed by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists as a practical guide is for housing associations involved in fitting ‘minor adaptations’ for tenants, such as stair rails.

Part 1 gives examples of good practice, identifies characteristics of best practice and sets out to dispel some of the myths that result in failure to meet the needs of older and disabled people. It includes a number of case studies involving Home Improvement Agencies and Handyperson services.

Part 2 gives technical specifications, which will be of use to handypersons and anyone else looking to fit or assess for a wide range of minor adaptations.

The guide was originally published in 2006 and includes technical specifications that handypersons will find helpful:

Part 1: A practical guide for housing associations (opens a new window)

Part 2: Technical specifications (opens a new window)

Home Safety Checks

New content coming soon

Service Standards

Handyperson services arguably operate in a more commercial market than traditional HIA services, and other players such as commercial building contractors offer similar services at commercial rates.

From the commissioner’s point of view, less expensive operators (commercial operators who charge a commercial rate, therefore, require little or no subsidy) might seem an attractive option.

However, they are unlikely to provide a holistic service or link up well with other services and agencies. Most public sector commissioners would also need robust assurances that private sector handyperson services were affordable to people on low incomes, accessible to those in the greatest need and that the providers were trustworthy and reliable.


HIAs have an advantage over some other potential providers of services because they are already familiar with the rigours of quality assessment as part of service reviews, including the HIA Quality Mark.

The various components of these existing quality assurance schemes provide a framework for setting standards and ensuring the quality of services in future. This section picks out some of these elements.