Deep Diving into engagement and accreditation
Wednesday 13th of May 2020
Our consultancy manager, Gillian Mclaren looks at all the good practice she's found from working with our accredited clients over the last few weeks.
I love the term ‘deep diving’, it always reminds me of looking into something with new eyes, from a different perspective, and what I find or see or hear might be different from someone else. This is how I see my role as a Tpas assessor for the Tpas Landlord Accreditation process.
Being nosey, I make a very good assessor because I like to know what is going on underneath all of those rocks (policies and strategies) and what could change based on ‘key views’ to make things much more effective and efficient (e.g. better equipment, new ways of doing things, etc.)
Since the Social Housing Green Paper, a spotlight has been shone on engagement, engagement activities, accountability, listening to and acting upon tenants’ voices.
North Star Housing Group’s Community Investment Manager, Peter Locke said in a recent blog
“How do we really know we are listening to and hearing the voices of tenants? To truly provide assurance, it is essential that our work is externally validated’ so having the experts at Tpas take a deep dive into our engagement activities has [provided us with insight in how we can continue to improve- a large part of the process is the recommendations based on evidence this has given the organisation the impetus and mandate to investigate and implement new methods of engagement”.
Time and time again I hear from organisations who are going through or have attained the Tpas Landlord Accreditation, that the value this brings to the organisation and its tenants and residents ensures that engagement is one of the core activities that underpins the work of the organisation.
Since January 2020, four very different organisations have been through and attained the Tpas accreditation, which is excellent!
They all demonstrate areas of good practice in different ways but all share the common goal of delivering excellent engagement in their organisations, here are a few snippets:
Blackpool Coastal Housing
There is a deeply embedded culture within Blackpool Coastal Housing, an important and contributing factor to their excellent engagement work. Staff are empowered and have a ‘can do’ attitude, understanding the real importance of having trusting relationships with both partner organisations and tenants, furthermore, the acknowledgement and support for community-led solutions are a vital part of building local confidence and wider engagement opportunities.
North Star Housing Group
North Star Housing Group is committed to investing in communities and over the past 3 years, the group has invested in community projects to help people with education, employment and training, digital initiatives and volunteer driver schemes. Notably, these investments have seen the creating of two community hubs, which provide inclusive and safe spaces for the community and have become catalysts for central community meeting places.
Luton Borough Council have an embedded culture of listening and acting upon tenants’ views and concerns - their commitment to this sees a measured approach in developing engagement methods that matter to local people and ultimately bring about real change to service delivery and improvement.
Greatwell Homes have a fantastic approach to ensuring that interested volunteers are captured through the Customer Engagement referral system - a system that is embedded and used organisation-wide across the organisation and ensures that no opportunities are missed to increasing the voices of customers
Of course, we are biased about how great accreditation is but have a read of our Landlord Accreditation Snapshots in our Knowledge Hub and discover how Accreditation has made a difference to these organisations. Better yet, if you are thinking about Accreditation, talk to other organisations who have achieved it, they are the best advocates and are more than happy to share their experience.
Fancy us taking a ‘deep dive’ into your engagement activities; to provide you with insight in how you can continue to improve and to provide assurance to your tenants, staff and board?
Let us know and lets chat!
Read the new Tpas Engagement Standards
Luton Borough Council [coming soon]