CIH Professional Standards Virtual Roundtable

Thursday 11th of February 2021

On Monday 8th February Tpas partnered with CiH, the Chartered Institute of Housing, to host a roundtable with 17 tenants from a range of housing providers across England, on a new set of professional standards for all staff that work in social housing.

Tpas chief executive, Jenny Osbourne shares her feedback on the session

CiH have been developing these new standards and wanted to hear the views of tenants on what they are proposing. The session sought to explore what’s good, what’s missing and what will make a real difference to the service that tenants receive?

The session was hosted by Debbie Larner, CiH’s head of knowledge and products, who is leading the project. Debbie talked through the new framework and how it ties in with the achievement of creating a sector of professionals, as outlined as a requirement in the social housing white paper.

The framework will centre on seven professional characteristics all underpinned by behaviours. These characteristics are:


Debbie then opened up the debate for general discussion and some key questions such as;

  • What do you think of our vision for the profession and for housing professionals? Is this what you would expect?
  • Are the values and behaviours in the standards the ones you would expect from the housing staff you come across?
  • Is anything missing?
  • How might you use the professional standards to hold your landlord to account?
  • Do the standards reflect the intention in the Charter for social housing residents – respect, accountability, trust etc .

It was a really lively and wide ranging debate that followed but overwhelmingly everyone agreed that these standards were needed, they were the right ones and that they should help to drive better services for tenants.

The point was also made that these should be a useful framework for involved tenants’ as well when undertaking work and projects with the landlord.

Communicating these standards to tenants so they are aware of them was a real concern though and ideas were suggested to Debbie for the CiH to think about.

A key part of the session was talking about how the standards will be appraised and monitored. Debbie talked about the platform that CiH will build where staff will build up a portfolio of evidence and undertake self-assessments before having a professional interview with a sector panel. This would then generate a “digital badge” to show the standards had been achieved and it would also be part of ongoing professional development.

The debate also discussed stigma and how these professional standards can play a part in challenging that. The recent See the Person report, “It’s not Okay” produced with CiH, highlighted just how much housing organisations and staff contribute to the stigma that many tenants experience through the language and behaviour they use.

The new professional standards will be launching soon so keep an eye out on the CIH website for more information.

Useful Information

Quote from tenant attendee;  “I' was very pleased to read the standards – think it’s great and why not thought of before!  It helps everyone, staff and tenants as they will also have the expectation to have those standards.”