We offer training in a wide range of subjects; from Asset Management to Extra Care Housing. You can choose to join one of our many “open to all” training courses, or ask us to design an in-house training course or programme specifically for your organisation.

Our “open to all” courses are run in a workshop format, and we limit the number of delegates to ensure that each of our small groups get the best learning experience. All our trainers are skilled facilitators who have all held senior positions in housing. They understand the environment in which you work and the kinds of challenges you face.

All of our courses can also be run as in-house training, or we can provide bespoke training and development programmes to suit your individual needs – send us an email or give us a call to discuss your requirements.

Outlines of some of our recent seminars are available below:

The Future of Older People's Housing

“Older People’s Housing is changing”. We have heard that for many years, but the rate of change now seems greater than ever. Longer term demographic and social trends are interacting with rapid policy shifts in housing, care and support – and in a very difficult financial and economic context. Consequently, providers and commissioners face major challenges in keeping current services and buildings sustainable, as well as in planning for the future. Sheltered housing –for example‐ faces challenges from the increasing aspirations of older people; changing tenure patterns (more and more older owner occupiers); from policy shifts and financial pressures, notably around support funding and Housing Benefit; and from the ‘personalisation’ agenda. Many of these challenges also apply in newer models of housing such as extra care.

The overall aims of this course are:

  • to analyse the main issues facing Older People’s housing of various kinds
  • to offer those working in the sector ( whether as providers or commissioners‐ and whether as operational managers or in a more strategic role) an opportunity to learn, reflect, and plan for the future.
  • To provide an overview of a wide range of topics ‐ but to help participants to take away those issues and themes that are relevant for them and their organisations, by learning both from the course content and each other’s experience

Please send me details of the next course

Using Resident Led Scrutiny to improve repairs and maintenance

Repairs and Maintenance are one of the main concerns for most residents. This is an area that is ripe for scrutiny. Our experienced resident led scrutiny facilitator will outline some of the successes and pitfalls of the different groups and different approaches to resident led scrutiny that she has been supporting. Residents own experiences and preferences and tips for success will be available.

Course content/outline

  • What is resident led scrutiny and what impact can it have?
  • How can it be applied to repairs and maintenance - good practice examples
  • How well do your current arrangements work? (all course participants will be asked to provide a brief over view of their current approach to scrutiny)
  • Establishing a scrutiny process (terms of reference, code of conduct, annual health check) - a comparison of good practice; what works and doesn’t work so well
  • Carrying out tenant scrutiny reviews - good practice examples and success stories
  • Applying the results
  • Clearly demonstrating the benefits of resident led scrutiny
  • Developing a new culture in your organisation to support effective scrutiny - moving away from the adversarial to a positive working partnership

Please send me details of the next course

Component Accounting for Asset Managers

Asset Managers are not used to getting so much attention from their finance colleagues! But the new rules on component accounting suddenly give common cause between your accountants and your property teams. In this one day event we look at what Component Accounting is all about. We start with the background to the Statement of Recommended Practice (the SORP) and go onto look at various approaches to depreciating assets. Most housing providers are actively working on implementing component accounting this year; our course will help your thinking process and help you get ready for the changes ahead.

Course content/outline

  • Capital and Revenue – why it matters
  • Depreciation Theories
  • Life Cycle Costing
  • The SORP requirements
  • Strategies for initial assumptions
  • Tracking components in the future

Please send me details of the next course

Getting the Most from your Stock Condition Survey

The cost of keeping social housing in good condition can be quite staggering, because buildings are not cheap. A good stock condition system will help you plan how to get the best value from the homes your residents live in, and let you work out how much you can afford to improve standards. Housing landlords need to spend so much on their properties that the financial projections from the stock condition survey are usually a vital component in your long term business plans. The future viability of your organisation often rests on what the survey tells you. Yet for many of us, the stock condition survey process itself still holds some mysteries. Surveys are the best way of forecasting planned maintenance spend, but there are other types of maintenance expenditure they can’t really tell you about. Every survey relies on important assumptions, but are these assumptions really understood, particularly outside the asset management team.

In this training course we will look at what a stock condition survey provides. We will look at sampling methods, and the pros and cons of cloning and extrapolation. We’ll consider how surveys are procured managed and organised, as well as looking at the effects of assumptions made on component costs, life expectancies and other matters usually built in to surveys. The course will also consider how you can protect your investment in a survey through active data management long after the surveyors have finished. Many surveys are used to provide financial forecasts, and we will also look at how to produce predictions, starting with a stock condition survey and considering the other costs associated with asset management.

Course content/outline

  • Context: why have a stock condition survey?
  • Specifying what you want from a survey
  • Choosing a sample, and how to make whole stock projections
  • Component pricing within a stock survey
  • Projecting costs of future maintenance
  • Data management and using the results

Please send me details of the next course

Policy Writing

This practical workshop will allow delegates the chance to explore:-

  • Policies, procedures and strategies; when and where are these appropriate?
  • Writing a good policy- what you need to know (and what you don’t need!)
  • How to avoid reinventing the wheel
  • The practicalities of policy writing - where to start
  • What every good policy needs to include - key sections
  • Getting your policy adopted- involvement and consultation

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed for those housing practitioners or tenants who are new to policy writing, or who wish to improve their policy writing skills. The workshop is designed to give delegates the practical skills they need to write a range of policies. Delegates are welcome to bring a particular policy to work on. During the workshop our consultant will be available to offer personal guidance and tips.

Please send me details of the next course