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February 5, 2013 / Housing e-Academy

Should boards recruit from outside the housing profession?

A blog post out today by Group Company Secretary and Executive Director at Bromford Group, Philippa Jones, suggests that to be a board member of a housing association, you do not have to have a housing background. The article addresses the fact that housing associations are no longer little voluntary organisations; they are social businesses operating in a risky world and governance has to catch up.

So, where does the argument for the addition of non-housing professionals to housing boards come from? Philippa states that Bromford’s board has a number of objectives: to uphold their principles and approve their strategy; to ensure their leadership team is working effectively and has access to the resources it needs; to ensure that risks to the business are identified and controlled; to monitor their delivery, performance and financial viability; and, to be accountable to residents and the community.

Bromford want a breadth of wisdom, expertise and experience on their board and they don’t expect this to come just from the housing sector. Philippa states that ‘[Bromford] already have a leadership team so we want to complement rather than mirror their skills’.

And they certainly practice what they preach. Oke Eleazu is director of customer service strategy at Sainsbury’s and joined Bromford as a non-executive director in order to give some of his experience back to an organisation such as Bromford. Philippa states that ‘professionals like Eleazu bring real value in the wealth of knowledge and new experiences that we may not have within our business’.

With this shift in direction, it is hardly surprising that the level of interest in e-learning courses such as ‘An Introduction to Governance for Social Housing Providers’ is at an all time high. Courses such as this allow individuals who are not from a housing background to gain the basic level of knowledge and confidence required to effectively sit on a housing board. An Introduction to Governance for Social Housing Providers goes into detail about what the Social Housing Regulator expects from boards, what a board member should expect from a good governance structure, how boards can achieve greatness, public duties and more. Find out more here.

But what do you think? Do you think all board members should have a housing background or is variety the way forward? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

January 28, 2013 / Housing e-Academy

Have your say on 2013 housing issues

Are you prepared for the numerous changes and challenges facing the housing sector in 2013?

We are carrying out research to establish what is causing the sector most concern and how housing providers intend to deal with the issues they face in 2013.

If initial research is to be believed, funding and income could well be top of the agenda. Our customers tell us they are worried about the impact on their income when Universal Credit is introduced. In addition, the affordable rent programme comes to an end in 2015 and the uncertainty around the future of funding for social housing is also proving to be a concern.

On top of this, according to a Crisis report, the rise in statutory homelessness has disproportionately affected families with children and changes and cuts to benefits could mean increased traffic to housing associations who are already struggling to cope. We want to know what housing demand is like and how long waiting lists are across the country. Are housing providers themselves worried about this issue or is increased homelessness simply a newspaper headline?

Let us know your thoughts by completing our short survey. All entries will automatically be entered into a free prize draw for the chance to win an iPod Nano! Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us with our research.

 

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Best wishes from all at the Housing e-Academy.

December 18, 2012 / Housing e-Academy

Housing e-Academy e-learning event

Due to the success of our previous events, we will be holding one final e-learning event in the 2012/13 financial year…and this time, we are travelling to Daventry!

Join us on 30th January 2013 between 10am and 3pm for the opportunity to share best practice and find out about the latest e-learning developments within the social housing sector. In addition, we will be welcoming Susan Emerton, Training Officer at Chartered Institute of Housing to talk about CIH membership and the blended learning delivery of qualifications.

The event is open to both Housing e-Academy members and non-members and, better still, they are free to attend! Refreshments and lunch will be provided. But hurry, places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Find out more and reserve your place here!

November 29, 2012 / Housing e-Academy

Press release: Act quickly to save money on 2013 e-learning!

Press release December 2012

If you are thinking about your 2013 training and learning needs then you can save money if you act quickly.

Housing e-Academy, a division of Virtual College, one of the country’s leading training providers, has introduced a Christmas voucher book which is offering a range of savings on its most popular courses – but you must purchase between 3 – 14 December 2012 to take advantage of these great deals.

Chloe Weatherhead, Head of Housing e-Academy explains: “We want to encourage new and existing customers to save money on their learning next year. The social housing sector continues to operate under tight fiscal controls but thanks to these Christmas gifts from Housing e-Academy, your organisation will not have to compromise on staff training.

“When deciding on which Christmas gifts to select, we have included specialist courses as well as general ones so that every housing association should find something they like. We have also thought about ‘gifts’ for contractors and there is a special offer for our colleagues in Scotland.”

The Christmas gift vouchers include offers such as 50% off, buy one get one free and even a free course!

“Selecting which courses to add to our Christmas gift list was similar to choosing presents for members of the family,” said Chloe. “Hopefully, our housing family will appreciate the selection and there should be something for everyone in the voucher book.”

If you want to take advantage of these very special Christmas offers go to
www.housingea.co.uk/our_christmas_gift_to_you. The first offer expires on 3rd December and so you need to move fast.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Housing e-Academy team on 01943 885085 or email info@housingea.co.uk.

October 16, 2012 / Housing e-Academy

Do you struggle to collect your CPD points? Help is at hand in the form of e-learning!

It is easy to feel under pressure at work…in-tray bursting at the seams, deadlines looming, sales targets to meet. Oh, and dare I mention that CPD accredited training course you have been booked on to?!

CPD accredited training for individuals

We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of Continuing Professional Development, but sometimes it is easy to forget about it alongside our everyday working lives.

Last year, the Housing e-Academy joined forces with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) to offer a ‘Professional Individual Membership’ (PIM) package, giving you an alternative way to gain your CPD points…through online training or e-learning.

E-learning enables you to learn at a time, place and pace that suits you, meaning it has never been easier to collect your CPD points and learn more about developments within the housing sector!

The PIM is changing….

Housing e-Academy and CIH have recently reviewed the selection of courses included in our PIM package. Individuals may now select three courses from the following list:

  • An Introduction to Governance for Social Housing Providers
  • An Introduction to Social Housing
  • An Introduction to Social Media for Business
  • Conflict Resolution in the Workplace
  • Dealing with Anti Social Behaviour
  • Equality & Diversity in the Workplace
  • Health & Safety in the Workplace
  • Managing Stress & Pressure
  • Personal Safety for Lone Workers
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults (POVA)
  • Understanding Gypsy and Irish Traveller Identity in Society

The following courses are currently in development and will be included in the PIM package once released:

  • The Basics of Tenancy Management
  • Personalising and Assessing Care and Support Plans
  • Principles of Effective Income Management

Each course takes approximately 2 hours to complete which counts towards your CPD points.

So, what do you think of the new selection of courses included in our PIM? Leave us a comment below to let us know!

September 5, 2012 / Housing e-Academy

Win an iPod Shuffle!

As you may (or may not) be aware, every quarter the Housing e-Academy publishes its very own magazine, Houzine, aimed at social housing providers and their tenants. Throughout 2012, the magazine has seen incremental changes to the look and feel, as well as the editorial.

 
     


You can view the most recent issue of Houzine here.

For your chance to win an iPod Shuffle, please tell us what you think of our new look Houzine by answering a short questionnaire by Thursday 11th October. Your feedback will be used to guide future decisions about the design and editorial in the magazine. Thank you!

July 16, 2012 / Housing e-Academy

Virtual College launches ‘Reduce the Risk’ app

Did you know…

  • A woman is assaulted at least 35 times before she reports an assault to the police.
  • On average, survivors of domestic violence contact 11 agencies before obtaining the help they need.
  • Domestic violence is equally prevalent among all income groups and among people from all ethnic groups.
  • Women who have experienced domestic violence are 15 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 9 times more likely to abuse drugs, 3 times more likely to be diagnosed as depressed or psychotic and 5 times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • For every three victims of domestic abuse, two will be female and one will be male.
  • Every 3 days a woman will be killed by her partner and every 17 days a man will be killed by his.

I’m sure you will agree that these facts are shocking.

That’s why our parent company, Virtual College, has worked with Lincoln Integrated Domestic Abuse Services (LIDAS) to develop a free app aimed at providing useful information for victims of Domestic Abuse.

The ‘Reduce the Risk’ app contains information and advice for both adult and female victims in an easy to understand and accessible format.

The app also shows how to spot the signs of abuse, either in your own relationship or in someone’s close to you.

For further information about this app, and to download it for free, please click here.