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Bespoke qualification professionalises housing experience

Date: 17 October 2018

Sovereign is using £100k raised from the Apprenticeship Levy to fund a new bespoke qualification in housing, helping experienced professionals back up their on-the-ground experience with a nationally recognised certificate.

The first cohort will see a lettings officer, housing officer, ASB officer, and a support worker among others line up as the first participants keen to achieve the level III Chartered Institute of Housing/Sovereign Housing Qualification.  

Matt Hensby, Head of Tenancy Management, said: “At a time when our teams are faced by increasingly complex scenarios, including ASB, safeguarding vulnerable people, or resolving customer complaints, it’s ever more important to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to understand each situation that they come across.

“That’s why we’re so excited to provide this CIH course, which will help our people to understand the context in which they are working. Having an overview of the political, historical and financial decisions that govern housing associations and seeing how that connects to their own role, will enable them to make informed decisions and deliver the services that our customers need, now and in the future.” 

Steph Akerman, Learning and Development Consultant for Sovereign, said: “Changes to the way that apprenticeship funding is granted offered us this great opportunity to really make a difference for our employees. New and existing staff across the organisation can take this opportunity to have their hard work and dedication in supporting residents recognised through this qualification.”

Sam Hebbs, an Independent Living Officer for Sovereign, said: “Like many people, I fell into housing by chance. I moved to a new area, saw a temp post, went for it. But what I found after only a short time, was that I loved working in housing. The days fly by, and it’s rewarding because you’re helping people. 

“The reason I’m doing this course, though, is because I believe that knowledge is power: I can do even better in assisting residents if I have a good understanding of what other departments do. This qualification will also help me feel confident that I have the skills to move onto different roles within the housing profession.”

Jill Cheshire, CIH Apprenticeship Manager, said: “The Apprenticeship Levy has enabled organisations to invest in their employees in the long term. They can now provide an avenue to increase their knowledge, skills and behaviours using a structured programme of learning and practice application though an Apprenticeship. 

“We are very excited to be working with and supporting Sovereign right from the beginning, to create a bespoke programme that underpins their values and ways of working. As housing professionals we all want to be able to serve our communities and residents as best we can.”

Sovereign has also used the levy to support employees to gain several construction-based qualifications and will soon take the opportunity to fund courses in STEM subjects, support supply chain partners with apprenticeships, and enter into partnerships with schools and other key organisations.

Press and PR contacts

If you have a media enquiry, please contact our press office on 01635 572222 (available 24/7) or drop us an email press.office@sovereign.org.uk and one of the team will be pleased to help you.

Main contacts:

Debbie Down
External Affairs Lead 

Jane Carmichael

PR Specialist

Additional contact:

Tim Abbott
Head of External Affairs