Housing qualifications do provide the skills and attitude employers are looking for
Rebecca Mollart, training and academic consultant, has helped dozens of students gain CIH qualifications. In her guest blog, Rebecca tells us why housing qualifications are worth investing in.
As a tutor on several CIH qualifications, I regularly witness first-hand how these programmes help to develop a wide range of skills directly transferable to the workplace. Through their study and assignment programmes, my learners, in addition to developing their understanding of the wider environment where they work, also develop skills such as critical evaluation, reflection and problem-solving.
Having completed their nationally-recognised qualification I would expect my learners to have more confidence; better judgement; be able to constructively criticise; think more creatively round a problem; identify good practice; produce better reports; be better able to evaluate performance; develop or review policies/practices; be better able to benchmark; know where to look for information; contribute more constructively in in meetings; listen to and weigh up different arguments; better present themselves verbally and in writing and be better able to manage and cope with change. So you can see there are lots of valuable skills to help your workforce.
Employers in today’s housing sector increasingly emphasise the right skills and attitude rather than qualifications in the recruitment process. I would challenge these employers however to try to define such skills and attitude; I expect they might well come up with a list of skills not dissimilar to the ones I have mentioned above. Employers can reasonably assume that an individual holding a national recognised housing qualification such as a CIH qualification, has not only achieved a certain level of understanding of housing and the wider context (beyond just their own organisation) but has also developed a wide range of useful skills that will enhance their contribution to their team and their organisation.
This is not of course to suggest that short one or two day training courses do not develop an individual’s skills and knowledge. They do of course but they are different. They serve a different purpose and are not (and should not be seen as) interchangeable with longer qualifications. Short training courses are usually very specifically focused concentrating on one particular topic and/or developing or improving one particular skill. Short training courses offer a deeper and more detailed understanding of a particular topic but inevitably they do not provide the breadth of understanding or the range of skills a longer qualification offers. With this in mind, housing qualifications can be very cost effective and provide great value for money in today’s economic climate.
It is unfortunate that, usually driven by the need to reduce costs, employers tend to choose between short courses and longer qualifications for developing their staff. Both have their place and complement each other. They serve different purposes and achieve different things and, like any other training or staff development, choices should made on the basis of outcomes required. Before I started teaching and assessing for CIH housing qualifications I didn't fully appreciate how these programmes do help to develop precisely the skills and attitude employers say they are looking for. I too assumed that longer qualifications focused more on knowledge and less on skills development. Now, every time I mark assignments, I continue to be impressed by the range of skills I see my learners develop and improve; skills which will make them a valuable asset for any employer.
Connect with Rebecca on Twitter
Check out our blended learning offer for an alternative way to study.