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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

What is Frontline Futures 2?


We caught up with Melys Phinnemore, Development and OD Partner to find out more about Frontline Futures 2.

Frontline Futures 2 is a radical change development programme which aims to support people to develop the skills, experience and resilience they need now and in the future. It’s recognised that the day job for housing professionals is changing all the time and we continually need to find new and better ways to engage with service users. Our workshop at Scotland’s Housing Festival will provide a preview of the programme including an interactive exercise and opportunity for discussion on the challenges frontline staff face and how best to approach these.

Tell us about how change is a current challenge affecting us all?

The mantra of ‘we need to do more for less’ echoes throughout public and private sectors. Survival in a world of globalisation, rapidly changing technology and ever shrinking public resources, is all about being able to swiftly respond and adapt to change.

How does this impact on the future of housing services?

Frontline Futures research, (CIH in 2014), evidenced a sector realisation that equality is not about treating everyone the same. That a ‘one size fits all’ model is just not financially sustainable or what our customers want or need.

The conundrum is how to maximise and target finite resources, whilst still delivering on corporate and social responsibilities. The big question appears to be ‘How do we recognise and respond to those with the greatest need’?

What does all this mean in reality?

Promoting independence not dependence is essential to achieving viable solutions. Creative and effective partnership with tenants and communities means doing things ‘with’ rather than ‘for’ people.

Frontline workers and managers must be prepared to think ‘outside of the box’. Confidently advocating practical solutions or strategies, which neither set dangerous precedents nor pose unsustainable business risks. No longer can we stick religiously to the rules or procedures, but instead we need workers who can read the signs, intervene proactively and take calculated risks.

Making the change?

Unfortunately, change is not rational or logical. The art of realising change is to understand why people might struggle or resist and then to have an extensive toolkit to help support them on their transition or change journey.

Where to next?

Future proofing the sector is about developing and cultivating workers who are capable of driving and delivering personal and organisational change.

Meaningful development takes time and investment. It is not a ‘one off’ activity but a continuous and progressive process. Real situations need to be considered from all angles and different skills repeatedly practiced to consolidate any learning. Relevant, well-structured and supportive development programmes play an essential role in helping organisations to meet this difficult change challenge.

Find out more from Melys and Dorothy Bulmer, Development and OD Consultant at Scotland’s Housing Festival on 12th- 13th March.

Further information on Frontline Futures 2 is also available from Laura Fordyce, Engagement Manager, CIH Scotland, 0131 221 7751,

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