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

HR Masterclass

Training programme details


In challenging times, organisations need their HR departments to lead and drive achievement of outstanding results through people, effectively influencing the rest of the business to get on board.

This programme will give participants the insight, tools and confidence to deliver against these expectations. It will draw together senior HR practitioners within the sector who want to take their skills and tools for strategic HR practice to the highest level, and build outstanding HR teams. The programme will enable participants to identify the major business challenges on the horizon and ensure that the HR strategy and function is fully geared to supporting the business to meet those challenges through its people.


  • To consider practical approaches to improving talent management, leadership and employee engagement within the context of social housing at a time of public spending cuts.
  • To examine HR approaches and interventions that really work in responding to the business challenges facing the sector and join them all up.
  • To give participants tools and techniques to assess the needs of the business in these areas and get senior and middle manager buy in.
  • To explore ways of making the HR function more customer focused, thereby enhancing the credibility and influence of the HR function internally.
  • To identify appropriate measures of success of HR interventions to win sustained investment.
  • To share insights with peers who have achieved impressive results.
  • To network and build new mutually beneficial relationships with senior HR professionals in the sector facing similar challenges.

Benefits of attending:

  • The programme will be facilitated by a highly successful and influential HR Director from within the sector who is well known for demystifying strategic HR.
  • You will network with and learn from your sector peers in a challenging and empowering environment.
  • The focus will be highly practical, giving you the understanding and techniques to make real and lasting change in your organisation straight away.


Who should attend

The programme will be delivered over 2 days starting at 9.45 and finishing at 5.00 pm.

The programme will be highly participative involving structured discussion and debate, practice with techniques and tools that you will then be able to use in your organisation, case studies and other practical groupwork activities.

Anybody with strategic responsibility for HR at a senior level within the housing sector, including Directors and Heads of HR/Corporate Services, high-flying HR managers and senior HR business partners.

The Trainer

Helen Giles, MBE, Chartered FCIPD

Helen is HR Director of Broadway Homelessness & Support and Managing Director of the Real People HR consultancy. She has worked in the social housing sector for 24 years. Helen and her team have won many awards for HR strategy and practice, including Inside Housing's Housing Heroes HR Team of the Year Award 2009. Helen is a former Personnel Today HR Director of the Year and last year was listed in Personnel Today's Top 10 HR Power Players and HR Magazine's Top 25 Most Influential. She has been awarded the MBE for services to homelessness people. Helen is an experienced trainer in leadership, management and HR. She is renowned for her straight talking and her common sense approach to HR.


Day 1 - Building A Strategic HR Function

16 April 2012

This day will focus on where your HR function stands now against where you want it to be in terms of strategic effectiveness and organisational influence and contribution. It will set the framework for integrating the improved practice techniques against specific HR topic areas that will be learned on subsequent days.

Topics include:

  • Business challenges facing the social housing sector and the key challenges posed to HR practitioners
  • Organisational blocks to better people management performance
  • Key characteristics of HR teams that make a difference
  • Recruiting and building a great HR team
  • Improving internal business, consultancy and influencing skills
  • Tools and approaches to developing and implementing effective HR strategies
  • Using metrics to demonstrate return on investment
  • Day 2 - Focus on Talent Management, Leadership, Culture and Engagement

26 April 2012

This day will start by exploring different approaches to talent management and what will work best within the context of your organisation. How do you find the right people with the right attributes from the outside world and ensure that you always have an internal pool of rising stars? We then go on to look at what drives employee engagement, the role of leadership and organisational culture in this, and how to drive engaging leadership within our organisations.

Topics include:

  • Designing and running assessment centres to recruit for engageability
  • Mapping career development paths and growing your own talent
  • Understanding the culture of organisation and what drives change from existing to desired state
  • Identifying the essential ingredients for high employee engagement and a strong employer brand
  • What makes for engaging leadership and how do you nurture it in your organisation?
  • Practical tips for improving staff perceptions of leadership.


CIH has developed a membership package specifically designed to support HR professionals who work in housing. As part of registering for this CIH Masterclass we will automatically check your eligibility to take up this FREE offer and send you information on how to apply. 450 other HR professionals from the housing sector are already benefiting from this offer and have found it an invaluable resource. Make sure you benefit by registering to attend.

Dates & Locations


Day 1 - 16th April 2012

Day 2 - 26th April 2012


The cost is £495 + VAT


This course will certainly enable me to deliver a high level of return on investment. An excellent opportunity to focus on the key issues for the HR professional"

Abigail Reilly, Group Head of HR, Green Square Group.

"A fantastic opportunity to network on the practical application of strategic business solutions with other senior HR people. Helen’s positive, proactive style makes this programme a refreshing change from the norm".

Sharon Smith, HR Director, Two Saints Ltd

"Helen is a lively, relevant and inspirational leader who delivers real results. To learn first hand her tricks of the trade has been invaluable to me".

Julie Breed, Head of HR, Greenfields Community Housing.

"Helen is a lively, relevant and inspirational leader who delivers real results. To learn first hand her tricks of the trade has been invaluable to me".

Julie Breed, Head of HR, Greenfields Community Housing.

"Brilliant... This was a super programme. Lots of first rate and relevant presentation of materials, case studies, group activities and delivered by a master practitioner. Great set of tools and techniques which can be used immediately – very practical."

Jim Reavey, Head of People Development, First Wessex HA

"Helen is an inspirational HR practitioner who gets right to the hear of real issues"

Krista Whelan, Organisational Development Business Partner, Trident HA

"Excellent refresher and thought provoker for senior HR practioners"

Tracy Inniss, HR Manager, Hexagon HA

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