04 Jul 2023

Taking the executive route to chartered membership

I have worked within the housing sector for just over two decades, having started out my working life as probation service officer – the role that led me to housing.

I truly value working within a sector that balances profit and purpose. I feel fortunate to have been able to learn from some amazing mentors over the years and to have been given opportunities to progress. The support I have received that has enabled me to continuously learn, build my knowledge, confidence and skills.

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), has been a big part of this journey. With my membership, I’ve become part of an incredible network of peers and have continuously been able to invest in my own and my team’s development. In the early days the support from the regional CIH was amazing and moving into the present day, just in the last 18 months I have attended 14 CIH-led training courses.

In July 2022, I met with Gavin Smart, Chief Executive of CIH, and members of his team to seek advice, guidance and support on next steps with regard to professionalisation of my teams and it was at this point I decided to take the executive route. It was essential for me to lead by example!

I set to work on developing a 30-minute presentation to support my case to my peers and the panel to clearly demonstrate why I should have the distinction of being a chartered member. I found this experience truly cathartic. Thinking back over the last 20 years, what has changed, how I have changed, how the sector has evolved… it made me truly appreciate the CIH professional standards, code of conduct and ethics which have been a constant.

I genuinely recommend the executive route to others in a similar position. I am strong believer in reflective practice, and this gave me such a wonderful opportunity to do just that. I also made new connections with the panel members, one who has since agreed to mentor me, and it was just such a privilege to hear one of my peers present her case and share in her journey through the executive route too – another wonderful connection made.

Achieving CIH chartered membership is a really significant and important milestone in my professional development. I am committed to continuing on with my professional development, currently seeking a non-executive director position; I want to do more, share more and effect more meaningful change through this route.

I have also expressed an interest in joining the CIH professional standards committee. I want to use my experience and insight to add value and help to drive the standards forward as we try to encourage more housing organisations to use them as a tool to up skill their workforce and improve customer service.

This was a fantastic process which I would highly recommend to others, feel free to reach out if you want to chat it through with me, I would love to share.

Written by Julia Prichard

Julia Prichard is a chartered member at the Chartered Institute of Housing.

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Chartered membership CIHCM

Chartered membership is the hallmark of your success in housing, it's a demonstration of your housing expertise, your commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards. It shows the recognition that you are a competent and committed housing professional.

Stand out from the crowd, enhance your status with colleagues and employers by showing that you are a trusted housing professional.

Find your path to chartered membership

Several undergraduate and postgraduate courses, both full and part-time are recognised by CIH as meeting the requirements for chartered membership. Universities from around the country offer these courses.

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Executive route

This path is aimed at housing practitioners operating at director or senior management level. It requires applicants to demonstrate and present a case on how their professional experience and practice shows that they meet the requirements of chartered membership.

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