17 Feb 2022

The importance of professional standards in social housing

It won't come as a surprise to hear a regulator talking up the value of standards. And while SHR has no direct regulatory role with the staff of landlords, we do place great value in the professionalism of the people working in social housing. So, we see professional standards in social housing as a good thing. 

The best landlords are led by effective boards and committees supported by professional staff. We've seen this critical relationship work well in many landlords, but we've also seen the consequences for a landlord when it doesn't work well.

An essential role for landlords' boards and committees is to support their staff to deliver professional services and develop professionally. Boards and committees should encourage, support and recognise the value of maintaining professionalism in their team. It is also essential that landlords, as employers, discharge the duty of care effectively they owe to all of their employees. In turn, board and committee members must be able to rely on those professional staff to give them the information, advice and support they need to lead their organisation and make the best decisions for their tenants and local communities. 

That's the backdrop for the CIH's new professional standards framework. This framework sets out professional standards on the knowledge, skills, and behaviour that should underpin housing professionals' work every day. The standard ds can be a vehicle to sustain or improve professional practice in social housing, which can help improve the outcomes for tenants and other service users. 

The professional standards also offer a framework to help boards and committees to understand how they can support their staff and what they can expect of their team. And board and committees can use the framework to enhance the assurance they get that their staff are working in the best way to deliver excellent services for their tenants.

Written by Michael Cameron

Michael is the chief executive of the Scottish Housing Regulator.