HouseMark’s Senior Consultant, Adam Knight-Markiegi, works very closely with organisations hoping to achieve HouseMark ASB Accreditation, measured against the Respect standards.
Following the recent article with Magenta Living’s Richard O’Neil on Quality ASB Case Management, Adam offers his thoughts here:
“We’re always pleased to accredit organisations like Magenta Living for the hard work they put into ASB each and every day. The HouseMark ASB accreditation shows your customers that you’re serious about ASB, it offers an independent view of your service and rewards your success.”
As Richard said, the accreditation process starts with a self-assessment, plus supporting evidence, which our assessors review and then challenge during on-site reality checks. Alongside the lead assessor we also use trained tenant assessors, who talk directly to your tenants. All this evidence is then compared to the accreditation standards, modelled on Respect, and recommendations added to help you continuously improve.
From submitting your self-assessment to passing the accreditation can take as little as two months. If you pass the accreditation, the award lasts for three years. You receive a plaque to display in your offices and can proudly boast of the success online and in the media.
When you’re working hard to resolve ASB cases, it can be difficult to judge your success. Satisfaction surveys and feedback from resident representatives help, but gaining the accreditation offers independent recognition that your work is at a good level. It commends your ASB service publicly to tenants, partner agencies and the wider community. The accreditation shows you take ASB seriously and work hard to minimise unwanted behaviour. It should help boost satisfaction levels too.
HouseMark’s independence makes a big difference. We don’t have vested interests in your organisation, so can objectively look across it, from frontline staff to board level. It’s great to see that Magenta Living used the self-assessment to point out areas to improve.
Our second pair of eyes go one step further and critically challenge you in all aspects of ASB, from day-to-day management to strategic input, and accessibility to value for money in procuring ASB services. As well as rigorously judging your performance against each of the 44 individual standards, we also provide detailed recommendations to help you reach the standard or to aim higher. For us, the accreditation is part of your continuous improvement.
Although we’d love each organisation to pass every single standard, we realise this is rarely the case. So you can gain the accreditation without passing every single area, which is a relief when looking at the self-assessment. Organisations often do worst on performance management systems, profiling of victims and perpetrators compared to all your tenants, and on value for money of ASB services.
We also see examples where organisations are doing things particularly well. As well as recommendations to improve, we happily list and publicise good practice where we find it. For example, we liked that Magenta Living developed a free downloadable mobile phone app for reporting ASB. Elsewhere, we’ve commended One Vision’s use of yellow card warnings, an easily understood football analogy. And various accredited organisations, including Stockport Homes, publicise actions taken against perpetrators in high profile cases.
Well done to Magenta Living and all the other organisations that have passed the HouseMark ASB accreditation scheme. It shows your customers you deal with ASB seriously, it offers you a second pair of eyes and it rightly rewards all your hard work.”
Adam’s Top 3 Accreditation tips:
- Accreditation is part of continuous improvement. Like Magenta Living did, use the self-assessment exercise, on-site reality checks and our recommendations to help make your ASB service as good as it can be. Your customers will applaud you for this.
- Provide evidence like Goldilocks: “not too much and not too little, but just enough”. It must be recent and relevant. And, like Richard stated, clearly signpost evidence in your self-assessment. Hyperlinks are a great way to link the evidence to the standard.
- Speak to us if you have any questions. Our assessors would prefer to talk and agree a way forward than reject your evidence.
If you would like more information on this subject we ran a webinar on Tuesday 10th March 2015. Richard and Adam talked about the accreditation process in more detail and answered questions on this subject. To download your copy please click on the following link: