Following last month’s article on quality anti-social behaviour (ASB) case management and the mid-case review, Magenta Living highlight how their successful HouseMark accreditation identified where improvements were required but ultimately rewarded the great service they offer.
Developed in partnership with Resolve ASB, HouseMark’s ASB accreditation service enables landlords to demonstrate to their tenants, partners and the regulator how they are responding to anti-social behaviour – one of tenants’ key concerns.
Magenta Tenancy Enforcement Officer, Richard O’Neil, explains the process below:
“For five years following stock transfer from Wirral Borough Council, Magenta Living had a Service Level Agreement with the council’s ASB service. In September 2010, however, these services were brought in-house and a new Tenancy Enforcement Team was established. The Neighbourhood Management Team still deals with day to day ASB housing management issues but where this becomes a concern, or where a tenant reports ASB directly, this is dealt with by the Tenancy Enforcement Team.
From its formation, we wanted to work towards accreditation as a goal. In the early years, however, our main priority was having the team established, embedding our policies and procedures, implementing ReACT, and building the skills of the team members.
Working through the accreditation process was really useful, starting by completing a self-assessment in which you look at yourselves in line with the different commitments and building blocks required to meet the standard. It was very helpful to be able to take the time to look at the service, its place within the company and the work that we had done. Not only that, but we were also able to immediately identify areas in which we might need to improve.
One of the most challenging aspects of the process was being able to evidence how we met the certain commitments. We knew that we did what it was asking but sometimes it was hard to find the piece of work prove it. We had to spend time finding the evidence in a particular board report or policy but we got there in the end and the outcome was certainly worth it.
After the self-assessment was submitted we had an onsite assessment. This consisted of our assessor, David, spending 4 days at Magenta speaking with different members of staff to make sure that we do what we said we do in our submissions! David spoke with members of staff from across the company, reviewed cases and the actions that had been taken and spoke with people who had used our services.
We officially received our accreditation in April 2014 and we were very proud. The work doesn’t stop there though. There were a number of recommendations identified through the process which formed our action plan, some have already been implemented and others have been added to our long term service improvement plan.
The team has worked extremely hard and developed massively over the years. ASB can sometimes be a thankless task and is certainly a difficult and emotive field in which to work. Our accreditation recognises the efforts made and underpins the hard work that the team has done over the years and continues to do.”
Richard’s Top 3 Accreditation Tips:
- Visit another organisation which has been through the process.
- Don’t worry too much if there are areas where you think you fall short. It’s not just about saying what you do but is also about identifying areas for improvement.
- Use hyperlinks – we presented all of our evidence electronically using hyperlinks from the self-assessment to the evidence supporting the commitments”.
HouseMark’s Senior Consultant, Adam Knight-Markiegi, works very closely with organisations hoping to achieve HouseMark ASB Accreditation, measured against the RESPECT standards. He offers his thoughts here:
If you would like more information on this subject we will be running a webinar on Tuesday 10th March 2015. Richard and Adam will be talking about the accreditation process in more detail and will be available to answer any questions that you may have regarding this subject. To register please click on the following link:
We will also be holding an open morning in Swindon (exact location to be confirmed) WC 23rd March 2015 9.30am – 11.00am where we will be covering ASB quality management and HouseMark’s ASB accreditation scheme in more detail. Invites will be sent out once the exact date and location are confirmed.