Callum Chomczuk: CIH Scotland roadshows highlight appetite for more support for housing professionalism

Callum Chomczuk: CIH Scotland roadshows highlight appetite for more support for housing professionalism

Callum Chomczuk

In this new blog, CIH Scotland’s national director Callum Chomczuk reflects on the feedback from a recent series of roadshows on the next steps for professionalism in the housing sector in Scotland.

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to join one of our Housing Professionalism Roadshows that we held across May and June in Stirling, Selkirk and Glasgow. We had a little over 60 attendees across these sessions, and coupled with the 40-plus people in attendance at the professionalism session at the Housing Festival in March, I am delighted that we have had such strong engagement with housing practitioners about the next steps for professionalism in Scotland.

I thought it would be useful for you to get a sense of the feedback that we have heard from across these events:

There is appetite for some sort of response in Scotland to what is happening in England in relation to qualifications for senior housing managers. While there is not majority support for a qualification requirement in Scotland, as will be the case in England, there is the appetite for something to help drive professionalism and improve standards. There is a sense that CIH needs to show leadership in the first instance. There is a recognition that the whole sector, landlords, practitioners and even the Government have a role to play, but practitioners want CIH to take the lead.

There was a great deal of support for CIH making continuous professional development (CPD) a mandatory condition of membership and building its CPD around the CIH Professional Standards. It was noted that CIH was an outlier amongst other professional bodies in that it did not require CPD from its members. Many felt this could be complemented by the Scottish Government also mandating a narrower CPD requirement but for the sake of pragmatism, CIH should lead in the first instance with a requirement for all of its members.

There is a recognition that introducing CPD requirements for CIH members may be the first step, but not necessarily the only step, and that over time, we need to be open about what else we can do to help drive and improve housing professionalism.

We need to use the discussions around professionalism to talk about careers in the housing sector. A focus on professionalism cannot come at the expenses of narrowing paths into the sector so we need to make sure we do both, as well as utilising housing professionals to talk with schools and at events promoting housing as a career of choice.

Overall, the roadshows show the demand that there is from the wider housing sector for professionalism to be more visible and for CIH to take a leading role. In response, CIH Scotland will continue to make the case for all landlords to sign up to our Housing Professionalism Commitment and we look forward to launching our report on housing management careers next month. We think both can and should play a role.

However, we also recognise the demand from members for both CIH and the Scottish Government to take more meaningful steps to support professionalism in the sector. We will continue to make the case to Government about what they can do to support housing as a career of choice but equally, CIH will reflect on the feedback from our members and set out if and how we can meet your ambition for mandatory CPD for all members. We will continue to keep you updated on this work in the coming months.

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