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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Life is one long learning experience


Today the anticipation and wait is over for thousands of young people who will collect their GCSE results. Head of education, Roger Keller, talks about learning as an ongoing challenge for everyone and the different routes you can take.

Each year, at around this time, there are thousands of people finding out if they have passed their examinations. The media hype focuses on how many passed and whether the standard of the examination is going up or down. This approach does not suit everyone and perhaps we should be thinking more about continuous learning and recognition of this learning through qualifications which build over time rather than depend on three hours in a hot, sticky room in June.

A key feature of housing qualifications is that they credit achievement incrementally and in a way which varies according to how the learner learns best and how this fits with the day job.  

We have over 2,500 learners each year take on our qualifications, many of whom have not been in a classroom for many years and some remembering school with trepidation. After initial success on a single assignment and achievement of a single unit of a qualification, the housing worker is hooked and quickly realises that they can achieve the same qualifications as the ‘brainy’ kids at school.  

CIH sees many examples of housing workers lacking confidence in their own abilities to complete a qualification, only to taste success and become addicted to learning. With qualifications offered at a range of levels housing employees can start at different access points according to their prior qualifications and experience, exit at different points and progress to higher education and chartered membership of CIH.

Working in housing is an education in its own right

Accessing flexible and practical qualifications can not only help the individual develop their potential but directly contribute to the quality of the service provided to the customer. Pushing everyone through the sausage machine of secondary education examinations creates enormous waste and disillusionment. Linking employment with learning opportunities designed to fit with the individual’s lifestyle, their commitments and their preferences can incubate and grow talent and confidence, which leads to excellence in service delivery. Surely we can create an education system to nurture this approach - not for a few years in our teens but for life.

Find out more about CIH qualifications and routes to learning.

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