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

Going back into education


Going back into education, especially when there has been a long break, can be scary. Having taught alongside my own studies, I have seen students come in from many different backgrounds with each having their own worries and fears about what the courses hold for them.

To these students I have always said the same thing: Starting a course is daunting, but there will come a moment during the course when it falls into place and there is no better feeling than that. You just have to give it a chance.

Housing education is no different. In many cases people undertaking education in housing come from practice. It takes a lot of courage to immerse yourself in education again but investing in housing education throughout your career is important.

In pharmacy, pharmacists have to undergo an annual renewal and revalidation to keep their registered status and legally be allowed to practice. This is because the world of pharmacy changes so quickly and pharmacists need to keep up to date so they can better serve the public.

As with pharmacy, the world of housing also changes quickly. In the last 20 years we have had devolution, a myriad of changes to private and social renting legislation, homelessness legislation and homeownership.

Increasingly more powers are devolved, or reserved powers are impacting the housing sector, and with these changes it is becoming increasingly confusing and difficult to keep up with new developments. The landscape of the housing sector is constantly shifting, and we need to equip our housing professionals with the tools to manage these shifts and deliver the best services they possibly can.

However, working in housing is about so much more than knowing the legislation and policy. Housing professionals work with clients and other professionals from a variety of backgrounds, and so it is important to learn how to manage these relationships as well as being able to rattle off legislation and policy.

Subsequently, housing education is not just about technical knowledge. Training in interpersonal skills is equally important.

In housing you have the ability to change people’s lives with the knowledge you have. The advice and support that you give is integral to people’s outcomes and has impacts far beyond their physical shelter. Therefore, investing in yourself and your education is important. You just have to give it a chance.

Jenny Galbraith, former policy and practice officer

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