Why is this important?

Every day, housing professionals create opportunities for people to find a home from which they can build the rest of their lives. The work we do is so important, which is why we want you to have the ability to demonstrate your professionalism and dedication to the sector using professional standards.

Professionalism is also embedded throughout the Social Housing White Paper in England. Your commitment to this will soon become the expected norm and something residents will anticipate. It also underpins the spirit of the housing regulation regimes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In the Social Housing White Paper in England, Government makes specific reference to the behaviours and attitudes of people who work in our sector:
  • “We have heard positive experiences of landlord staff who treated residents with care and respect. But we also heard that this is not always the case, and there were incidences where people felt talked down to or ignored by staff and contractors. We want all landlord staff to act professionally, listen to their residents and, at all times, treat them with courtesy and respect.”
  • “When residents interact with landlords, they should expect and receive a professional service from competent and empathetic staff.”
  • “We want all landlord staff to act professionally, listen to their residents and, at all times, treat them with courtesy and respect.”
  • “The idea that social tenants are less worthy of respect or can be ignored when their views are inconvenient – remains all too prevalent today.”
In addition
  • The majority of complaints received by the Housing Ombudsman relate to behaviours and attitudes of staff 
  • The cause of most systemic service failures is due to lack of knowledge and inability to challenge poor decisions  
  • The Westminster/UK government acknowledged in its green paper of 2018 that stereotypes shaped by the negative language used by politicians and the media can be reinforced by the way social housing is managed and run
  • Conversations with tenants following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 emphasised the sense of ‘institutional indifference’ they can experience from staff working in housing organisations
  • The Grenfell Tower Inquiry contains numerous references to tenants being treated disrespectfully, not being listened to, and is subject to negative and false assumptions – both before and after the fire 
  • Our research with See the Person (cited in the Social Housing White Paper) found that negative assumptions made about tenants are reflected in and shape the way that tenants are treated and spoken to; at worst, that conveys contempt, an ‘us and them’ attitude, with tenants being seen as second class, both by staff at all levels and contractors. Negative treatment also reflects a failure to understand and appreciate diversity amongst tenants and respect for different cultural expectations. 

The purpose of the standards

To be the change, we want to see, we must have a common purpose that celebrates our collective identity as a housing profession: an understanding of what’s important, what we stand for and what we’re trying to achieve.

By applying recognised and valued characteristics and standards into your daily roles, the whole profession gains trust and credibility. With this at the forefront, CIH professional standards have been designed and developed to:

  • Reflect the attitudes and behaviours that our residents and customers expect and deserve
  • Focus on behaviours and characteristics that define us as a profession
  • Be tailored and relevant specifically for people who work in housing across all tenures
  • Apply to everyone across the profession – whatever your role, position or specialism
  • Reflect the breadth and diversity of the people who work in the housing sector
  • Focus on outcomes rather than activities
  • Be simple but clear – avoiding jargon and speaking to your everyday experiences
  • Be relevant for the environment we live and work in now and in the future
  • Be adaptable to enable them to evolve and reflect a fast-changing sector
  • Inspire people to join and celebrate the value of our profession
  • Be adaptable to work alongside existing organisational competencies and values
  • Complement our existing qualifications, training and apprenticeship offer
  • Reflect the direction of travel and clear expectations in the Social Housing White Paper.
Take the self-assessment
Take some time to reflect honestly on your professional journey and think about your development needs by completing the professional standards self-assessment tool.
Case studies
See why and how different organisations like yours have embedded our professional standards in their organisational values, objectives, competency frameworks and development routes.
eLearning modules
Our short eLearning modules are here to support you in addressing gaps in your development, with an exclusive module for each of the standards and an additional introductory module on professionalism.

Share your experience of the professional standards with us