You’ve got the certificate but what does it actually mean to be a housing professional? With the sector’s reputation at rock bottom, there is a collective responsibility to up our game – from the frontline to the board room.

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    Grenfell and media exposés of poor behaviour by housing staff have put us in the spotlight. How do we get back on track?  The public and the government are demanding that we stand up and take personal responsibility for services. What will you do?

    This session is here to help us understand the responsibilities that come with being a housing professional and how we can help to recover the reputation of housing.

    You will hear direct from Clive Betts, the Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, who says:

    This must change. Providers need to up their game, treat tenants with dignity and respect, and put tenants at the centre of how they deliver housing services…”

    A big part of the answer is that we need to become more professional.

    Whatever external or impersonal forces might be contributing to the very poor treatment some tenants have to endure, ultimate responsibility must lie first with the individuals concerned and then with senior management. We therefore strongly welcome the Government’s review of qualifications and professional training. Ensuring those working in the sector are properly qualified will be critical, as the most important step in improving service standards must be preventing the wrong people from entering the profession in the first place.” DLUHC Select Committee Report on Social Housing Regulation

    But what does it mean to be professional? It’s so much more than a certificate.

    This event will:

    • Explore the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours needed in the workforce, and how to build organisational cultures that value these
    • Provide delegates with an opportunity to reflect on their own professionalism and the professionalism of their organisation
    • Provide an opportunity to learn from speakers and fellow delegates in interactive sessions.

    By attending this event, delegates will be able to get ahead of the forthcoming government policy on professionalism. Crucially, delegates will be in a position to take responsibility for raising the bar of how residents are treated without waiting for government policy.

    Delegates will go away with: 

    • Understanding about what professionalism means for the housing sector
    • Understanding why it is important the sector gets this right
    • The latest updates from the DLUHC Professionalisation Review
    • An understanding of the relationship between professionalism and stigmatisation of social housing tenants
    • Good practice examples from organisations who highly value professionalism
    • Actions to implement in their own organisations and professional practice.

    Essential for:

    • Everyone working in housing:
    • Individuals wanting to be their best
    • Senior leaders responsible for creating a culture where professionalism can thrive
    • Business transformation teams
    • Leadership and Organisational Development teams
    • HR teams.


    • Clive Betts MP – will set out the key points of the damning evidence heard by the DLUHC Select Committee and what he wants you to do about it
    • Nicola Horsfield, Implementation Director of the Social Housing Quality Programme at DLUHC, explains what the government expects of us and provides some insights into the sector-wide professionalism review
    • Debbie Larner, former Head of Practice at the CIH, and HQN associate Emma Lindley cover the progress of professionalisation so far and what comes next
    • Jane Pightling from Liv West and Vicky Beckwith from Abri give us the perspective from experienced practitioners committed to improving services
    • Alistair McIntosh who set up and runs the Housing Quality Network. We are all about what it says on the tin – improving housing services. Alistair will cover:
      • The key characteristics of being a proper professional in housing,
      • The obstacles that get in the way of excellence, and
      • Strategies for overcoming these barriers.

    Alistair is also working on piloting inspection of housing management and will bring this perspective to the session.

    By the end of the event you will be clear on what it means to be professional and how to get your organisation into the right shape.

  • Our speakers

    Clive Betts, Select Committee Chair

    Nicola Horsfield, Social Housing Quality Programme Implementation Director, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

    Debbie Larner, HQN Associate and Lead for Asset Management Network

    Debbie is the lead associate for HQN’s Health and Safety and Asset Management networks. She has been working in social housing for over 30 years – most of which was spent at CIH as Head of Practice. Debbie has led the sector’s work on professional standards and has also been focusing on building/fire safety since the Grenfell Tower disaster. She was a key member of the Industry Steering Group focusing on the role and the competency of the Building Safety Manager. For HQN, Debbie has been focusing on building safety and disrepair as part of her lead associate role – hosting workshops on a range of topical issues, including health and safety compliance.

    Emma Lindley, Associate, HQN

    Emma is a lead associate for HQN’s Strategic Network and has been an HQN Associate since 2013 . She regularly write briefings for HQN and has produced a toolkit on allocations and lettings. Emma has nine years’ experience working of in housing associations and a local authority in the East Midlands. She has worked in a variety of roles including managing a PRS portfolio, providing housing options advice, tenancy management and most recently strategic housing with responsibility for the homelessness service, affordable housing delivery and private sector renewal strategy.

    Jane Pightling Leadership Development Manager, Live West

    Jane is responsible for Leadership Development at LiveWest. Relatively new to the housing sector she has over 25 years’ experience in health and social care working on the frontline and in a variety of leadership and management posts before moving to the NHS Leadership Academy. She is an Executive Coach and experienced Organisational Development consultant. She gained her MA in social work from Sheffield University in 1993 and MSc in Leadership in 2011. But qualifications are just not enough. Jane is passionate about values and ethics and creating the practices and culture organisations need to promote and sustain professional practice.

    Vicky Beckwith, Director of HR & OD, Abri

    Alistair McIntosh, Chief Executive, HQN

    Alistair McIntosh is one of the social housing sector’s most respected and best known personalities.

    As founder and Chief Executive of HQN, he is regarded as one of the foremost advisers on governance and regulation, specialising in VfM and stress testing. His hands-on approach sees Alistair leading on all HQN’s in-depth assessment mock exercises and support work, designing and running the popular Iron Grip sessions and chairing/speaking at conferences and events.

    Career highlights include setting up and running the National Federation of ALMOs, leading the popular consultation on the regulatory standards for housing, and developing an approach to VfM that won praise from the housing minister.

    A regular contributor to the housing press, Alistair’s columns are known for their humorous, pointed and painfully accurate assessment of the state of social housing.



  • Price and booking


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    * Please note that all prices are subject to standard VAT. Byte Size members do not qualify for member discounts. Please call 01904 557150 for more information.

    Ticket Type Price Spaces
    Members of any HQN network - 1 delegate £175.00
    Members of any HQN network - 2 delegates £150.00
    Members of any HQN network - 3+ delegates £125.00
    Non-members - 1 delegate £200.00
    Non-members - 2 delegates £175.00
    Non-members - 3+ delegates £150.00

    By continuing with this booking you are agreeing to our booking terms and conditions

  • Cancellations and substitutions

    If you are unable to attend an event or public training course, please let us know in writing (email is fine) at least 48 hours before. Please email [email protected]

    Otherwise, a cancellation fee of £60 plus VAT will be chargeable.

    If you are using a package place to attend and do not inform us within the agreed time frame, then a place will be taken to cover your non-attendance.

    Cancellations must be made in writing, and will be acknowledged by HQN Limited.

Dates and prices

13 September 2022
10:30am - 3:00pm
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