A campaign to change-up the national conversation around social housing safety and compliance with landlords, residents, government and suppliers, is calling for safety pledges ahead of the first annual National Social Housing Safety and Compliance Week.
Running 21st – 25th June, the inaugural awareness week is spearheaded by the Association of Safety and Compliance Professionals (ASCP), in association with CORGI, to raise standards in safety, compliance, learning, competence and collaboration for a safer future for social housing.
Ahead of Safety and Compliance Week, ASCP is calling for pledges for change, which can now be made on www.safetyandcomplianceweek.co.uk
Individuals and organisations can create and share their own safety and compliance promises, or draw inspiration from pre-designed pledges, which fall into key themes such as listening and communication, bravery in speaking out, and commitment to change. Those who have pledged will be reminded of their pledges, to help keep the commitments front of mind and help us measure our success.
It’s clear that the will and vision for change does exist, as evidenced by the level of fire safety work committed to in the sector, together with The Ministry of Housing, Community and Local Government’s White Paper: “The Charter for Social Housing Residents’’. However, transformational change is needed to make this vision a reality.
There is no denying the challenges and task ahead are vast and compete with many priorities, but with a shared vision, drive and collective wisdom, together the sector can accelerate the pace of change.
To support people in committing to their pledges, the ASCP is conducting a short survey to better understand barriers to change. Are limited resources, competence, training and systems the main hurdles? Are Access issues key? Are compliance managers being asked to take on too many areas? Or is the procurement of safety services, advice and products the main challenge? The two-minute survey can be taken here. Individuals also have the opportunity to win a prize for their organisation of three places on the Level 2 Award in Asset and Building Compliance Awareness qualification, worth over £1,500.
Claire Heyes, CEO of ASCP, commented: ‘’We know we cannot wait for the government to tell us what to do or to legislate us to where we need to be. National Social Housing Safety and Compliance Week is about working together and harnessing our collective strengths. Together we can have a huge impact and make homes safer than ever before. We must foster a healthy level of unease about the task in front of us and we must start by telling the truth about what’s not working now.
‘’We know emotions are powerful drivers of behaviour. It’s no coincidence that the first National Social Housing Safety and Compliance Week falls just after the fourth anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy. The sector is rightly emotive about what has passed before us and we must harness that unanimity to drive transformational change.
‘’What will you pledge to do? Whether it’s something you can promise personally or commit to as an organisation, holding ourselves accountable by making a public statement of intent is extremely powerful. Let’s look back each year on what we have achieved or examine what prevented us from meeting our commitments. Together we will learn so much.
‘’By gathering information about the hurdles in the way of making change, ASCP’s first pledge will be the publication of a manifesto, outlining our intention to support change by bringing together the people who can make it happen.’’
ASCP will be calling on the support of high-profile agents of change including trade bodies, social landlords and government ministers such as The Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick; as well as influencers such as DameJudith Hackitt,the Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
Education and knowledge sharing will be central to Social Housing Safety and Compliance Week with a calendar of educational and visionary online sessions. Free resources supporting the communication of safety are also available.
With the successful campaigns to its name including bringing into force Regulation 36a which innovated the Landlord Gas Safety Records, saving £millions, ASCP has carved a reputation for bringing together influential stakeholders to effect change.