The Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code has some best practice expectations, one of which is that landlords should act within the Professional Standards for engaging with complaints as set by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The standards as are based on seven characteristics:
The table below outlines how we meet the expectations of the Professional Standards in our complaint handling, and, where relevant, our wider approach as an organisation.
Have a clear understanding of your values and acts in accordance with them – do the right thing, for the right reasons, based on the best evidence and without partiality.
- All staff at Red Kite live by our values of Respect, Partnership and Pride and this underpins all the work that we do.
- All our staff gain familiarity of our values as part of their induction to the organisation.
- Our policy is built on the principle of taking a consistent and fair approach to feedback management. Our approach is:
- Be fair
- Put it right
- Learn from our tenants.
- All our staff are expected to act in line with our values and our behaviour charter.
- Staff receive training in unconscious bias.
Acts transparently and fairly; builds good relationships; and works collaboratively with partners, customers and communities to achieve better outcomes.
- We are open and honest in our approach.
- We are clear with our tenants on our feedback approach and how we handle complaints. Our complaint handling includes ensuring we are clear on how we have investigated a complaint and how we have arrived at our findings. We aim to speak to our tenants about the outcome of our investigation so that they have the opportunity to ask us any questions.
- When handling complaints, as outlined in our policy we take a constructive approach that applies consistent principles to all complaints, whilst ensuring each complaint is considered on the facts of the individual case. Treating each case justly and without favour or discrimination.
- If a complaint relates to the service or actions of one of our contractors, we will share details of the complaint with them to support our investigation and for the purpose of seeking a resolution.
- We use the opportunity with all complaints to identify learning which we can take forward to provide improved services for our tenants, as well as actively seeking feedback on how we handle complaints to identify where we can improve what we do.
- Our teams also complete inclusivity training, which includes unconscious bias.
Acts fairly and makes choices and decisions by applying principles and values consistently. Challenges unethical practice in a fair and considered way.
- All our staff are expected to act in line with our values and our behaviour charter, and are further supported by our Empowerment and Escalation Policy which makes it clear that we will strive to make the best decisions we can. When we make decisions one of the first questions, we ask is whether it is in line with our 'Why' (to realise the potential in our communities), and our values.
- At Red Kite we all adopt a #OneTeam approach which means that when we identify service failure and learning from complaints, we can work with colleagues to rectify the matter and seek solutions.
Have relevant and up-to-date practical and specialist knowledge as required, understands the bigger picture and has a passion for continuous learning.
- All our staff are trained on our Feedback Policy which is supported with training videos within our learning platform.
- All our stem leads and Heads of Service also undertake additional training offered by the Housing Ombudsman Service on Dispute Resolution.
- As part of our commitment to learning, all our staff discuss their learning and opportunities to 'grow' during one-to-ones. In addition, all our staff have identified 'role essential' training that they complete.
- Staff also receive additional training and refresher training as necessary.
- We know it's important that our staff all have the information they need to support complaint investigations as well as when delivering all of our services. Our teams have access to a knowledge base called 'KnowledgeSphere' where they can access information on all our policies and procedures.
Equipped with the relevant skills to deliver effective services.
- When recruiting staff, we ensure staff have the required skills, knowledge and expertise by carrying out a selection process. Where candidates are lacking in an area, we may still recruit but put in place training or a development plan.
- For existing staff we use the one-to-one process for managers to discuss any areas of concern or training and development needs in relation to their ability to deliver an effective service.
- Where new requirements are introduced that need new skills, the subject matter expert will work with the GROW team to develop and deliver learning and development to the appropriate staff.
Acts as an ambassador for the wider housing sector and profession.
- This is reflective of our approach as an organisation.
- We contribute to government consultations, as well as those from national housing bodies.
- We cooperate with the Regulator and Ombudsman, doing our utmost to exemplify a professional and caring Housing Association.
- We are a member of PlaceShapers, a national network of place-based housing organisations.
- We have extensive connections in our community, and we lead by example to show what a Housing Association can do to help communities thrive.
- We participate in sector-wide campaigns on behalf of our tenants and the wider sector.
- We attend sector conferences and speak at national events on important issues.
Demonstrate leadership, be forward thinking and create opportunities. Find solutions to improve outcomes and demonstrate their ability to adapt to the latest ideas, situations, and change.
- We created a new type of housing provider – Twenty11.
- Twenty11 is a new and different type of housing organisation, specifically set up to respond to modern day challenges and the desire to provide tenants with more than just a home.