Government announces mandatory qualifications for social housing managers

Published: March 23rd, 2023

7 min read

Amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill will require relevant managers to have specific qualifications and expertise, following calls from those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire for a precise requirement.

The amendment clarifies as to what is meant by 'relevant managers' as either senior housing executives or senior housing managers.

Senior housing executives

A senior housing executive is described as someone who is part of the registered provider's senior management and who has responsibility (solely or jointly) for the day-to-day management of the provision of services in connection with the management of social housing.

If an employee meets this description for a senior housing executive, under the new requirements they will need to have either a foundation degree from the CIH or a Level 5 qualification regulated by Ofqual.

Senior housing managers

A senior housing manager, for the purposes of the Bill, is a senior housing and property manager by reference to the description of the occupation published by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education under section ZA10(5) of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009. This includes but is not limited to neighbourhood housing managers, voids managers and asset managers.

Under the amendments, they will need a Level 4 qualification regulated by Ofqual.

How and when will this affect housing associations?

It is understood that around 25,000 managers will be required to obtain new professional qualifications and housing associations will be expected to fund the training themselves, with sixteen study centres across the UK currently accredited to offer the qualification.

At present there is no timescale for when the requirements are to be brought in, and it is understood that the government will consult with the housing sector regarding the transition period that will be required. However, once the requirements are in force, there will be specified time limits for enrolment and completion of qualifications, with unlimited fines for those landlords who do not comply.

The new measures follow the introduction of Awaab's Law, which will force social landlords to remedy damp and mould within specific time limits. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, provided the following comment on the changes: "We know that many social housing residents are not receiving the service or respect they deserve. The changes we are delivering … will make sure social housing managers across the country have the right skills and experience to deliver an excellent service and drive-up standards across the board."

A link to the amendments can be found here with the specific details regarding the new requirements set out at pages 16 and 17.

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