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Competency Framework for the Housing Sector

The framework is the work of a group of people who gave their time to research existing frameworks and to establish the current needs of their own and of other organisations. The framework has a holistic approach and therefore there are many competencies – eg Equality and Diversity – where the theme will run throughout all other competency areas. 2 . language and needs of particular organisations.and other . It is therefore a composite of experiences and input from Housing . It allows for use by all levels of staff in a wide variety of roles across the sector. The approach taken has been to identify 8 key competency areas and develop a framework building up to 4 levels of competence for each area. The framework is not intended to be prescriptive.Introduction This competency framework has been developed for use by all organisations in the Housing Sector. It is intended as a start point and can – indeed should . The group members and the reference sources are acknowledged at Appendix 1 and 2 respectively. the National Housing Federation or from the Housing Organisations who contributed to the Framework. This support could come from Asset Skills. It can be used: • • • to aid recruitment of the right staff. to assist in performance management and to use in employee development adapted to fit the style. The Framework is available via Asset Skills with the offer of further support and assistance available for those organisations who would welcome it. To avoid duplication the issues have not been made explicit in all competencies but have been centred in the named competency area.organisations across England and Wales.

This will also assist managers in 1 to 1s. The competencies have been designed so that they reflect the different levels that employees would be expected to work at. Positive and negative indicators of behaviour are used within the framework. for example. to articulate where behaviour can be improved. eg. they should also demonstrate those competencies set out in levels 1 and 2. or a role that is very technical or specialist. Each competency may mean something slightly different for each specific role.Competency Framework for the Housing Sector There is a set of 8 behavioural competencies which are described in further detail in this document. The competencies are listed in alphabetical order in and displayed across the page in following format: Title Definition to give more information about what the competency is about Why the competency is important Competency levels – showing greater depth or levels of complexity Positive indicators and warning signs: examples of positive and negative behaviours. These are intended as practical guidance to make it easier for individuals to understand where they fit in the framework. so the use of practical examples of behaviour will help make it clearer. This could mean a senior person within the organisation. it is important that they can be turned into reality for employees in terms of the job they do. If an employee is expected to work. Indicators – showing examples of specific behaviours at each level 3 . Each has 4 levels of competence. at level 3 in a specific competence. All employees should be working at a minimum of level one across the framework. level 4 will generally reflect those working at a very strategic level in the organisation. when used in conjunction with specific examples. When using this framework to develop competencies as a performance management tool.

5. Communicating and Influencing Customer focus Embracing Change Equalities and Diversity Leadership Team Working Working Efficiently and Effectively 4 . 7.The Competencies Commitment to the Organisation 1. 4. 2. 6. 3.

abuses the work life balance schemes Shows little knowledge of the organisation and the business • 5 . • • • • • • • • Warning Signs: Focuses on own needs and benefits Does not accept responsibility for own actions Criticises company and colleagues openly to outside agencies and customers Fails to maintain confidentiality and is careless with information Is secretive and evasive Is inconsistent. and ethical way and delivers excellent services to customers. regulatory requirements and best practice Reviews visions and values of Organisation to ensure continued relevance into the future • • • • • • • Positive Indicators: • • • • • • Accepts responsibility for mistakes and learns from them Is trusted by colleagues and managers Challenges unethical or dishonest behaviours and attitudes Ensures others receive credit for what they achieve Is sought out by others for advice and guidance Goes the extra mile .Commitment to the Organisation Definition Why it is important? The ability to demonstrate understanding of and commitment to the Company loyalty and integrity are important in ensuring that employees can organisation and its vision and values. It is about working with consistency. Level 1 • • • • • • • Demonstrates the organisation’s values in being open and honest with customers and others Maintains confidentiality in line with organisational policy Is committed to the organisation’s standards Understands the business of the organisation including its vision and values Is punctual and reliable Acts professionally at all times Understands how own actions impact on the organisation Takes ownership for delivery of their own work • • • Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) Can explain why they perform their duties and how this meets the needs of the organisation Analyses own performance and offers ideas and gives feedback Is flexible to meet the needs of customers and the organisation • • Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) Takes ownership for delivering corporate strategy Understands and actively promotes the organisation’s standards and ethics to colleagues and others outside the organisation Consistently demonstrates an understanding of commercial issues and risk management Instils and embeds Company loyalty and commitment in their teams • Level 4 (+ Levels 1. ‘does not walk the talk’ Takes credit for success without acknowledging others Is often late and is unreliable. 2 & 3) Upholds at all times the fundamental values of good corporate governance. be confident that the organisation in which they work is operating in a positive integrity and accountability. Stands up publicly for organisational values and challenges appropriately Provides strategic direction for the organisation to improve performance Ensures organisational compliance with legislation.

including hostile audiences Translates strategy into effective operational messages.Communicating and Influencing Definition The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with a diverse range of people and take account of their views.g. explain benefits and give background information. This will lead to a high quality and accessible service. unclear or jargonised way Is negative. concise and well thought through case using facts and figures Demonstrates the organisations communication standards • • • • Considers in advance the differing needs of others and adapts style accordingly Actively initiates communication with others regularly Communicates clearly and influences well under pressure Summarises information to check understanding Uses a range of methods to influence others. to enable them to communicate effectively • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Uses communication and influencing skills to progress complex situations and achieve significant impact Able to effectively present to & facilitate large influential groups. Explains and justifies point of view and objectively discusses options Why it is important? Effective communication and influencing skills are the key to creating and maintaining sustainable relationships at all levels. Uses well reasoned arguments to convince and persuade where necessary to achieve a win-win solution. Level 3 + (Levels 1 & 2) Level 4 + (Levels 1. 2 & 3) • Communicates complex information to others effectively Is a clear and persuasive communicator Presents succinct. Level 1 Level 2 + (Level 1) • • • • Is polite and approachable Listens effectively Asks the appropriate questions to clarify understanding Presents and passes on information promptly Presents a clear. • • • • • • • • Warning Signs: Does not listen to others views Gives information either inaccurately and/or at the wrong time Presents information in a muddled. well balanced information orally and in writing. both internally and externally. easily understood at all levels Demonstrates an in-depth understanding of organisational politics and uses this effectively Creates and implements appropriate communication strategies to support complex projects Ensures communication effectiveness throughout the business is continuously reviewed Positive Indicators: • • • • • • • • Listens to the views and opinions of others and acts appropriately Gives the right information at the right time taking into account individual needs Presents spoken and written information clearly and concisely Has a polite and positive approach Builds and presents a positive case stressing the benefits Adapts approach for different audiences and occasions Prepared to work to achieve a win-win solution where possible Is confident in contentious/conflict situations. e. rude or interrupts Does not attempt to get people on board with an idea Uses the same approach whatever the situation Does not compromise Gives in too easily 6 . with clear outcomes Actively seeks to influence others prior to decisions being made Understands and responds to organisational politics Facilitates discussions to achieve collective objectives Creates an environment where team/s are encouraged and developed.

the community. Level 1 Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) • • • Identifies and clarifies individual customers needs Takes pride in delivering high quality services and seeks to expand own skills Resolves customer enquiries promptly at point of contact and only refers to others when genuinely appropriate Interacts well with all customers taking into account customers diverse needs Understands all services and accurately matches these to customers needs Keeps customers up to date and informed Deals with customers fairly and equitably • • • • • • Consistently makes decisions focussed on customer needs Analyses delivery of services and provides solutions to problems Finds different ways to satisfy customer needs Constantly questions “how will this benefit the customer?” Seeks customer feedback to investigate ways to improve customer experience Goes beyond their day-to day work to assist customers in a positive manner • • • Why it is important? All employees must demonstrate a full understanding of customer needs and expectations to enable the effective delivery and development of appropriate quality services which exceed customer expectations Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) Acts as role model in personal approach to customer focus Takes time to establish underlying needs of customers beyond those initially expressed Organises processes around customer taking account of complex and sensitive issues to meet their long term needs Implements systems to record customer feedback and communicates ideas and information to appropriate people Creates an environment where team/s are empowered to put customers first Level 4 (+ Levels 1.e. procedures and service delivery to meet customers needs Actively requests feedback from customers and acts constructively upon both positive and negative feedback Goes the “extra mile” for customers 7 . positively and courteously Asks appropriate questions to identify customers needs Tries to see things from the customers point of view Brings ideas of ways to improve policies. bureaucracy and red tape Makes promises to customers that cannot be delivered Does not prioritise customer needs Ignores customer feedback Takes negative feedback personally • Treats all customers with respect Responds to all customer enquiries promptly.e. colleagues) and external (i. tenants/service users or other organisations). 2 & 3) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Makes sure the organisation continuously develops and improves services most important to customers Identifies good practice & solutions and integrates into service provided Translates operational feedback into strategic improvements Forms strategic & diverse groups/partnerships to improve services Recognises need for developing new customer bases & acts accordingly Positive Indicators: Warning Signs: • • • • • • • • • Does not treat all customers with respect Makes assumptions rather than finding out the customers needs Is not flexible about own way of doing things Is insensitive to customer concerns and carries out tasks without thought of the impact on the customer Uses jargon.Customer focus Definition Customer focus is the commitment to putting customers first and ability to deliver a consistently high quality service Customers are both internal (i.

Why it is important? The ability of employees to adapt to changing demands and work. Adjusts to peaks and troughs of workloads Always gives their best – is positive about change Covers for colleagues when needed • • • Contributes positively to the change process and sees change as an opportunity to improve performance Recognises the impact of change on others and supports them through it Uses an awareness of the bigger picture along with common sense to interpret and implement policy. Reacts to requests or priorities without thinking about the longer term or bigger picture Shows no interest in learning about the organisation’s work outside his or her own area. It is having a positive attitude to change and the ability to identify opportunities to improve performance. Encourages others to create strategies and innovative services. is crucial in delivering a high performing service. enthusiasm and commitment Uses intuition as well as complex analysis to create a new concept or approach not obvious to others.Embracing Change Definition The ability to plan for. adapt to and work with a variety of situations. 2 & 3) • • Creates and articulates a vision that generates excitement. now and in the future. committed to continuous improvement and development Overcomes resistance to change Constantly reviews own and section objectives to ensure they support the organisation’s long-term Strategic Objectives Level 4 (+ Levels 1. Ensures that the external environment and Government policies are considered when determining strategic direction • • • • Positive Indicators: Warning Signs: • • • • • • Pursues his or her own personal interests even when not in line with organisational objectives and values. Openly discusses issues in a negative way Undermines new ways of doing things Creates barriers and does not accept change • • • • Shows commitment to the long-term goals of the organisation Gets involved in shaping new ways of doing things Supports organisational objectives even when disadvantageous in own areas Explains the benefits of decisions to team members or colleagues Works towards planned career goals and personal ambitions Is able to think on their feet • • 8 . individuals and groups. Level 1 Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) • • Is open to new ideas and listens to other people’s points of view. Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) • • • • • • Translates strategic vision into practical and achievable plans Works positively in ambiguous situations Proactive in identifying barriers to change and seeking ways to overcome them Promotes a learning culture.

Builds trust and communicates respect for others Considers impact of own actions on others Challenges inappropriate behaviour • Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) Actively demonstrates an interest in different experiences and backgrounds Seeks out. and to ensure compliance with legislation. other harassment and unlawful discrimination Why it is important? We are all representatives of our organisation. equality and diversity Empowers people to achieve best practice in this area Adapts to different audiences Demonstrates integrity and consistency in decision making Ensures team members value the diversity of all they work with and integrates people of different backgrounds and experiences into teams effectively Demonstrates clear and consistent leadership in promoting equal opportunities Ensures full access to services for all Deals efficiently and fairly with clear cases of evidenced wrongdoing • • • • • Strategic decision making reflects a good understanding of cultural issues and perspectives gained through consultation with others Demonstrates ability to incorporate ideas and concepts that creatively challenge norms. It is about creating a working culture and practices that recognise. respect. 2 & 3) • • • • • • • • • • • • Develops a culture of opportunity. to allow for greater fairness. All employees need equality and diversity competence to engage creatively and effectively with each other. value and harness diversity for the benefit of the organisation and all individuals. EU directives and guidance are integrated into strategy and plans how to manage this Works with partner organisations better provide services for all minority groups Positive Indicators: Warning Signs: 9 . our customers and our partners. opportunity and diversity Is aware of their own leadership style and is committed to bring the best out in others Considers how new legislation.Equalities and Diversity Definition The recognition and valuing of difference in the broadest sense. recognises and uses what people from different backgrounds and experiences have to offer Sets a personal example of good equalities practice at all times Understands different learning styles Understands the impact of hate crime. Level 1 • • • • • • • Treats everyone with respect Open to new ideas and ways of working Demonstrates curiosity and seeks information Receptive to the positive contribution others can make. Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) Level 4 (+ Levels 1.

capability and to realise their full potential. 2 & 3) • Gives timely and specific feedback on what has been done well and where there is room for improvement Encourages and seeks out feedback and makes positive improvements regardless of how the feedback was given Is aware of own leadership style and adapts to get the best out of others Recognises potential in others and encourages self development Delegates to develop skills of others • • Articulates a vision that creates excitement. Level 1 Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) • • • • Leads by example Treats people fairly and consistently Generates a team spirit Gives appropriate recognition for success or good performance • • • • • • Sets and communicates clear direction Understands in depth what motivates and encourages team members and colleagues Trusts staff to deliver work once delegated appropriately Secures necessary resources and support Provides supportive environment and removes blocks to effective working to ensure well being Encourages work life balance Why it is important? We need individuals across the organisation need to demonstrate positive leadership qualities to motivate and support others to achieve organisational. recognises and uses creatively what people from different backgrounds and experiences have to offer Considers impact of own actions on others Is aware of and updates their knowledge and responsibilities under equalities legislation • • • • • • • • Unreceptive and slow to adapt Has difficulty recognising the need to be responsive to equality and diversity issues Has low levels of curiosity. customers and partners and adapts behaviour that is both consistent and appropriate Recognised as an effective communicator in a range of situations Demonstrates critical self-reflection and judgement actively demonstrating an interest in different experiences and backgrounds Seeks out. It is also about encouraging. Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) Level 4 (+ Levels 1.• • • • • • • • Receptive to new ideas and differences Demonstrates a willingness to understand how equality and diversity can impact on the way services are delivered Observes personal impact in interactions with colleagues. supporting and inspiring others to develop confidence. openness and interest in the possibility of learning from others Makes false assumptions of people and situations which cause offence and set up barriers to building trust Conveys lack of sensitivity Makes mistaken assumptions about people Treats people with a lack of respect Demonstrates resistance to introducing equality and diversity measures into the workplace (without well reasoned argument) Leadership Definition Leadership is the clear setting of goals and objectives linked to the organisation’s vision. enthusiasm and commitment from others Is a dynamic and inspirational leader Happy to recognise individuals with skills that surpass their own and utilise them to achieve a better outcome • • • • • Positive Indicators: Warning Signs: 10 . team and personal objectives.

breaking down departmental barriers and communicating fully on new initiatives to achieve organisational goals. communities and cultures work are not the same Responds positively to requests for help from internal and external partners Is courteous. working pro-actively across cultures and organisational boundaries. Level 1 Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) • • • • • • • Co-operates with others Asks colleagues for help when needed Puts in extra effort to share the load willingly Recognises that the way different departments. Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) Level 4 (+ Levels 1. innovation and ideas. 2 & 3) • • • • • • Networks effectively both internally and externally Addresses conflicts or issues within the team in a timely. sharing information. new knowledge. positive and confidential manner Initiates meetings with colleagues and external partners to share information Puts team decisions above personal interests Works to develop a one team culture across the organisation Actively gives and receives feedback to improve performance • • Creates new opportunities for individuals to work together Breaking down barriers that get in the way of effective team working and challenges others to do the same Develops dynamic ways to introduce new strategies to improve partnership working Regularly maintains networks and contacts Promotes partnerships as a means of shaping and delivering services to the community • • • • • • • 11 . feels threatened Expects certain behaviour but does not example them Does not capitalise on diverse skills offered by the team Tells others what they want to hear Keeps the best jobs for themselves Team Working Definition Uses interpersonal skills to work co-operatively with colleagues. Understands what others need to know and keeps them informed Encourages and supports other colleagues Builds good relationships with Why it is important? To ensure that people work co-operatively together sharing best practice.• • • • • • • Empowers team members to come up with their own solutions to problems rather than solving the issue themselves Uses coaching and/or mentoring to develop the skills of others Delegates work effectively to continually develop team members Gives effective feedback and checks that team members are clear about what is expected Models the way in terms of behaviours expected within the team Has a clear vision which inspires the team to follow Encourages team members to try innovative approaches and think “outside the box” • • • • • • • • • • • • Scrutinises how work was completed rather than celebrating achievement Does not delegate work Replaces clear objectives with menial to do lists Demonstrates favouritism in the team Does not deal with under performance or development issues Creates an atmosphere of fear or indifference Is inaccessible to others requiring direction Will not develop others in the team. internal and external partners. tactful and diplomatic Works with others to ensure projects and tasks are complete • • Actively includes individuals from a diverse background and cultures in team activities. Spends time thinking through issues with others utilising their skills and making them feel valued Speaks positively of others and gives praise and credit when due and contributes feedback where necessary.

• • • • • • • Warning Signs: Sees themself as better than others and fails to respect their contribution Makes negative comments about another either professionally or personally Can’t help. It is making changes that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our work and of the organisation. 2 & 3) • • Takes responsibility for making decisions to move things forward Plans ahead and is able to spot opportunities to develop new approaches. • • • • Uses own knowledge and expertise to develop new ways of working Obtains and uses necessary information to make decisions Demonstrates high personal standards as an example to others Considers impact of own actions on others Monitors and evaluates own performance against targets Remains focused when faced with competing demands Allocates time and resources to reflect priorities Why it is important? To deliver products and services which are creative. fairness and consistency in decision making Sets demanding but achievable objectives for self and others Achieves results through effective management of self and • Able to identify and put a business case forward in response to changing needs of the organisation Works collaboratively with external partners to ensure keeps abreast of new developments Ensures work processes and projects are well targeted. cultures and communities Working Efficiently and Effectively Definition Producing high quality services which offer best value within the agreed timeframe irrespective of obstacles. Level 3 (+ Levels 1 & 2) Level 4 (+ Levels 1. patience and care Understands and considers the impact their behaviour has on others Makes best use of team and organisational resources. Level 1 Level 2 (+ Level 1 ) • • • • • • • • Ensure own targets are completed Keeps people informed of progress on key tasks Refers to others when necessary Checks for accuracy to get things right Plans and organises to cater for peaks and troughs in workloads Looks for and suggests ways to improve current working practices Learns from mistakes Takes responsibility for achieving results. showing diplomacy. managed and evaluated to deliver strategic aims Challenges the ‘status quo’ and takes appropriate risks in order to identify new and better ways of improving strategic performance Works and develops new • • • • • • • • • • • 12 . including time.• • • • • • • • others Positive Indicators: Has a clear understanding of the team goals and ensures a professional service is delivered at all times Treats all team members with respect Has a ‘can do’ attitude to achieving team goals Is supportive of other team members. products and services to meet organisational needs Encourages organisational learning and continuous improvement Demonstrates integrity. won’t help. uncooperative “That’s not my job” “ I’m far too busy” “Passes the buck” Does the bare minimum to get by Co-operates selectively in accordance with own personal interests or objectives Fails to take on board new methods of delivering the service to accommodate different teams. ideas and finances Willing to share Seeks out ways to improve team performance. innovative and culturally appropriate. Being creative and practical in developing new ways of working.

The group met regularly throughout 2006 to identify the common competencies and develop the Competency Framework for the Housing Sector.Amyes@newcharter. if assistance is required in the implementation and adaptation of the competency framework to your organisation. please contact one of the group members who have provided their email address.others initiatives that contribute to the development of the organisation Positive Indicators: • • • • • • • Sets aside thinking time to come up with more creative ways of doing things Asks colleagues to identify key factors that hinder performance and use these to plan improvements Takes advantage of new technologies Looks to other areas for good ideas Is willing to be different Has a “can do” attitude Needs minimal supervision to obtain high quality outcomes • • • • • • • • Warning Signs: • • Leaves other to resolve problems Leaves problems until they become significant issues Struggles to effectively prioritise work load or meet deadlines Sets unrealistic deadlines Relies on fire fighting Does not review or evaluate own work Is unreliable or has ‘won’t do’ manner Takes credit for others work Makes negative comments about other staff/teams and own organisation Sometimes infers blame on other staff/departments or the organisation Appendix 1 Competency Framework for the Housing Sector Core Working Group The competency framework is the combined work of a group of people who gave their time to research existing frameworks and to establish the current needs of their own and of other The members of the core working group are shown in the following table and. Name Christine Amyes Amanda Livermore Kate Radovanovic Sharon Steele Organisation New Charter Housing Trust Group Bradford Community Housing Trust Group Wakefield District Council National Housing Federation 13 Email address K.

uk Rosemary.Darrell Foster Richard Burke Emma Walker Alison Culpan Rose Smith Anisha Waka Walsall Housing Group Nottingham Community Housing Association Ewalker@ncha.August 2004 East Thames – Behavioural Competency Directory .uk Mercian Housing Association North Hertfordshire Homes Asset Skills ACulpan@mercian. These are listed below:Competency frameworks           The Accent Group – Competency Framework 2005 The British Council – Behavioural Competency Dictionary Appendix 2 Reference Sources Throughout the development of this competency framework a number of existing frameworks and reference materials were considered by the working group.Jan 2005 National Competency Framework for Local Authorities New Charter Housing Trust – Competency Framework NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework Nottingham Community Housing Association – Performance Management Competency Framework Shipley Community Housing – Competency Framework Walsall Housing Group – Key Success Factors – October 2005 Yorkshire Housing Group – Competency Framework References 14 .

S. LONDON 15 . Whiddett. S. and Hollyforde. The Competencies Handbook. CIPD Publishing. (2003).