Last year we launched our Development Training Programmes which are focused on ensuring people new to development can fully grasp the policy context for the housing sector and gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of technical issues and procedures. The course is aimed at entry level staff within Registered Providers and Local Authorities who can gain experience on the job whilst attending the course one day a week as part of a wider cohort.
Our training programmes are taught in classroom sessions and include written and oral assignments, some of which are formally assessed. The training programmes have six modules covering the key stages of the development process, from site feasibility and pre-contract, to completion and final account. The course material includes practical examples of good practice and supporting information, individual and group exercises, guest speaker seminars and site visits.
When the classroom sessions end, all delegates receive 1-2-1 mentoring and coaching sessions for a further six months. This aims to provide the delegates with a point of contact for guidance and advice on all aspects of their role. During this second six months there is also an option for the delegates to continue a separate programme of learning with further site visits, guest speaker seminars and a coursework assignment.
We are currently running two separate courses with 17 delegates from nine organisations, both of which will come to an end later this year. We are dedicated to continuing the programmes during these uncertain times and have arranged for all delegates to enter our ‘virtual classroom’. Our first classroom sessions were successfully delivered online last week and have received extremely positive feedback. In light of this success, all of our classroom sessions will now be available online through Microsoft Teams.
While we were previously setting up the next programme’s intake on a regional basis, we now unexpectedly have delegates from organisations across the nation meeting together – sharing good practice, sharing experience, and understanding how things impact different places in many different ways. We know that this can be a really positive shift for our industry if we take it as an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward together. We are more accessible, and we now know that we don’t have to meet face to face to share knowledge and ideas.