Last updated: 16.12.13

Virtual College partner with the Housing Ombudsman Service to offer free dispute resolution training

The Housing Ombudsman Service has launched a new training initiative in conjunction with Virtual College – to offer free dispute resolution training to landlords across England.

The Housing Ombudsman Service helps landlords and tenants resolve disputes themselves by building capabilities in others, and by focusing on local resolution and outcomes. With this in mind, the Housing Ombudsman Service have partnered with Virtual College to develop a self-completion online training programme for landlords about dispute resolution principles.

This free training will help landlords to quickly resolve disputes with tenants, and enable them to deal with issues proactively and at a local level. The initiative is designed to help landlords understand the principles of positive dispute management and how they can deal with complainants in a positive way.

Tenants are also aided by knowing what to expect from their landlord when they raise a complaint and may be able to positively influence how the landlord deals with that complaint.

The training covers a wide variety of topics and is structured around three core areas – Culture, Process, and Behaviour. Other specific areas covered in the training include:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Effective communication
  • Effective governance practices
  • Empowered staff
  • Expectation management
  • Fair treatment
  • Leadership commitment
  • Openness and accountability
  • Transparency and accessibility

When asked about the initiative, Paul James Neville, Head of Sector Development at the Housing Ombudsman Service, commented: “This initiative has been designed to offer the most up-to-date and expert learning advice at the click of a button. The programme is based on the Housing Ombudsman Service’s extensive experience gained from dealing with thousands of cases, as well as from wide consultation with the sector. When used, these dispute resolution principles create better relationships with tenants, save resources, and are more likely to deliver a successful outcome at an early stage.”

“The e-Learning courses will challenge even the best performing social housing landlords to review how they manage complaints”, said Kevin Young, Community Participation Manager at Slough Borough Council.

About the Housing Ombudsman

The Housing Ombudsman works with landlords and tenants to resolve disputes impartially using processes that are fair, evidence-based, and free of bias and prejudice. This approach to dispute resolution is the basis of our work with landlords, MPs, councillors and tenant panels, as well as tenants.

The Housing Ombudsman aims to achieve accessible dispute resolution that will be of benefit to both landlords and tenants and encourage landlords to use these outcomes to improve the services they provide.