Foundations workplan review - Paul's blog

This time last year I decided that we would publish our workplan for the year. The idea was to be much more transparent – tell you what we were planning to do so that you could get involved with some of our projects, or vice versa if we had a mutual interest. As with all plans, some things gained more traction than others and some new themes emerged during the year. Here’s a summary of what we did.

During the year we established a number of new training courses to complement our existing portfolio. In particular, the course on minor works contract law received excellent feedback from delegates. We also introduced online training modules for the first time with many more to come. However, we did have some problems sourcing suitable Trusted Assessor training; something we’re addressing for the new financial year.

Events and Engagements kicked off with the HIA Conference in Manchester last April. It was great to see so many people there, but we want to make the next one bigger and better, so there won’t be a conference in 2017. Instead we’re building on the success of the sold out DFG Champions Roadshows in 2016, with the next round coming to Sheffield, Wolverhampton, Bristol and London at the end of April and start of May. We recognise that networking is a key part of improving services and we’re trying to offer as many free regional meetings and events as we can.

Over the year we had dozens of articles published in housing, health and care publications raising the profile of home improvement agencies and the important work you do. We’ve also had conversations with several production companies about potential TV shows.

Providing the secretariat for the national Housing and Health Memorandum of Understanding is a great example of how we can foster collaborative working. Developing national partnerships is a key driver for us, with ongoing discussions that could have a major impact upon the sector.

Many of the tools and resources we’ve produced this year have focussed on better use of DFG funding, and using the Regulatory Reform Order in particular. A couple of items have been a little delayed while we perfect them; including an online schedule of rates for shower adaptations and a design guide for complex adaptations.

Our Insight work has also been concentrated on DFG delivery and mapping how it works across the 326 local authorities in England. It probably won’t surprise you to know that there are 326 different ways of delivering DFGs but there are some really interesting observations when you add some other data into the mix. Find out more at the DFG Champions Roadshows.

We’ve been talking about incorporating the Advice Quality Standard into the HIA Qualitymark for a little while now, but we hope to have a revised assessment model out shortly. We’ve also started to offer a free DFG audit that looks at the day-to-day implementation of the programme and are developing a DFG Quality Standard which will test the 10 key strategic elements.

That’s a very brief look back at the year, without even mentioning the hundreds of meetings and thousands of people we’ve spoken to up and down the country and beyond. The plan for 2017/18 will be out soon and includes some exciting new projects. If there’s anything you would like to work with us on, or you have interesting projects that we could help with, please get in touch – and share the magic!