Case Study: Recognising the achievements of housing associations' governing body members.

We help SHARE develop customised qualifications to recognise the achievements of its members.

Who doesn’t enjoy gaining recognition for a job well done? Since its launch five years ago, 53 people have been awarded a qualification in Governance of Scottish Housing Associations through SHARE. SHARE is a social enterprise, set up in 1985 to provide training for its member Housing Associations or Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).


As one of its key services, SHARE regularly delivers essential training on governance to RSL governing body members.

For some time, SHARE had been considering developing a qualification which would recognise the skills and knowledge gained by volunteer members, some of whom have served for many years but whose extensive knowledge and experience was not formally recognised. DEVA was engaged to work with SHARE and its members to develop a suitable qualification and to have it accredited by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA).

What we did

The challenge lay in accurately capturing key aspects of the role of a competent board member so, in partnership with SHARE, Jill Simpson of DEVA organised an introductory workshop to which experienced governing body members and stakeholders were invited. The development of qualifications can be notoriously heavy on jargon – in facilitating the workshop, Jill was careful to steer clear of technicalities and focus very much on the real work and language of the governing bodies themselves. The experience and enthusiasm of the delegates proved invaluable in teasing out the practical aspects of the role and the knowledge required to carry out that role competently. This became the basis of a set of standards by which the competence of any individual could be measured, or assessed.

We produced a set of draft standards in a format which would be acceptable to SQA as a customised award, as well as making sense to the sector. A second workshop was organised and this time the delegates were asked to review the draft standards in detail.  They also had to consider how future candidates for the qualification would be assessed, and to put in place a strategy which would ensure consistency in the delivery of the new award, while making it accessible to potential candidates across Scotland. 


The final version of the award, Governance of Housing Associations, was successfully submitted to the Scottish Qualifications Authority for accreditation. Five years on and 80 candidates later, 53 competent and 27 ongoing, the whole sector is benefitting from the recognition that its governing body members are working to a professional standard.

If you would like to know more about developing a customised award, get in touch on 07834 706553.

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