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Wulvern Housing and the Investors in Excellence Standard

  • Business Assurance is critical in challenging times. The Investors in Excellence Standard provides a holistic framework against which to benchmark improvements
  • We’ve worked with Wulvern since 2009. They’re an organisation that recognises validation from an independent, reliable and highly respected certification body provides invaluable confirmation of their business resilience and excellent performance
  • Reassessment every two years provides Wulvern with an opportunity to demonstrate that continuous improvement becomes a way of life and is a culture embedded in Wulvern as they develop a sustained reputation for excellence

Background to Wulvern Housing

Wulvern Housing, an award winning housing association, provides high quality housing for over 15,000 people in need across Cheshire and Staffordshire and invests millions of pounds in creating communities in which people want to live.

Our vision is to deliver Brilliant Social Housing and to deliver this, excellence in everything we do is essential. We will continue to reinforce this vision with all colleagues and customers. The areas of improvement identified as part of the Investors in Excellence assessment will be part of providing the challenge for us to ensure we remain focused on our vision and communicating it to all colleagues.

Wulvern’s Challenges

The 2015 Budget has added a number of new challenges for the housing sector:

  • Greater financial pressure on both tenants and social landlords calls for highly efficient and effective processes and procedures right across the organisation
  • A need to be financially sound and better able to manage risks, calls for robust governance and leadership
  • There’s a need for an alignment of, amongst other things, leadership, culture and competencies to ensure the successful delivery of a well-defined corporate strategy

These challenges call for robust approaches at Wulvern Housing, so they can be flexible and responsive to governmental policy changes, manage their risks, forecast and plan in times of change and sustain high quality support and services for it’s customer base – whilst being ever responsive to social needs.

Striving for Excellence is important

Irrefutable proof of high performance is a must these days, whether it’s to satisfy the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) assurance-based regulatory approach or to enable prospective funders to exercise and demonstrate rigorous due diligence. Either way, external validation from an independent, reliable and highly respected certification body which provides invaluable confirmation of business resilience and excellent performance. The Housing Certification Service from Investors in Excellence delivers exactly that.

“Wulvern are committed to continuing with Investors in Excellence as it is an Internationally recognised external form of assurance that demonstrates that we are running the business appropriately. This provides confidence to colleagues, key stakeholders and our Board. We feel that this is as, if not more, important now than ever given the challenging times the affordable housing sector is facing. It is crucial that to ‘weather the storm’ we are continually challenged to improve ourselves.” Kevin Williams, Executive Director

Wulvern’s CEO Sue Lock sums it up: “Given the housing sector’s need to mitigate risk more and more effectively, undertaking the recertification to the Investors in Excellence Housing Certification Service has undoubtedly been a very worthwhile exercise for Wulvern. On conducting their assessment of us, Investors in Excellence provides us with a comprehensive framework to assess our key business areas, helps us to identify opportunities to improve and encourages us to think about the next steps that we need to take to ensure sustainable improvement across every aspect of our organisation.”

Benefits for Wulvern

Achievement of the Investors in Excellence Housing Certification Service brings Wulvern a number of key benefits including:

  • An holistic assessment that identifies and helps their leaders to understand the critical success factors of their organisation
  • Maintains focus and ensures that business goals are achieved
  • Is a broad approach that links all areas of the business to what really matters
  • Enables benchmarking within and perhaps more importantly, outside of the sector
  • Is HCA co-regulatory compatible
  • Has helped Wulvern to develop a reputation for excellence and differentiate them in the marketplace

The Results

Certification to the Housing Association Service focuses on how well embedded continuous improvement has become. Now on its fourth certification it is easy to see the progress that Wulvern has made.

As Judy Hart, Head of Business Development at Investors in Excellence explains: “I would describe Wulvern Housing as a ‘learning organisation’. Always listening to their customers and keen to take on feedback, it’s an organisation that still manages to remain competitive even with the pressures facing it.

“We’re as proud of Wulvern’s latest recertification as they are. Their hard work has paid off – even as the 2015 Budget brought new challenges there is clarity of purpose throughout the organisation which ensures the smooth running of the business by staff who are enthusiastically engaged”.

“ Investing in excellence – it’s the golden thread that runs through our organisation. It has been a great source of inspiration and motivation, instilled a clarity and rigour; right now given the sectors need to mitigate risk and deliver effectively it’s important to be independently validated. “
Sue Lock CEO Wulvern Housing

To find out more about the Investors in Excellence Standard or our business improvements programmes call the team on +44 (0)121 746 3150 or complete our simple online form.


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