City West Housing Gain the Diversity in Business Accreditation
North West housing association City West manages around 14,600 homes. In July 2011, they decided to work towards achieving Diversity in Business Accreditation (DiBA), to have an external assessment of their performance.
The accreditation process involved a project team of 7 staff from across the business, who agreed the project outline, responsibility and roles. This team oversaw a document review and two days on-site assessment. During our time on site we held interviews and focus groups with staff from across the business, and with City West customers. EW Group supported City West in refocusing on the 2010 Equality Act requirements, on internal planning and development, and with identifying next steps. All processes were linked directly to the day to day business activities of City West.
With equality and diversity an integral part of the Salford-based housing association’s core organisational values, securing the Diversity in Business Accreditation (DiBA) is testament to the importance placed on diversity by the social landlord. The regulatory landscape of the social housing sector has changed, following the abolition of the Audit Commission and the reduced role of the Tenant Services Authority (TSA). As a result, City West wanted to remain forward-thinking and ensure it was pro-active in implementing a framework and culture that is striving for excellence.
City West is now working with its supply chain to encourage them to gain DiBA accreditation for contactors, suppliers and other housing providers. This involves testing evidence submitted against the DiBA standard as part of a desktop review and then undertaking onsite assessments involving interviews with staff from across the businesses and customers.
“Diversity and inclusion remains integral to City West, as a service provider, employer, a partner, a purchaser of goods and services and as a landlord. We used DiBA to test this commitment, as an external challenge on the ‘framework’ we set up. The findings were used to further embed and develop our equality and diversity strategy and our practices”. Judith Kerwick, Service Excellence Manager, City West Housing.