SHARE

A focus on factoring?

The factoring industry over the last couple of decades has witnessed unprecedented change.

It is widely acknowledged that the environment in which factors operate is relatively unrecognisable compared to where it was 10-20 years ago. So what has brought about this change and what does the future hold?

Consultant in the industry, Angela Kirkwood, explains that “Much of the change has arisen from the phenomenal growth experienced, partly due to developers building new homes and making the appointment of a factor mandatory, and partly due to owners recognising themselves the need to put a professional property manager in place to effectively manage and maintain their greatest asset”. Angela goes on to explain that “Whilst this brought enormous benefits with buildings now being better maintained, it enabled some ‘bad practices’ by an unscrupulous few resulting in government intervention in the industry with the introduction of a tight regulatory framework”.

The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 which came into force in 2012 has been the biggest piece of regulatory reform the factoring industry has seen. A recent consultation into the Act was undertaken by the Scottish Government and it will be interesting to see the impact this will have.

However for factors the Act is not their only consideration. Other regulations, legislation and codes of practice have also been introduced over the last decade which has resulted in factors now operating within a relatively complex environment. For factoring operations within housing associations, the complexities deepen further. The Scottish Housing Regulator indicated that there will be increased focus in this area and housing associations will be expected to demonstrate both value for money, financial viability and excellence in customer service.

SHARE now offer a variety of options for those involved in factoring to help bring you up to speed on the regulations, legislation and codes of practice you must work to as well as review your internal factoring operations.

Organisations of any size can bring in help from an industry expert for as little as one day.  SHARE offer a 1 and 2 day ‘MOT service’ – a Compliance and Financial Health Check review and in partnership with the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM). Find out more HERE.

In January 2017 SHARE launched ‘A foundation in factoring’ their ‘IRPM Associate level’ factoring training programme, qualification and accreditation.  This 6/7 day programme is very popular and has been delivered, via open course and in-house, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and England.  Find out more HERE.

Basic Introduction to Factoring is a one day course which is scheduled to run on 19th April and is aimed at individuals who are either new to factoring or wish to obtain a basic grounding of property management within Scotland. Find out more HERE.

SHARE now also offer Factoring for Committee/Board, an evening session on 19th April, aimed at members of housing associations and co-operatives who have responsibility for governance or its commercial subsidiary whose operation delivers a factoring service. Find out more HERE.

In fact there is now a whole host of training and support available to you. To find out more visit SHARE’s website or get in touch by email to factoring@share.org.uk or call us on 0141 550 7595.

Advertorial: Understanding Buildings & Managing Repairs

For many years SHARE has recognised a need to deliver basic technical training for non-technical staff.

Understanding Buildings & Managing Repairs (UMBR) is a five day course aimed at staff who are required to deal with technical issues as part of their day to day duties, but who may only have limited technical knowledge.

This applies to a wide range of jobs in housing, for example Customer Services, Housing Management and Maintenance admin staff. The course is designed to give staff in these positions a better knowledge and understanding of the issues and increase their confidence when speaking to contractors and tenants.

In recent years, the UBMR course was developed with housing practitioners and other training partners, and has City and Guilds Accredited Programme Status. This has allowed SHARE to award a certificate to trainees that successfully complete an assessment at the end of the programme.

Owen McMillan, one of the programme trainers, said: “The programme is flexible and delegates can also choose to take the modules individually. However, to get the most out of it, it makes sense to cover all of the modules.”

The programme is made up of five modules:

  • Building Construction
  • Damp and Condensation
  • Heating, Lighting and Power
  • Plumbing and Drainage
  • Building Maintenance and Reporting Repairs

SHARE is proud to confirm a 100% pass rate for trainees who have completed the programme and sat the assessment.

The next Cohort starts on 9th March and there are further sessions planned throughout 2018. This programme will help you develop the skills needed to successfully manage the administration of reporting building repairs.

More details on each of the modules are available on the SHARE website HERE.