Setting aside the Good Guys from the Cowboys

March 14, 2012

Jane Moore, Head of Learning at Northwood explores the role of training and development in helping raise industry standards and perceptions…


“It would seem that barely a week goes by without news of a rogue letting agent hitting the headlines.  Whether they’re running off with landlord and tenants funds or simply providing shoddy service, these agents give the lettings industry a bad name.  What people don’t realise is that these rogue agents are very much in the minority.

Behind the scenes, the good guys are working hard to raise professional standards and abide by codes of practice in the name of gaining and maintaining consumer confidence.  As one of the good guys, we’re always looking to push the boundaries and raise the bar that little bit higher.  Fundamental to our approach is ensuring our staff have access to the right training and development opportunities.

At Northwood we pride ourselves on leading by example and providing our letting agents with best in class training.  We’re delighted to have gained national recognition by being awarded Edexcel Registered Centre status this week – a first for the property industry.

In being awarded this certification, we join the ranks of household names like The Premier League, Flybe, nPower and First Group.  It means we will be able to deliver and award BTEC qualifications in Customer Service and Workskills at Levels 2 and 3 to our letting agents as part of our ongoing training and development programme.  This is a stepping stone to our ultimate goal of delivering our own apprenticeship scheme.

Further proof of our innovation in learning is the virtual learning environment we’ve just piloted.  It’s designed to make it easier for staff to access the training and development opportunities available to them and is modelled on sophisticated infrastructure used by the masters of virtual learning, the Open University.

This news is not only an important milestone for Northwood, but is an equally significant landmark for the lettings industry as a whole.  By continually pushing the boundaries and striving for excellence through training, the industry can rise above cowboy lettings agents and nurture consumer confidence.

Ultimately our news proves two things:

1. The industry is proactively taking positive measures to raise standards through improved service and skills

2. you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the press!”

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