Introducing the Idox Information Service … supporting evidence use for over 40 years

Exterior of the Idox Information Service office in Glasgow

Exterior of the Idox Information Service office in Glasgow

As a team who work every day to supply evidence and good practice to our clients in the public sector and consultancies, it would be easy to feel a bit down about the ease with which the idea of a post-truth world has taken grip.

In fact however, it’s heartening that so many organisations continue to recognise the value that our service brings. Not only does it offer a continuing professional development resource for staff, it also acts as a channel for knowledge sharing between organisations – helping them when they have to review services, look for efficiencies, or transform what they do in light of changing government policy or priorities.

We know that much of what we do can remain hidden, even to our own members. So let’s go under the bonnet of our unique service …

Who we are

The Idox Information Service is a membership library service, which was established over forty years ago – originally under the name of the Planning Exchange. At the outset, the emphasis was on the provision of resources to support professionals working in planning and the built environment in Scotland, but over the years we’ve expanded our subject coverage to cover the whole spectrum of public sector information, and across the UK.

Our members include policy makers and practitioners from organisations including local authorities, central government, universities, think tanks, consultancies and charities. They work in challenging environments and often need evidence to inform service delivery or decision-making.

Our work

Our team is made up of a mix of researchers, public policy specialists and qualified librarians, along with support staff. They have professional memberships, including chartered membership of CILIP and the Social Research Association. This picture shows the typical range of activities in a year:

2014 statsPublic policy is an ever-evolving subject and so current awareness services are a big part of what we do. Members can set up their own subject alerts on anything that interests them, and we also have a set of weekly and fortnightly updates on common topics. Last year we added three new current awareness updates on Devolution, Smart Cities and of course, Brexit!

UK grey literature is a particular strength of our collection. We spend a lot of time sourcing documents such as technical reports from government agencies, and research reports produced by think tanks, university departments, charities and consultancies which are often overlooked by other databases. Recent research has highlighted the value of grey literature for public policy and practice.

We also write our own research briefings for members on different topics, with more detailed analysis of research and policy developments, and including case studies and good practice. Some of these briefings are publicly available on our publications page.

The interest from members in using our Ask a Researcher service has been increasing, due to the time pressures and other challenges that people face in sourcing and reviewing information. An example looking at the links between employee wellbeing and productivity is on our website. Members regularly comment on the usefulness of the results, and it’s satisfying to be able to make a direct contribution to their work in this way.

Keeping it personal

While our online database allows our members to search for and access resources themselves, there is a strong personal element to our work.

Our members know that we’re always available at the end of the phone or via email to provide them with dedicated support when they need it. It’s important to us that we provide a quality service which keeps pace with the changing needs and expectations of a varied membership base.

Hopefully, this article has provided some insight into the way that the Knowledge Exchange supports staff and organisations across a variety of fields. More information about the service can be found here.


In 2015, the Idox Information Service was recognised as a key organisation supporting evidence use in government and the public sector. It was named by NESTA / Alliance for Useful Evidence / Social Innovation Partnership in their mapping of the UK evidence ecosystem.

We also contribute data to the Social Policy and Practice database, which focuses on health and social care evidence, and is a resource recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.

Follow us on Twitter to see what developments in public and social policy are interesting our research team.

Q&A with Mark Evans: “To make evidence effective you have to win the war of ideas”

Markfor posters

Mark Evans is the Director and Professor of Governance at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra, Australia. In this interview with the Knowledge Exchange, Mark talks about how his research is used in policy development.

How can policy makers/practitioners benefit from developing their knowledge and use of evidence?

The more I’ve got involved in the practice of decision making and developing policies, the more I’ve seen the value of evidence. To make evidence effective you have to win the war of ideas. Politicians have their own sources of evidence – internal policy, preferred sources, media etc. – and ministers are enveloped by a whole range of sources. Good evidence has to find a way of being heard and cutting through this.

Civil servants are very skilled in committees and running processes and programmes effectively. They are good at technical solutions and responses, but not adaptive developmental issues, which require time. Their ability to engage and get to the hardest to reach groups within policy, was one of the key findings of our study. How do you cost programmes which take a long time and investment, and target groups experiencing significant marginalisation?

When people talk to you about evidence, research or knowledge, what do they most frequently raise as issues?

Real time evidence – which we can only do through open data. In Australia this is difficult as we don’t have national datasets to enable large scale analysis or comparison. The UK is far ahead of us in terms of data and its use in evidence. In the UK there is no shortage of data, but it needs to be more dynamic, whereas in Australia it’s not sufficient. Resources such as Euromonitor don’t exist in Australia, so we can’t compare or contrast issues or monitor impact. Spatial modelling is very influential due to this lack of data – simulated models for different areas are necessary as we don’t have the real data.

What are the mistakes people make when it comes to developing knowledge, things which you really need to avoid?

Not understanding the political dynamics leads to failure. Not understanding that knowledge is power, and assuming that what makes good evidence is what makes good understanding, are big traps to fall into. Just because you develop good evidence doesn’t mean it will be accepted.

The most important first step is agreement around values and principles. The classic example in Australia would be the original agreement on the child support scheme:  ‘absent fathers should contribute’ was the fundamental principle and getting that agreement led to the introduction of the scheme.

What are the main issues facing policy makers in the next 5 years? What evidence will they need?

This may be peculiar to Australia, but the personalisation of politics and policies, is now impacting. The ‘Obama technologies’ approach of targeting messages to voters and the targeting of resources to particular groups, is on the rise, so policy is becoming individually relevant. If we know what people want, we can then move resources to target their needs. The evidence to help policy makers to do this successfully (i.e. generally the use of new technologies, big data, social media, getting real time data on preferences) is going to grow in importance and be in demand.

Key policy issues are ageing, the cost of care and pensions, funding the social security gaps and climate change. There is also a rise in the development of preventative health and generally the funding of higher education.

How do you think people will be carrying out evidence, research and knowledge development in five years’ time?

Technology, everyone always says technology! Normally there is a lag between the technology and its realisation in public policy – this was certainly the case up until recently.

Largely because there is an association between technology and productivity, there is an inverse relationship between use the use of consultants and productivity. There is only a productivity gain in the public sector in the digitisation of services and the consolidation of the use of technologies.

There is a presumption of localism in policy, but actually technology development is leading to more centralisation. This can be a positive thing for the availability and reliability of data, but negative for understanding very local issues.

If you had a ‘best-kept secret’ about research, evidence and knowledge, what would you recommend, and why?

An approach which is useful in thinking about the context of evidence and policymaking is to ask “I am in my ‘cockpit’ (desk, computer, books, advisors, people I know), but what is in your cockpit?” We’ve found that the more experienced policy officers all had mentors, all had experts, they knew about data, and could do policy relatively quickly. This contrasted with younger policy makers (the ‘Wikipedia policy makers’). Fast-track policy making is being done (ministers deciding and the policy maker sent off to write the evidence base) but if their ‘cockpit’ isn’t complete then the policy making can have holes.

Finally, what led you to a role developing knowledge institutions and focusing on research and evidence development? 

In 1999,  I established the international development unit at York, looking at post-war recovery study. It was just before Afghanistan and Iraq so we became the ‘go to’ place for it, and started to look at the interface between evidence and politics. Many were disregarding the evidence – it’s really all about jobs and poverty; people move towards radicalisation when they have no hope no future.

I came to Australia for the better relationship between government and academia, through the National School of Government.  I have been able to do things in Australia that I wouldn’t have been able to do in UK, bringing together theory and practice. The UK is good at collaboration, and I have taken that to Australia aiming to be the ‘collaborator of first resort’.


You can follow Mark on Twitter @MarkEvansACT and you can follow us on Twitter to see what developments in public and social policy are interesting our research team.

Read some of our other blogs on the use of evidence in public policy:

White Paper: Investing in Knowledge – How do we influence decision making through evidence?

 

New Picture (26)Image copyright of Idox

Following on from our December event ‘Investing in Knowledge’ we have produced the first in a series of white papers highlighting the importance of research in policy making.

The paper looks at the importance of knowledge, especially when it comes to decision making. How it can improve our ability to react appropriately and implement change which has real impact, and ensure that public money is being spent wisely.

Drawing on our forty years of insight in this area, as well as the views of prominent figures in evidence-based policy, the first paper covers the following areas:

  • What is knowledge? We are all knowledge practitioners but we will explore the difference between how a researcher and a policymaker approaches this.
  • The benefits of improved knowledge: “Money is scarce, so we need to be able to target it and understand what the expectations of results should be, we can’t correct mistakes afterwards, and we need to have a good idea of predictability and reliability.” Kim Ryley, Solace
  • Pitfalls and barriers to knowledge development: “Not all evidence is equal; you have to make judgements about it. This is hard for those writing the research,…but it’s not about the quality… it’s about the point of view from (policy) demand.” Jonathan Breckon, NESTA
  • Perceptions about evidence: More evidence equals better policy? Or is it the right evidence makes better policy? Evaluation has more value than other types of evidence? Or should we have an holistic view of evidence, taking into account current changes, forecasts and individual experiences?
  • The messiness of policy making: Is the linear approach to evidence development practical in a policy environment? How do we make best use of the ‘windows’ of influencing opportunity? How do we really involve the policy maker in research findings?
  • Decision making context: What impacts on our decision making? Accuracy? Approval? Personal reassurance we are doing the right thing?
  • The future of research: What will the impacts of technology, openness, too much information, needing to be multidisciplinary be on research methods and the application of evidence?

The full paper and an accompanying list of useful resources can be found here

The Idox Information Service can give you access to a wealth of further information on evidence based policy and practice, to find out more on how to become a member, contact us.

They are driving economic change in cities, but what are ‘knowledge-focused industries’?

knowledge workersA Century of Cities, a reflection on urban economic change since 1911, was recently published by Centre for Cities. An informative read, which does something many economic development reports do not do, it looks at the history of a place to see how it arrived where it is today. I am a great fan of this approach, and carried out similar research in the past, it’s vital to our understanding of cities, their landscape, assets, structure and culture.  The report did however, make me reflect on the term ‘knowledge industries’, and the time period chosen.

What is a knowledge industry?

The report defines this in a traditional way, related to knowledge intensive business services. From a historical perspective, all growth and change has happened through innovation, change and the application of the technology available at the time, whatever that may be. Structurally these changes often lead to jobless growth, where the technology replaces the human labour cost. In pre-industrial society, big changes related to agricultural technology such as crop rotation or the plough. New technology which revolutionised jobs and industries. During the industrial revolution, cotton was the knowledge industry, driving innovation in the northern towns, with ready labour pools, the right climate and access to energy from fast running water. The growth of empire fuelled demand for the technology and knowledge Britain had. Machinery and weavers with the knowledge to use it, became the knowledge workers. On the back of industrialisation, and the need for new, quicker production methods, many northern universities were established, grew and flourished. It is easy to view previous periods through modern eyes and view old established industries, as exactly that, old, low skilled and low knowledge because of our own new perspectives on what constitutes ‘knowledge’. Ask any 20 year old about a typewriter and you can witness this same derision about ‘technology’ and ‘knowledge’ worker.

Work by Jeremy Howells on economic geography highlights that knowledge “involves applying reason to experience” and knowledge exists within individuals, and that body of individuals is what drives industry growth. He goes on to say “knowledge is constantly evolving, constructed and deconstructed”, this process is highly localised, both in time and geography.

The roles of cities

Cities therefore facilitate this knowledge growth, the density of population, endless possibility of interaction, and transfer of people across businesses, personal contacts and networks drive this knowledge interchange. This tacit knowledge drives innovation, resilience to change, ability to respond to risk and shocks. Knowledge exchange has always been a key driver for businesses locating in proximity to one another, sharing workers and knowing your customers.

The question is, is any industry completely devoid of knowledge, and why have places failed to utilise knowledge to their advantage across all industries? It is easy to group all manufacturing into low skilled, low knowledge base, but the reality is much more complex, how do BAE or Astra Zenica fit into this classification?

The term knowledge worker implies that all other workers are ‘non-knowledge workers’ when in reality every industry has a rich, diverse business and people base which organically prepares them for shocks and change. You can only change the path of places by ensuring they retain their knowledge base, both professionally and personally, investing in their attractiveness and the quality of opportunity for the knowledge workers, whatever the industry.

The Idox Information Service can give you access to a wealth of further information on cities and economic development, to find out more on how to become a member, please contact us.

Industrial revolutions: capturing the growth potential

Technology and Innovation Futures: UK growth opportunities for the 2020s

Knowledge-based hierarchies: using organizations to understand the economy (CEP occasional paper 43)

Residential location of knowledge-workers: the role of amenities, workplace and lifestyle

The creative knowledge city in Europe: structural conditions and urban policy strategies for competitive cities

Scenarios for the knowledge economy: strategic information skills

The geography of knowledge: never so close but never so far apart

Celebrating a different kind of library: the Idox Information Service

Number 95

Exterior of the Idox Information Service office, an art deco building in Glasgow

by Laura Dobie

It’s National Libraries Day this Saturday, and events are being held up and down the country to celebrate libraries and their contribution to communities. When people think of libraries, it tends to be public libraries which spring to mind and rows of bookshelves. However, the library sector is diverse.  Many librarians and information professionals work in different types of organisations, with different kinds of service users.

With libraries taking centre stage over the course of this weekend, we wanted to showcase our own specialist library service and the skills of our library staff.

Who we are

The Idox Information Service is a membership library service, which was established over thirty years ago under its earlier name of the Planning Exchange. At the outset the emphasis was on the provision of resources to support professionals working in planning and the built environment, but we’ve expanded our subject coverage over the years to cover the whole spectrum of public sector information.

Our members include policy makers and practitioners from organisations including local authorities, central government, universities, think tanks, consultancies and charities. They work in challenging environments and often need evidence to inform service delivery or decision-making.

Our work

Our research officers are all qualified librarians, and many are chartered members of CILIP. This picture shows the range of activities last year:

2014 statsGrey literature is a particular strength of our collection. We spend a lot of time sourcing documents such as technical reports from government agencies, and research reports produced by think tanks, university departments, charities and consultancies which are often overlooked by other databases. Recent research has highlighted the value of grey literature for public policy and practice.

Although we may work in a specialist sector, many of our activities will be familiar from other libraries. We do our own abstracting and cataloguing, and current awareness services are a big part of what we do.

We also write our own research briefings for members on different topics, with more detailed analysis of research and policy developments, and including case studies and good practice. Some of these briefings are publicly available on our publications page.

The interest from members in using our Ask a Researcher service has been increasing, due to the time pressures and other challenges that people face in sourcing and reviewing information. A recent example looking at the links between employee wellbeing and productivity is on our website. Members regularly comment on the usefulness of the results, and it’s satisfying to be able to make a direct contribution to their work in this way.

Keeping it personal

While there has been an increasing trend towards self-service in libraries, and our online database allows our members to search for and access resources themselves, there is a strong personal element to our work.

Our members know that we’re always available at the end of the phone or via email to provide them with dedicated support when they need it. It’s important to us that we provide a quality service which keeps pace with the changing needs and expectations of a varied membership base.

Hopefully this article has provided some insight into a different kind of library, and library and information work, and the way in which we support professionals across a variety of fields. More information about the service can be found here.


Laura Dobie is a Research Officer at the Idox Information Service and a chartered librarian. She writes regular blog articles and research briefings for the service, and tweets for @IdoxInfoService

Knowledge insider… a Q&A with Sarah Jennings

sarah jenningsWelcome to the second of our blog series in the run up to our Conference, looking at how we invest in knowledge, this time with Sarah Jennings, Director of Digital and Community Engagement at CapacityGrid. She’s responsible for the Knowledge Hub, an online space for cross-sector collaboration focused on sharing good practice, ideas generation and supporting public sector transformation.

Sarah, what led you to a role promoting and improving knowledge development?  

I started my working career as a specialist librarian. Whilst working at the Royal Society an internal opportunity came up to manage the websites. This was digital in its infancy before the term existed, first generation activity in digital! However it seemed obvious that knowledge and information sharing would be key components.

After that I moved into the education sector, managing the online work at the previous incarnation of SSAT (The Schools Network) when it had responsibility for delivery of the specialist schools and academies remits for government. We specialised in providing support and training in teaching and learning; curriculum; networking and leadership development. This is where I first started to see the real benefits of technology as an enabler for peer-to-peer sharing of knowledge, case studies and best practice across networks of teachers.

Following a spell in regional government, I moved to the Local Government Association. Here I was responsible for the digital estate, including developing our communities of practice. However, people and sectors were still siloed and not sharing to best effect. So the launch of its successor, the Knowledge Hub, was an attempt to tackle this through building networks of people that weren’t necessarily around a theme and made use of emerging social media tools and techniques. I didn’t set off to do this and don’t really see myself as a knowledge manager. I’m more a convener of people. I enjoy connecting people up, facilitating conversations and getting people working together to improve things. I like herding cats; and seem to be quite good at it!

What do you think the main benefits of developing your knowledge are?

Keeping up to date with what is going on, the areas I work in, the sector I work in – I’m the sort of person who likes to devour knowledge.

I enjoy building my own network. I’m always surprised how often I look up someone I met or worked with a while ago and we do something amazing. In most areas I see myself as having a broad-based knowledge, rather than depth, however I do consider I have a reasonable knowledge where digital is concerned, having lived and breathed it for nearly 15 years in one form or another.

I think being multi-disciplinary in today’s world is a useful thing. Jobs are very different now. It’s incredible to think that developments in the last 100 years mean that some process driven professional roles have and will continue to disappear and be replaced by machines. Being multi-disciplinary is the key; a broad knowledge and skill-set means you can work across different roles within the workforce and provide more flexibility to organisational structures.

When people are talking to you about evidence, research or knowledge, what do they most frequently raise as issues?

Often, it’s “there is so much”: how do they navigate it? How do they find it? How do they know whether it’s any good? Even in Knowledge Hub, people need support and help finding what they need and this is the role of our community managers

I take advantage of my information management background, to help them to move through it, navigate. To do this well I have to recognise that everyone’s different – human nature, learning styles and decision making processes. I have to ensure Knowledge Hub caters for this diversity, whether people want formal learning with docs or forums for collaboration.

Big Data is often raised as an issue, knowledge about it, what to do with it and how to use it. Again, there’s too much and how do we know what’s worth using either for evidence or to predict future services?

But the biggest issue people face is “who are the experts?” How do you know who they are and who do you trust? The benefit of collaboration is it’s good for getting a range of information, opinions and expertise and experts, emerge from this process.

What are the hard to spot mistakes when it comes to developing your knowledge, which you really need to avoid?

Social media: your view of the world can be limited by the people you are following. Try not to (always) follow like-minded people because you get a narrow vision and view of the world. It’s important to step out of your area, look at the way people are doing things elsewhere.

Decision making: if I’m making a decision around digital, for example, I tend to talk to other digital people. Again, this can reinforce a stereotype and provide a narrow view.  It’s important to go beyond that, step outside your comfort zone, seek alternative views and break out of the silo. More often than not, we think about how we do something and not always the impact. With Knowledge Hub we are trying to introduce serendipity, introducing people to new groups and opportunities they may not have thought of, or come across, to enable this broadening to happen.

You need to be open minded, like a 360 review; get feedback, challenge your own assumptions. Everyone needs to take a break from the norm and look around them, see if what you are doing has already been tried and tested elsewhere, and you learn from.

This reflective approach is growing and it’s partly because the gender balance is improving, especially in digital, which is challenging the status quo and needs different (perhaps more?) skills. There are different ways of doing things, the best ‘managers’ out there are employing a whole range of different techniques. It’s no longer seen to be passive to have a mentoring approach, admit you don’t have all the answers and seeking help from others – even at the top!

Cass Business School, carried out research with retiring leaders from the baby boom era, asking them what they thought the next generation of leadership would need to look like. The majority said an emotional intelligence approach would be key.

Knowledge is fine but as a concept is no use unless you do something with it. We need to recognise talent and early on. Ideas and innovation can come from anywhere within an organisation. We simply need to know how to unlock it.

How do you think people will be doing evidence, research and knowledge development in 5 years’ time?

Data – It’s at the centre of everything; we are struggling with so much data, is it relevant, how do we use it?

There seems to be a couple of schools of thought on this, do we use it to learn lessons from the past or to predict what the needs are, more demand management? I think it’s a mix of both.  In terms of politics, services and understanding the world around us, this will become easier, the more data and information becomes available and we learn how to interpret it. Things like the “Internet of Things” are both exciting and daunting. To properly take advantage of these opportunities, we will need to get better at how we use data.

Skills – we will need to be cross disciplinary; able to pick up things; be collaborative; have people skills; ask the right questions; do creative analysis; then to question and assimilate what we learn. It’s not one person it’s a team, as it needs more than one person to innovate and take ideas to delivery.

As an individual you can be both specialist and cross disciplinary. It makes you valuable as a resource asset. People with specialist knowledge and the ability to look across multiple areas, will be the ones who succeed going forward, together with sufficient emotional intelligence to exhibit different decision making and leadership styles suited to the circumstance.

If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ about research, evidence and knowledge you would recommend, what would you include and why?

Collaboration – understanding where the places are to go to, the experts and knowledge – people who don’t share will be left behind.

  • Remember to ask the awkward questions
  • Don’t confine where you go for answers

Looking at those people who are getting at the forefront of research, they are doing this now.

For my own expert knowledge:

The GDS especially for implementing good standards and principles, because they’ve invested time, money and effort and there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. For example design principles; website usability; transactions; or user journeys. Their development code is all shared on GitHub, and it’s now being taken up by other countries. Mike Bracken spoke at Innovate2014 about reusing services on a global level, the whole market out there gathering info and feedback on code and improving it. We are at a crossroads, for example the public sector is starting to dictate how a service works, changing the relationship and dynamics between suppliers and buyers to one based on demand, flexibility and co-creation.

Knowledge should be about improvement, where producers respond to demand and how a service needs to be delivered to most effect. The Social Value Act has had an effect on this. The opening up of public assets means IPR is being challenged and how people get recompensed for supplying a service. At the centre of supply and demand there is still knowledge.  We just need to think differently about the wrapper and commercial model.


If you would like to hear Sarah speak about her work and how social approaches can help in knowledge sharing, sign up to our free conference in December here.

You can also read a Q&A with Clive Grace, Local Government Knowledge Navigator.

Knowledge insider … a Q&A with Clive Grace

Clive Grace

In the first of our blog series in the run up to our Conference, looking at our experiences and how we invest in knowledge,  I interviewed Clive Grace, who is speaking at our Glasgow event on the 3rd December. He is part of the ESRC Local Government Knowledge Navigator, a two year project steered by Solace, the LGA and the ESRC to bring the research and local government communities closer together.

Hi Clive, what led you to a role promoting and improving knowledge development? 

“I am a sometime academic, and sometime practitioner, and I believe in cross fertilising my interests. This was particularly enhanced by two reviews I have carried out, looking at the engagement between academic research and local authorities through the Local Authority Research Councils’ Initiative in 2007 and 2010. Continue reading

Taming the information jungle

TonyphotoIn the latest of our series of posts looking at the work of housing associations, Tony McLaughlin explains how managing information supports activities across the Wheatley Group.

By Tony McLaughlin, Research and Policy Officer, the Wheatley Group

Comparing the volume of information we come across as a ‘jungle’ may seem a little hyperbolic, but for my colleagues and I in the Research and Development Team at the Wheatley Group, Scotland’s leading housing, care and community regeneration organisation, it can certainly seem that way.

Managing information on behalf of our colleagues in other parts of the business to ensure that they have the data and information they need at their fingertips is a core part of what we do. However, keeping on top of the information we are bombarded with can be a task in itself.

In keeping with the jungle analogy, the sources where we get information from can be quite different beasts. A quick survey of our team found that collectively we are on the mailing lists of over eighty organisations, including many specialists beyond our core business of housing, care and regeneration. These mailing lists are just the tip of the information iceberg. If you take into account social media, the number of information sources would be likely to multiply several times.

We are responsible for supporting activities across a large organisation which provides services to over 100,000 people, and employs more than 2,100 people across Central Scotland. With a team of seven people, and many competing demands on our time, we have to be smart about what we focus on. We appreciate services that cut down the amount of time we have to spend identifying useful resources. It’s important for us to provide information that is specific to the needs of our business and which supports excellence in everything that we do. We do this in a number of ways, two of which are given as examples below.

We produce an ‘Insight’ bulletin, which is aimed at leaders and is a short themed think-piece which informs strategy and service development. Recent editions have focused on diverse topics such as customer segmentation, value for money, working with communities and employment trends. We are planning editions on digital inclusion, care and support, challenging poverty, and innovative funding.

We also organise a series of seminars for staff at all levels of our organisation and for relevant people from our partner agencies. These are typically hosted at our purpose-built learning and conference centre, The Academy, which is located at our Glasgow headquarters. Our most recent seminars were arranged as part of the corporate partnership which the Wheatley Group has with the professional body for housing, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

The first of these was a visit by CIH Chief Executive, Grainia Long, to address our leadership team on the challenges faced by the housing sector in the coming years. The second was a presentation on our innovative ‘Frontline Futures’ research aimed at frontline staff, which examines the role of the frontline housing professional in light of new challenges facing social housing providers and customers.

These seminars are part of a coordinated approach to supporting staff CPD. Our membership of IDOX Information Service contributes to this, as it allows our colleagues who undertake academic study as part of their professional development to access a range of resources to help them achieve their qualifications.

To sum up, our team should not simply navigate through the information jungle for material that we find interesting – everything we do should have a purpose in promoting excellence within our organisation; the information that we disseminate should always help drive innovation and improvement.

I would be happy to discuss any ideas with other like-minded organisations. Please drop me an email at tony.mclaughlin@wheatley-group.com

For more information about what we do visit www.wheatley-group.com


 

The Wheatley Group are members of the Idox Information Service. For the past 40 years, the Information Service has been the first port of call for information and knowledge on public and social policy and practice.

Our previous blogs on housing associations include: