Byker Community Trust (BCT), part of Karbon Homes, has retained its Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation award for its commitment to delivering high quality housing and services to customers.

The organisation, which owns and manages 1,800 homes on the iconic Grade II* listed estate in Newcastle, is recognised as being fully compliant in all 57 areas of the Standard but was awarded Compliance Plus in eight of the elements, which is where an organisation goes above and beyond the requirements of a specific area of the standard.

CSE is a national quality mark which recognises organisations that meets the criteria set out in The Cabinet Offices’ Customer Service Excellence Standard. Organisations undergo a rigorous assessment and are tested in great depth on 57 elements focussing on the key priorities for customers, with particular focus on delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude.

The assessment is undertaken by an external assessor who reviews documents that have been submitted to demonstrate compliance against each element of the Standard and an on-site visit to establish if the organisation meets the requirements of CSE.

The assessor visited the organisation in March and met with staff, customers and partners to ask questions and identify improvements since his last assessment in 2021.

BCT has significantly improved it’s customers service delivery since the last visit which was awarded full compliance in 51 elements of the Standard and achieved Compliance Plus in five other areas.

Michelle Bell, Assistant Director – Byker Community, said: “This is a significant achievement for the organisation and the Byker community and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of our staff who are focussed on delivering an excellent service to our customers and helping us to achieve our vision of making Byker an estate of choice.

“Over the last two years, we have been faced with unprecedent challenges such as Covid and issues with the district heating system. In addition, the organisation has also gone through significant change by joining Karbon Homes and our staff have continued to exceed customer expectations.

“The assessment is one of the most rigorous processes undertaken so I am delighted we have not only achieved this important accreditation but exceeded it by achieving Compliance Plus in another three areas which includes customer insight, culture and leadership, engagement, communication and access.”

Richard Hamilton, CSE assessor, said: “Byker Community Trust has continued to showcase its strong compliance with the national Standard for Customer Service Excellence. The passion of the Trust in advocating for customers on the Byker estate is inspiring. A strong customer-focused culture is reflected across the organisation and they are to be congratulated for their many achievements.

“Centre for Assessment is delighted to certify BCT to the CSE scheme, including a number of Compliance Plus scores. Congratulations to Michelle, Lynsey and all the Byker team.”

The organisation will be reassessed again in 12 months’ time to review progress.