Twelve months after being awarded the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation, North East housing association, Byker Community Trust (BCT) has continued to demonstrate its commitment to delivering even higher quality housing and community services to its residents.

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.

Last year, in its initial assessment, BCT was assessed as being fully compliant in 54 elements of the Standard with three achieving Compliance Plus. Compliance Plus is awarded when an organisation goes above and beyond the requirements of a specific area of a standard.

The re-assessment is undertaken by an external assessor who reviews documents that have been submitted to demonstrate compliance against each element of the Standard. Due to Covid-19, a desktop review including interviews with staff, residents and partners was undertaken to establish if the organisation continues to meet the requirements of CSE.

The assessor conducted a 12-month review to see what progress has been made within the organisation and is pleased to award BCT as being fully compliant in 56 elements with five achieving Compliance Plus.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, said:

“Twelve months after our initial assessment, I am delighted to report that we have not only retained our accreditation against the Customer Service Excellence Standard but, we have also been credited with five Compliance Plus elements, principally for organisation culture, leadership and customer insight.

This is a fantastic improvement on last year’s assessment, particularly with the challenges faced in the last year due to the pandemic where some services have had to be reduced or even paused. This result is evidence of the boundless energy and work ethos that my staff have demonstrated towards putting customers first and continually improving performance at BCT.

Of course, there is always room for further improvement and we will be reassessed again next year.”

CSE assessor, Richard Hamilton, said:

“Over the past year, there have been a number of interesting developments that have helped embed the Standard and build on the initial certification. In response to the pandemic, BCT has ensured its service has continued to be customer-centric, effectively adapted, and innovative.

I feel that Byker Community Trust continues to comply with the requirements of the Customer Service Excellence Standard with a good level of continuous improvement against the Standard.”