Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association has been awarded the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) accreditation for its commitment to delivering high quality housing and community services to its residents.

The organisation, which owns and manages 1,800 homes on the iconic Grade II* listed Byker Estate in Newcastle, was assessed as being fully compliant in 51 elements of the Standard and achieved Compliance Plus in three other areas.

CSE is a national quality mark which recognises organisations that meets the criteria set out in The Cabinet Offices’ Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Standard. Organisations undergo a rigorous assessment and are tested in great depth on 57 elements focusing 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.

BCT underwent a two-day on-site assessment in February, which included an observation of the organisation’s Customer Scrutiny Committee and a number of meetings with customers, staff, and partners.

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, said:

“This is an excellent outcome for the organisation and is testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff team. BCT is a customer focused organisation whereby culture, processes and people are customer aligned. The assessment is one of the most rigorous processes undertaken so I am delighted that we have achieved this important accreditation, confirming that everything we do is shaped by a relentless commitment to providing value for money and exceeding customer expectations.

I was very pleased to see BCT achieving Compliance Plus in three areas, including Leadership, Using Customer Insight and Working in Partnership.

The organisation has achieved a considerable amount since it was established in July 2012. Not only is BCT a top 50 landlord (currently ranked 24th in the UK in 2019), we have now achieved Customer Service Excellence accreditation which further strengthens our vision of Making Byker and Estate of Choice – an area where people choose to live, work and play.”

The assessor will visit the organisation in 12 months’ time to review progress.