Andrew Kefford is head of housing solutions for Runnymede Council with responsibility for housing advice, homelessness prevention, temporary accommodation and private sector leasing scheme. He graduated from the LHF sponsored post graduate certificate in Leadership and Management; housing and homelessness at London South Bank University in the summer of 2021.  We asked him about the course.

Where did you hear about the course?

I have been in housing for a while and have a lot of experience, but I noticed that most job ads were now asking for a qualification in leadership and management.  My manager, Maggie Ward, did the course and she recommended it.   Most courses like this are distant learning only but this was different and so more attractive – of course the pandemic put an end to that sadly!  I was also attracted as it is very housing focused and not generic as many courses are.  The course is very relevant to my profession.

What were the most positive elements?

The rapport we built up as a cohort was key, especially as the whole thing was remote.    Our whatsapp group continues today and people have met up since the course ended.

The teaching was very relevant to the day job.  The module on “Governance risk and ethics” was particularly useful; I didn’t realise how relevant they were to the business.   I already had a lot of the skills discussed – but it was helpful to examine the theoretical framework and philosophical underpinning to the practice.

Were there difficulties?

It was all quite intense – on zoom from 10-6 then 9-5.  In person it would have been easier because of the interaction and space.  For example, the finance module is complex already, but doing it in the afternoon when you’re on zoom constantly made it tough.  It was hard for the tutors as well – but they were brilliant.

Has it made a difference in day job?

I found that I learned a lot of things, and absorbed them so now they sort of happen naturally.  I found myself acting differently as a result of the things I learned and the people I met.  For example, I now know much more about how to lead and manage my team.

Who would best benefit from the course?

It can be wide ranging.  We had new managers mixed in with quite senior people.  This can be daunting but in time was beneficial.  We all feel a bit of imposter syndrome I think – but the group was very strong and supportive.

For more information about the course and the professional development programme go to https://lhf.org.uk/leadership-course/