Monday 18 March 2019

The Special Skills involved in Managing Student Accommodation Complexes

A two day course providing essential information and advice on how to manage and run larger student buildings and halls of residence. Suitable for all staff involved in, and needing to understand, the day to day operation and management of students’ halls.

Spaces available

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9.30am-9.45amRegistration (tea and coffee available)

9.45am - 10.00amWelcome to the course and introduction of delegates

10.00am - 11.00amAn Introduction to What is a Larger Building and Why Larger Student Buildings are Different and Need Different Skills: special characteristics, high level servicing and types of occupancy. Martin Blakey, Chief Executive

11.00am - 11.30amMaking a Good Start - Preparation: getting ready for occupation: systematic maintenance, cleaning, changeovers of tenants and setting the room. Veronika Ortegel, Housing Manager

11.30am - 11.45amQuestions and Discussion

11.45am - 11.55amBreak (tea and coffee provided)

11.55am - 1.15pmMaking a Good Start  - Welcoming and Post-Arrival Support Issues: Helping students to settle in and responding to support issues Jan Hardy, Tenancy Support and Wellbeing Coordinator

1.15pm - 2.00pmLunch (provided)

2.00pm - 2.30pmRunning the Property - Management Routines: essential routines to be followed daily, weekly and monthly within the building. Veronika Ortegel, Housing Manager.

2.30pm - 2.55pmRunning the Property - Inspections: property inspections, their role, purpose and mechanics, identifying and dealing with problems. Tony Vyse, Development Manager.

2.55pm - 3.20pmDiscussion and questions (tea and coffee also available)

3.20pm - 4.40pmInspecting: inspecting two occupied student flats in complexes. What to look for and indentifying any issues for action.  Tony Vyse and Martin Blakey

4.10pm - 4.40pmInspecting: group work reporting back from the inspections (tea and coffee available). Tony Vyse and Martin Blakey

4.40pm - 5.15pmQuestions, discussion and concluding remarks after day one


DAY TWO Tuesday 19th March

9.30am - 9.45amRegistration for day two (Tea and coffee provided)

9.45am - 10.30amProviding Services that Work, furniture, kitchen appliances, mail deliveries and parcels, cycle storage, lifts, the web and laundrettes. Overall amenity levels and monitoring service contracts. Martin Blakey, Chief Executive

10.30am - 10.45amQuestions and discussion

10.45am - 11.30amDealing with Tenant Issues, the proper use of administrative charges, discipline, fines and dealing with complaints. Martin Blakey, Chief Executive

11.30am - 11.45amBreak (Tea and coffee provided)

11.45am - 12.30pmGroup Work: looking at approaches to actual case examples. Led by Martin Blakey

12.30pm - 1.15pmHealth and Safety - Essential Checks: gas and electrical supplies and installations and practical fire safety and maintaining the integrity of the building. Tony Vyse, Development Manager.

1.15pm – 2.00pmLunch (provided)

2.00pm - 2.35pmComplying with the Government Approved National (UUK and ANUK/Unipol) Codes (includes some on-line group work). Simon Kemp, National Codes Administrator

2.35pm - 2.45pmQuestions and Discussion

2.45pm - 2.55pmBreak (Tea and coffee provided)

2.55pm - 3.40pmHealth and Safety - Risk Assessment: understanding, undertaking and responding to risk assessments (the "RRO"), the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and maintaining a safe environment in your building. Martin Blakey, Chief Executive

3.40pm - 3.50pmQuestions and Discussion

3.50pm – 4.00pmConcluding remarks and end



Martin Blakey, Chief Executive

Martin Blakey has worked in the student accommodation area for over 20 years with a wide experience of all kinds of student housing, from off-street to purpose built properties. Has worked closely with HEIs, Local Authorities, Governments and major supplier to raise housing standard and widen student choice and expectations. As Chief Executive of Unipol, (a charity focusing on student housing) Martin helped develop a portfolio housing 3,000 students in Leeds, provides services to around 15 HEIs, accredits just over 220,000 bed spaces and operates the main training programme for those involved in student accommodation. The mission continues.

Veronika Ortegel, Housing Manager

Veronika is responsible for coordinating and undertaking a number of key tasks within the Unipol housing team including staffing, licensing, and partners’ relations.

Simon Kemp, National Codes Administrator

Simon has worked at Unipol since 2002. Currently he administers the two ANUK/Unipol National Codes for Large Student Developments, covering around 310,000 bed spaces throughout the UK.

Tony Vyse, Development Manager

Tony Joined Unipol in January 2013 as Senior Housing Management Officer - Technical Services having worked within the Building and Construction industry for 18 years. More recently Tony was the Maintenance Manager instructing all trade operatives to maintain a portfolio of 750 properties for the Home Office. Tony now supports the housing management team in relation to property surveying and undertakes projects such as property full and part refurbishments.

Jan Hardy, Tenancy Support and Wellbeing Coordinator 

Jan is the Tenancy Support Officer for Unipol using mediation techniques for tenant disputes, providing information for students with mental ill health, dealing with anti-social behaviour, supporting students affected by crime and organising events for students throughout the year.


This revised two day course provides training that deals with the specific challenges inherent in managing student complexes and how differing sized buildings need different (but similar) regimes.
The course deals with all of the management processes of serviced and high density accommodation with a particular focus on three aspects of that task:
managing the building
managing the occupants
maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and customer service.
The course also deals with the lifecycle of management needs across an annual tenant group and promotes an understanding of the day to day health and safety requirements in order to maintain the building in an on-going safe state.
The course can be used as an introduction for recently employed staff but it will also be useful for consolidating practical knowledge for more experienced staff. The two days will also range over established best practice that is taking place in the sector. 
The course involves a visit to a student accommodation complex so that delegates can assess how the building and its tenants is working - or could work better.
The course is concerned with providing practical help, information and advice but will place these "coal-face" activities within the wider framework of safety, practicality and customer service so that staff know why certain system exist rather than just accepting them as systems.

Cost per delegate

Normal Delegate Rate - £575

Friends of Unipol Rate - £495

Friends of Unipol Rate (Residential) - £675

Friends of Unipol Rate (Residential) - £595

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