Case Studies Muthuraj Marimuthu October 2, 2023

Case Studies

Read case studies about Shelton Development Service’s housing development software and open elearning courses.

Software Case Study

Cobalt Housing

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Bought ProVal and Sequel:  APRIL 2020

Number of ProVal Users:   10

Number of Sequel Users:  6

Cobalt Housing is a registered Housing Association based in North Liverpool which was established in 2003. They manage around 6000 affordable homes in the Fazakerley & Sparrow Hall, Croxteth, and Norris Green areas of North Liverpool. As the majority landlord in this area, they are committed to providing high quality places to live in and offering support to those in the community who need it. They are engaged in a range of economic, neighbourhood, and community regeneration projects to help fulfil these goals and currently have ten staff using SDS ProVal and six SDS Sequel users.

Audrey Gaffney, Growth Manager at Cobalt Housing, said: “I have found ProVal to be very easy to use since moving over to Cobalt Homes. One of its best qualities is how much detail it provides us as an organisation. We use ProVal and Sequel for appraisals and project management, so the detail they provide allows us to see a true picture of our future development plans.
The appraisals in particular are organised logically to make them clear and intuitive to use. The NPV functions are key. If the debt gaps are too far into the negative we know that the scheme is not viable without wasting our money. The summaries built into the software are also great and very helpful.

When we have new people join the business, SDS offers training for these staff members. This training is informative and engaging, giving them all the skills they need to use ProVal effectively. It is a great asset to our business to have well trained staff who understand the software we are using.

Our industry is facing significant challenges moving forward. With continuing economic uncertainty, it is difficult to predict future housing trends and secure planning for new housing. The costs of builds are constantly fluctuating, but ProVal is flexible to these changes and helps us to evaluate the viability of future housing projects.”

Software Case Study

Muir

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Bought ProVal:  OCTOBER 2019

Number of ProVal Users:   6

Established in 1968, Muir are a Chester-based housing association who own and manage more than 5,500 homes in the United Kingdom. Muir have been using SDS ProVal since October 2019 and have six staff members using the system.

Alex Fury, Assistant Director of Assets and Growth at Muir, uses ProVal regularly.

“I was already aware of ProVal from working in previous organisations and trusted both the product and SDS. It was important for me that Muir was using an industry-leading software package to enable us to continue to successfully compete in the marketplace.

ProVal is very user friendly but at the same time provides lots of functionality, detail and assurance that enables well-informed decision making. Muir is now able to be more dynamic in its approach to development appraisals, which helps us now and in the future.
My previous knowledge of SDS gave me confidence to work with them again and, as previously, my perception continues to be really positive. Technical Support is, and always has been, a strength for SDS. They respond efficiently and also offer contextual advice and support which can be really valuable.

I think that one of the strengths that SDS has is that it is respected as a leader in the sector, enabling links with the larger sector conversation. In my view, bringing this awareness and advantage to your products and users is a real positive. I think SDS has an opportunity to bring positive influence in the sector, and that can only be a good thing.”

Software Case Study

Bournemouth Christchurch Poole Council

Category:  LOCAL AUTHORITY

Bought ProVal:  MARCH 2018

Number of ProVal Users:   6

Jonathan Thornton
Housing Development Manager

Bournemouth Christchurch Poole Council is committed to the delivery of social housing solutions whilst ensuring that resources are used efficiently and effectively. Continued budget pressures dictate the need to evolve the current development process, improving visibility for stakeholders, managing risk and improving efficiency.

Our innovative approach ensures we respond dynamically to change and challenges along the way, which is why we upgraded to ProVal LS.

The council’s strategic focus is to create multi tenure developments for diverse communities, this increases the complexity and higher density developments on each site.

Our relationship with SDS

We have trusted ProVal XL, and the team behind it, for many years to support us in appraising all new build, purchase and repair schemes, ensuring each is financially viable so the decision to upgrade to ProVal LS was easy.​

Our development team use ProVal heavily, and due to the success we have enjoyed, we plan on extending its use to include our finance team who will also benefit greatly by modelling how any strategic changes could affect each scheme.

Getting to grips with ProVal LS

We were immediately impressed with the speed at which we could appraise schemes. Getting to grips with the software came easily with use. The familiarity of the software also comes easy with use. As a local authority, the KPI focus is the cumulative cash flow remaining positive from year 1.

Implementation

Initially, we had concerns over how long it takes for new team members to get used to ProVal LS. This depends on whether they have used ProVal XL previously, but new staff members can get up to speed swiftly with the training SDS offers, possibly only requiring checking of the appraisal by senior staff.​

The annual support inspires confidence with efficient, friendly help just a phone call or email away.

Success

ProVal XL helped us in many ways, and we have now rolled out ProVal LS to our affordable and commercial development teams so that there is continuity in the systems used. This will assist the teams working together and in providing support to each other when required.

Since we got ProVal LS everything is so much easier, and the process appears to run faster!

Feedback

Our favourite aspect if ProVal LS is that standard house types for each tenure can be set up as defaults, which enables us to drag and drop this information into an appraisal, making appraisals so much quicker.

Although we have had some technical difficulties, they were easily resolved using SDS support. Their experienced quick and accurate responses resolved our issues and gave good advice in appraisals.

Future Goals

Even with the help of ProVal LS, our biggest problem is the increasing build costs and the decreasing availability of land in our operating area.​

One of our future plans is to get planning applications submitted for several schemes whilst tendering several others. ​

ProVal LS is the core of our internal systems for scheme approval at whatever development stage a scheme is at.

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

The London Borough of Hackney Council

Category:  LOCAL AUTHORITY

Bought ProVal and Sequel:  FEBRUARY 2016

Number of ProVal Users:   30

Number of Sequel Users:  41

Simon Theobald
Head of Finance

Hackney’s housing strategy 2017-22 outlines how Hackney Borough Council intends to realise the vision of delivering the homes Hackney needs. The Borough Council has integrated SDS software into the delivery of the strategy. This case study outlines the housing strategy for 2017-22, and how SDS helps that strategy to become reality.

Homes are being built using a model that cross subsidies outright sales to fund affordable housing. The aim is to deliver 2,000 homes by 2022 with the scope of the overall project to build over 9000 homes. These will be high quality affordable homes for tenants and will help to shape the communities they are in. Hackney uses SDS ProVal and Sequel at different points throughout the development of a scheme.

Getting to grips with ProVal LS

ProVal is used as a fundamental part of the appraisal / design phase. It allows the Finance and Development teams to manage all the changes that happen during that phase. Before ProVal everything would have been recorded in multiple spreadsheets. The spreadsheets showed all potential variables that impacted the scheme, and updating these spreadsheets for each project and consolidating them was extremely time consuming. It would often take two or three weeks before knowing the outcome of the changes. In addition, with such a complex system there was also the risk of human error.

With the introduction of ProVal, almost overnight there was an instant understanding of the financial impact of any changes. Typical changes would include; design, tenure, number of floors, additional costs, and change in sales values. Visibility into the financial impact these have within a single scheme, or across schemes, means is easily modelled in an SDS appraisal. From the base appraisal, various scenarios are created in ProVal, which enables the Council to select a development which optimizes the management of cost and risk. Due to build costs increasing and sales values dropping, these figures need to be managed on a day to day basis. ProVal has drastically improved the development decision making process, enabling Hackney to be more agile, adapting to the changing environment. Ultimately, delivering affordable housing schemes with better value for money.

Implementation

Initially, ProVal was implemented primarily for the regeneration team, who were tasked to look at the redevelopment of Hackney’s housing stock. Subsequently then, an infield programme of house building housing supply programme has been introduced. The use of ProVal has been shared with other departments, increasing overall employee skill and understanding of the development process at Hackney Borough Council.

“We have expanded the number of departments who use ProVal as Strategic property services who manage the Hackney commercial and community portfolio work with the development team to do appraisals. These appraisals were often done by consultants who would have to re-appraise a scheme to identify the impact of change, this was costly and time consuming. Now the finance and regeneration team work together to run 8/9 different appraisal options to understand all the factors and their impacts.”

“The huge strategic plans for delivery are a result of the information, knowledge and understanding of development that has been brought to the team via ProVal. If we were still using spreadsheets I’m not sure we would ever have that insight. We may still have delivered, but it would have been at an unknown cost, in the sense that we would never know how much better value we could have achieved. With ProVal we’ve continued to deliver with measurable value, we’re delivering 2,000 units by 2022, and that’s the measure of our success.”

To gain board development approval, a gateway process is used throughout all the stages. ProVal is used to first complete a very simple appraisal to look at the finances, site capacity to work out what’s deliverable on the site and potential tenure mix options, property sizes, and other facilities for the community or commercial spaces within the development. If viable these are brought into the programme for approval which is the baseline financial position.

This is then developed to a detailed design and planning permission is submitted. During the wait for planning permission approval, there are often more cost changes that are identified and monitored until it goes to tender. When the tenders come back they are compared and how well the scheme has moved through the design development is reviewed to consider finally cost to build from the contractor.

Sequel

Sequel is used to project manage the build phase, replicating the finance system monitoring and controlling budgets and spend in line with authorised payments.​

With Sequel, it is easier for project managers to manage their costs as the finance systems are complicated to understand and set up specifically for regeneration. Costs are replicated from the finance system to allow project managers to understand costs within the context of their scheme and manage their budget spend. This includes awarding a contract for an architect or a consultant.​

At the end of the development process Sequel is used to keep a record of all the properties built, who shared ownership properties were sold to, the percentage equity and rent amounts. Workflows are a key area of Sequel which Hackney have used extensively to monitor finances and save time producing reports.

Success

“From a finance perspective, our success has been the ability to double the number of projects we support without increasing staff resources. This is because the project managers now have more accountability, and understand the appraisal part of their role is as important as what they do in design development. Previously, they would ask something, then they’d go away and look at it on a spreadsheet, come up with an answer, then something else would change, and so on….. it was resource intensive from a financial appraisal and control perspective.”

Hackney have also noticed the increased confidence in governance, through deeper knowledge, and the ability to respond appropriately to issues such as; change in sales prices, increase build costs, design changes and tenure mixes. This enables better support for the project managers in delivering the scheme. From a finance perspective, it saves time and resources whilst continuing to deliver an appraisal. The development departments success is the delivery of a scheme in line with the approved appraisal so that there are no shocks.

“ProVal and Sequel are great products and we looked at a number of different options before we chose SDS, the key selling point was that the software is intuitive. One of my favourite lines from our Director of Finance is ‘can someone show me the instruction manual for Facebook?’, so with ProVal particularly, those 2-3 days we took setting up the system with no instruction handbook meant we don’t need it. It’s obvious what you need to do to build the appraisal. We required minimal guidance to get the template. Once you’ve created templates, all of the appraisal changes are intuitive. The real selling point to us of ProVal was that it was obvious what you needed to do to get the answer you wanted out of the system.”

Feedback

ProVal has given Hackney better visibility and improved the quality of schemes due to the vastly improved information now available which supports better decision making. This has enabled the implementation of more structured governance and gateways to approval processes.

“When we set up ProVal, the team spent 2 / 3 days inputting all the parameters which seemed quite resource intensive at the time but now we can see the benefit of that. It would take me about 5 minutes but even for a new project manager joining the team, it would take them no more than 10 minutes to appraise a scheme, because all the parameters are in there. This speed has helped us exponentially.”​

All involved now have an understanding of the costs being approved, the risks and what other options were considered. This shared knowledge, financial understanding and performance across the team is giving the project managers and Regeneration Teams responsibility and ownership of finance. This is an evolution from a corporate control environment, where the Finance department sign off everything. This has enabled Hackney to measure spend against the appraisal being delivered to the objectives and accountability.

“One of the perks of SDS Software is the continuous development of the products, and the new bits you find while expanding your capabilities. For example, recently we were doing some work, looking through the other tabs and we found in (tab I) we could view individual unit financial performance, this is a new bit of information for us which we use particularly for GLA bids referring to changing tenures based on the net present value of an outright sale / shared ownership or shared rent so you know the cost of change.”

Software Case Study

Great Places Housing Group

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Bought ProVal and Sequel:  MARCH 2014

Number of ProVal Users:   30

Number of Sequel Users:   20

Nick Gornall
Head of Development

Great Places have dedicated their time to finding solutions for delivering affordable social housing and improving the lives of people living in the nineteen thousand homes they manage. Having completed six thousand new homes across the last 10 years there was never going to be a quiet time to switch to using ProVal & Sequel but with continued ambitions to develop new homes at scale and in an effective and efficient way Great Places switched in 2014.

ProVal has assisted Great Places in their development ambitions and with their knowledge of ProVal and Sequel progressing, Great Places plan to build an additional eleven thousand new homes over the next ten year period.

Our relationship with SDS

Great Places have been able to benefit from the high calibre of support that Shelton Development Services provide. “Nick Gornall – Head of Development” “The support is great, you can phone with quick and silly questions and email when it’s not as urgent or out of hours. The support team are good at layman’s terms to make it easy for us to understand issues which can be quite techy”.

In addition to this excellent support, SDS’s viability workshops have provided Great Places with a wealth of knowledge, such as picking up invaluable tips on the functions of ProVal to understanding NPV and how the cashflows work together. They found that everyone attending the workshop from directors through to graduates were engaged and felt that they gained greater insight into how to use the software more efficiently. Additionally, the training also helped to look at long term results helping maximise the feasibility of a scheme through changing tenure or unit mix in the results section. The finance department has thoroughly enjoyed using dummy schemes to gain a greater understanding of making schemes viable and resolve any issues.

Implementation

There were concerns about how long team members would take to get to grips with ProVal but all twenty eight members of Great Places Finance and Development teams are able to use SDS systems efficiently through training and support, with everyone working on ProVal and Sequel happy with the usage and implementation.

New members joining Great Places are typically proficient with ProVal and Sequel a couple of weeks into their training.

In addition to this, the annual support inspires confidence with efficient, friendly help just a phone call or email away.

Benefits of ProVal and Sequel

Since the implementation of ProVal in 2014, appraisals have seen a significant increase in efficiency alongside overall project management. An example Great Places has provided are the additional attribute fields that are captured, this means the data gets transferred across systems while reducing duplication. This allows for time to be spent focusing on other areas of their appraisals. What’s more, they were able to capture all of the information in the development process to avoid the hassle of visiting properties to capture data years later through stock condition surveys. Property attributes are also advantageous, using them to drive data going forward. These have been useful to Great Places in the long term with data input and inaccuracies allowing for visibility meaning that nothing gets missed. Additionally, Great Places have a good starting point when properties are developed which can be built on with trusted stock condition data. With the increasing rate that Great Places are developing at, they want the base housing management data to be right which they believe can be achieved with the use of Sequel.​

The most obvious advantage Great Places highlighted with SDS software was the time saved generating appraisals and generating programme level financial data.

Drafts of appraisals allowed time for Great Places to fine-tune their process and effectively heighten their productivity. Additionally, the quality of support and training that has been provided allowed for all members running ProVal to appraise schemes in under five minutes.​

The Finance Team at Great Places have worked hard to utilise the standardised reports within Sequel and to build bespoke reporting around them. The result being a suite of financial template reports which can be produced at the click of a button from the live data within sequel.

Future Goals

Going forward, Great Places is looking to implement upcoming changes to their software, looking to evolve with technological developments rather than stagnate with past practices. Shared ownership is going to be an integral product of Great Places’ future developments, so HomeMatch is a product they will be looking at to streamline the management of the sales programme. Finally, the more the development programme as a whole grows over the coming years, the more importance will be placed on the Sequel cashflows to ensure that no financial rules are going to be broken. ProVal, Sequel, and HomeMatch will be at the forefront for Great Places in their future development plans.

Overall

Overall, SDS has provided Great Places with expert training and support during the implementation of ProVal and Sequel. Viable schemes can be appraised quickly amongst the team with twenty eight members within finance and development able to efficiently use the SDS software suite.
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eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Cornerstone Housing

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: AUGUST 2022

Number of Proval Users:   4

Yvonne Woodward
Finance Director

Cornerstone Housing offers affordable, high-quality, rented and shared ownership homes across Exeter and the surrounding areas. They are a small housing association, managing 1,400 homes in 2022. They value providing safe, stable, affordable homes that enable people to thrive in their local communities. Yvonne Woodward is a Finance Director at Cornerstone Housing, and recently attended SDS ProVal Open eLearning training.

“ProVal was used in my previous organisation but, as I was working in the finance department, I rarely saw the appraisals being built-up. I was familiar with the reports it produced, but I wanted to know more about how ProVal created those appraisals. It was a steep but interesting learning curve!

Sheila, our trainer, was great. I had never attended an eLearning course before, but her patience and in-depth knowledge made it an enjoyable experience. She answered our questions quickly and clearly, building our confidence while using this unfamiliar software.
I found that the pace of the training was just right; it allowed us to follow along with Sheila without feeling overwhelmed or left behind. The recordings of these training sessions are particularly useful, as I was able to repeat the training in my own time and at my own pace.​

The Support team has also been excellent, providing prompt responses to queries we have sent in.

I would highly recommend SDS eLearning training to others, especially those in finance departments. Understanding each other’s systems, can help teams like Development and finance departments work together more effectively. I have found it to be valuable to understand the mechanics of ProVal, and it has improved my ability to interpret the reports.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Prima Group

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: JULY 2022

Number of users:   5

Robbie Mannion
Project Manager

Prima Group currently owns and manages over 2,700 homes for families, single people, over 55s, students, and key workers. They also own and manage a small number of commercial properties. Prima Group’s vision is to create good quality, safe and affordable homes, helping to build strong communities. Robbie Mannion, a project manager at Prima Group, recently attended SDS Open eLearning training.

“I started this training with a working knowledge of SDS ProVal and Sequel as I had used them in my previous organisation. Although I understood the software, Sheila still managed to bring out new elements of Sequel that I hadn’t known or used effectively before. It was especially useful to have Shelia cover the property section of Sequel as it allowed us to set about rearranging our workflow arrangements following the training.
Sheila reinforced the positive image I already held of SDS. She was friendly and engaging and followed our lead when we requested some detours and recaps. Her positive can-do attitude improved our overall experience of the training and left us feeling well-informed and confident in our ability to utilise the software. The training itself was well-paced and met the needs of our team, allowing more experienced users to press ahead while newer members of our team could recap information with Sheila. Whilst I have used the SDS systems a lot, some colleagues have not and some have never used anything similar. It is obvious they have improved their skills and knowledge following the training. After the training, I also had a positive experience contacting the SDS Support team, who were responsive and helpful.

I would highly recommend the SDS Open eLearning training to colleagues and others in the field. I use ProVal and Sequel regularly and find it helpful to attend top-up training sessions to refresh my knowledge and utilise these programs to their full potential.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Freebridge Community Housing

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: MARCH 2022

Number of Proval Users:   6

Number of Sequel Users:   6

Laura Handford
Head of Service for New Homes

Freebridge Community Housing is the largest provider of housing in West Norfolk, set up in 2006 to receive the transfer of homes from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. Today, Freebridge Community Housing own and manage around 6,800 homes across West Norfolk, and work tirelessly to bring homes up to the Decent Homes Standard. As a large-scale Voluntary Transfer Housing Association, Freebridge Community Housing has appeared on the Times Top 100 not-for-profit list three years in a row. Laura Handford is the Head of Service for new homes, and attended eLearning training in March and April of 2022.

“I had been using ProVal for some time, so I was familiar with the program, but the training proved to be invaluable. Becky, our trainer, took the time to find out what we needed as an organisation and tailored the training to these issues. This thoughtful approach meant that Becky provided training that was relevant to us as a company, and extremely helpful moving forward. There isn’t anything I feel that could have improved our experience of this training.
The training itself was interactive, both with the trainer and ProVal, making it engaging and enjoyable. I feel that our team gained a lot from this approach. Becky covered all of the topics we were expecting when we registered for this training. My understanding of the basics was refreshed, and I also learnt some new shortcuts for using the software. Becky was helpful in explaining some of the newer elements of the program as well. I feel confident that our team now has the skills to use ProVal efficiently moving forward.

Since the ProVal training, SDS has been very supportive, and I have received quick and helpful emails from the support team. I am feeling confident about attending the Sequel training later this year. I would highly recommend this training to other colleagues and friends.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Southway Housing Trust

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: MARCH 2022

Number of Proval Users:   18

Number of Sequel Users:   22

Lorraine Taylor
Senior Development Officer

Southway Housing Trust is a not-for-profit local housing company owning and managing almost 6,000 homes in and around Burnage, Chorlton, Didsbury and Withington. Construction of development has resumed with a focus on increasing the supply of housing in areas that are in or close to South Manchester. Lorraine Taylor is a Senior Development Officer, part of a team of 12.

“I have not attended any eLearning software training before so this was a new experience for me. The content that was delivered fully met my expectations when I registered for the course, as I expected to be given an in-depth overview so I could then with practice get to grips with the software. Some of the information around the long-term cashflow performance was not new, but Amanda demystified it so it was very useful. As I haven’t used ProVal before, I can’t say I had any preconceptions other than I knew it was widely used within the industry. The cashflow management function is really user-friendly and forecasting is easier to manage within ProVal.
It’s always good to have more training and I think the session duration was about right. Amanda had a very good delivery, pace and full explanations for what she was teaching us. I would definitely recommend the course to a colleague who needed to learn the software. I liked that this style of interactive training enables you to work alongside the presenter and the tester as you learn.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Selwood Housing

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: FEBRUARY 2022

Number of ProVal Users:   8

Paul Walsh
Group Development Director

Selwood Housing is a Housing Association based in Wiltshire, Mendip, Bath and North East Somerset, providing almost 7,000 local and affordable homes. With a focus on understanding the community, Selwood Housing employs around 300 local people who understand the needs of customers and are passionate about helping them. As a vital part of their local housing market, Selwood Housing is committed to building 1,000 more affordable homes by 2026. Paul Walsh is the Group Development Director for Selwood Housing, organising a team of 10 people. He recently attended a SDS ProVal eLearning session.

“I attended SDS Open eLearning training hosted by Becky in February, and was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the training offered. I had previously attended training with SDS, and these sessions are particularly good at delivering the key information in detail to show us the functionality of ProVal. In my experience, SDS always successfully delivers the content they have promised online, so we know what to expect.
Becky didn’t just tell us the new information, though. She delivered an engaging set of training and made sure that we knew how to use the new information we were being given. These demonstrations were the best bits of this training and extremely helpful moving forward.

Attending two hours of training for four weeks can feel like a big commitment at first. However, Becky knows her stuff and kept the training at a really good space throughout the four weeks. I would definitely recommend this eLearning training going forward, and I will most likely attend more in the future.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Acis Group

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: JANUARY 2022

Number of Proval Users:   6

Number of Sequel Users:   6

Sophie Wilkinson
Development Programme Officer

Acis Group is a Housing Association serving customers across the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber. Acis Group has more than 7,000 quality and affordable homes – available to rent, buy or part-own and spread across cities, towns and idyllic rural villages. They are growing and developing new homes every year to meet local demand and expand the support on offer. Sophie Wilkinson is a Development Programme Officer who recently attended an e-Learning training course.

“I have previously attended eLearning software training hosted by SDS. I find that these sessions are very informative and engaging, so I was looking forward to participating in another training session. As usual, the content that was promised when I registered for the training was delivered by the hosts, Becky, Kat and Sheila. During the training I felt that I learned a lot of new information which boosted my confidence. The trainers were friendly and made the three days of training really enjoyable.

I would highly recommend the eLearning training provided by SDS to my colleagues. The trainers are engaging and provided a wealth of information. Very impressed by this service.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Cornovii Development Ltd

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: AUGUST 2020

Number of Proval Users:   5

Number of Sequel Users:   5

Lindsay Truman
Development Project Manager

Cornovii Developments Ltd is a private company wholly owned by Shropshire Council that has been established to address housing market failures and gaps across the County which lead to unmet housing needs across Shropshire. CDL’s aim is to start building 100 homes in the first year, increasing to 250 per year by 2023, specifically increasing provision of 2 and 3 bedroom affordable homes. CDL developments will include 60% of homes for market sale and 40% affordable homes. CDL sells its affordable homes to local RPs. Cornovii is a small team of 5 people including the Managing Director, 2 Development Project Managers, 1 Business Manager and a Strategic Corporate Accountant.

“I’ve attended other eLearning sessions however this was my first SDS eLearning. Since starting the SDS eLearning courses I have found them to exceed expectations providing valuable support to their clients. SDS have gone above and beyond with their service and support and the support team are always really friendly and helpful.”
“My knowledge of ProVal and Sequel in how to set up and use the systems increased substantially from 0 to 80% during the sessions. The support of the trainer contributed to this as Kat was fabulous at keeping energy and interaction levels up throughout all the training sessions. The thing I liked most about these sessions was that we were able to undertake them from the comfort of our own homes. After attending these sessions I’d be highly inclined to recommend these training courses to a friend or colleague and will look to attend more sessions in the future. Overall I thought it was excellent.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Wokingham Housing

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: JUNE 2020

Number of Proval Users:   4

Tracey Powell
Senior Development Officer

Wokingham Housing develops affordable housing and some market housing for Loddon Homes, Berry Brook Homes as well as developing affordable housing for Wokingham Council, the local authority for the borough of Wokingham in Berkshire. Within the Commercial Development team there are 5 people, in addition to the director, all of which are involved with the development projects.

Tracey Powell attended the Open eLearning ProVal Administration sessions and had Bespoke End User eLearning sessions for the rest of the team at Wokingham Housing. Tracey had never attended any eLearning sessions before although had previously been using ProVal.
“In the eLearning sessions with SDS I found that I learned a lot of new information I hadn’t quite grasped beforehand. I actually learnt a lot, but the main benefit to come from this training was that the course provided me with a new found confidence when using ProVal. The environment of the eLearning course made me feel comfortable asking for help when needed. The interactivity of the training sessions combined with Kat who was the presenter allowed the training to be a very interesting and engaging experience for me.

“Since the online training I have found that using the support that SDS provides is very helpful. Every time I’ve been in contact with the support or training teams it has always felt personal, which is a great achievement considering how many people use ProVal. I was very impressed with the training and the content which was exactly what I needed. I’d be highly inclined to recommend the eLearning sessions to any colleagues as there is always something new to learn and I’d definitely attend another session again.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Cottsway Housing Association

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: MARCH 2020

Number of Proval Users:   8

Number of Sequel Users:   8

Tina Proctor
Development Officer

Formed in 2001, Cottsway Housing Association provides almost 5,000 homes for rent and shared ownership for over 10,000 customers. Their homes are based in West Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, and range from flats and bungalows to family homes. ​

Tina Proctor, one of Cottsway’s Development Officers, tells us about her experience using SDS eLearning.​

“I had never used Sequel before. As a complete beginner, I found this e-learning course was perfect for me. It started with the basics and developed my knowledge week-by-week. My perception of Sequel has changed substantially – from simply understanding what the system can do, to putting it to good use in the workplace. I have also learnt how to adapt the information and use the system to best suit my job requirements. “I now feel confident in using Sequel in my day-to-day role. Currently Cottsway don’t use all the aspects of the system, but the training allowed me to see how different areas could be utilised and has sparked my imagination on how we may be able to benefit from using Sequel more in the future.
“The course provided just the information I needed and far exceeded my hopes. Kat, the SDS trainer was great. She explained each session clearly, made time for questions and allowed us to stop and ask her for more information as the sessions went along. If I didn’t understand anything, she happily helped me until it was clear. Each session was followed up with an assessment. This highlighted where I had gone wrong or had misunderstood something, and ensured I was learning, even from my mistakes!

“What I liked most about the e-learning course was that it is easily accessible – you didn’t need to travel or incur additional time or expense to attend. It was also very interactive and engaging. I would score this course 10/10 and look forward to attending other SDS eLearning courses in the future. I would definitely recommend them to a friend or colleague.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

One Manchester

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: FEBRUARY 2019

Number of Proval Users:   15

Number of Sequel Users:   15

Victoria Young
Development Manager

Formed in 2015, One Manchester Housing Group has roughly 12,000 properties across the Manchester city region providing affordable housing opportunities to thousands of people. Within the team, there are 6 members ranging from development managers and officers. Victoria Young is one of the Development Managers at One Manchester and has recently attended the SDS eLearning courses.

“I have attended several eLearning sessions with SDS and enjoyed the sessions as they are engaging and provide me with more confidence than group training sessions.”
“Whenever I am part of these eLearning sessions I always feel I learn something new – the content is very informative and exceeds my expectations it helps me to understand the finer points of ProVal and Sequel plus the interaction with the trainer is excellent – you feel like you’re having a private training session. The main presenter is always very enthusiastic, with questions being asked and praise is given. I would definitely attend future SDS eLearning sessions.”

eLEARNING CASE STUDY

Shepherds Bush Housing Group

Category:  HOUSING ASSOCIATION

Attended eLearning: NOVEMBER 2018

Number of Proval Users:   14

Titilola Kosoko
Senior Project Manager

Shepherds Bush Housing Group has been providing affordable homes throughout west London since 1968 SBHA is a developing Housing Association with 5000 Homes. Our team has eight members. Titilola Kosoko is the Senior Project Manager attended the SDS ProVal eLearning course.
information I received during the course was new and ProVal LS is much more user-friendly than the old ProVal version I have used. The main presenter was very engaging and the sessions were the right length of time. I would be very likely to recommend the ProVal eLearning to others as the pace, trainer and handouts were good. I would attend SDS eLearning training again.”





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