Residential Services achieve international standard

The University of Leeds Residential Service has successfully achieved registration from BSI for operating a Quality Management System (QMS) that’s compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for the provision of accommodation to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In 2015, the team challenged themselves to develop and implement a QMS that would meet the very highest of standards.

Residential Services were already providing an excellent student experience and running a very commercially successful and sustainable service. But team members recognised that a QMS would assist them to standardise and preserve all of their developed knowledge, experience and good practices and help to further improve standards and performance.

BSI registration demonstrates our commitment to the quality of our accommodation and the service we provide to our students.

Ian Robertson, Director of Residential Services explained: “Initially we looked hard at the standard we wanted to achieve and we engaged the EQUAS management consultancy to help us do that. We wanted to ensure that we clearly understood the principals of the ISO 9001 standard and how using the standard would benefit us.  It was critical that we understood the workload and the role that team members would need to play in reviewing our business activities and processes against the standard.”

Ian also explained that “Residential Service’s QMS is scoped to support our business objectives. We have identified the needs of our students and have assessed their future requirements. The QMS helps us to ensure that we meet statutory regulations and that we communicate standards to everyone working in Residential Services. Risks and opportunities for improvement have been recognised and we’ve put in place operational controls that effectively manage and measure our performance.

“BSI registration demonstrates our commitment to the quality of our accommodation and the service we provide to our students.”

Working together to understand and implement our QMS has been tremendously beneficial for each and every team member. Engagement, training activity, participation in workshops, and a collective effort to complete necessary work to design and create our QMS has brought the team closer together and boosted the satisfaction they experience at work. This has been evidenced by the results of our recent staff satisfaction survey.

In 2015, 72.5% of staff working in Residential Services reported that their personal work objectives were aligned with Service plans and in November 2017 that measure had increased to 87%.  Staff also reported that they felt they were significantly more involved in decisions that affect their work, that they had been encouraged to contribute to developing Service strategy and that they better understood it. Finally, staff also reported that they feel more valued and secure in their employment.

Operating a QMS has concentrated team activity and resources in a way that the Service believes will help them to maintain standards and deliver even more focused continuous improvement. And that measured overall student satisfaction with the accommodation and service provided has just increased from 82% to 82.6% supports that.

Dennis Hopper, the University’s Director of Facilities commented: “Residential Services have developed a Quality Management System that meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and that is no mean feat. As far as I am aware, Residential Services at the University of Leeds are the only university-owned and operated Accommodation Service in the UK who have become compliant to a BSI registered ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standard and we should be extremely proud of that achievement.”

Find out more about the University of Leeds Residential Service on the Accommodation website