Vital insight into pressing matters offered at latest NHMF SPF meeting

It was full steam ahead at London’s Hallam Conference Centre, with the Spring NHMF Service Provider Forum meeting underway earlier this month.


The new Forum Chair, Melissa Woodall, led proceedings, welcoming everyone and provided the results of some recent opinion polls. With a 95% recommendation rate amongst members, consensus is exceptionally positive. Melissa promised that she, and her fellow SPF Committee members, will work continuously to pursue excellence.

Melissa’s welcome was followed up by Felicity Newman, the Deputy Chair of the NHMF Management Committee. She delivered an update on the new Committee, along with upcoming actions for the year. These included engagement planning strategies, potential future partnerships and charity events. Excitingly, alongside the study tour of Stockholm, the theme for the NHMF Conference 2025 has been chosen: clarity. It was great to have Felicity attend the meeting, as she also works for Aster; to have more clients in the room was something that’s always been requested by members, and to see the NHMF SPF Committee acting upon members’ feedback is really encouraging.


Andrew Burke, Adviser at NHMF, delivered a succinct compliance update, wherein he stressed the importance of quality and the voice of the resident. Providers must deliver homes that they themselves would be happy to live in. He discussed ways for providers to develop and improve their Resident Engagement Strategy with their clients and directed the room to the best practice area of the NHMF website for more detailed updates on these key topics.


The first guest session was led by James Prestwich, Director of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing, and Mike Turner, Executive Director of Cardo Group. The talk, entitled ‘What does an excellent maintenance and repairs service look like’, gave us a sneak preview of the results from the Better Homes Review, which offered some stark feedback from residents and a distinct/ positive action plan on "Rethinking repairs and maintenance services: how social landlords can partner with service providers to deliver better outcomes for residents."


David Miller, Director of M3 Housing and of NHMF Frameworx, spoke about two new M3NHF Schedules of Rates, specifically relating to Civil Engineering and Structural Repairs, and DLO Support Module. Regarding the Frameworx Update, things are looking very positive: a great deal of awards and a healthy pipeline lies ahead.


The second major session, based primarily around the Procurement Act 2024, was led by Lee Maskell, Equity Partner at Faithorn Farrell Timms. Lee ran through the implications of the Procurement Act, set to arrive on 28th October, for service providers. The key aspects of the regulations include the following:

  • Section 11, which dictates that the Contracting Authority can’t enter into a public contract, unless awarded under: Sec. 19 – competitive award, Sec. 41 – direct award, Sec. 43 – direct award after switching procedures, or Sec. 45 - award under frameworks
  • Section 12, which states that Contracting Authorities have regard of the barriers to procurement for SMEs, and;
  • Section 13, which says that the Contracting Authority must consider National Procurement Policy Statement

To better understand the Act, a series of monthly workshops will be arranged.


The final session, ‘Damp and Mould: the impact of AI’, was led by Martyn Stones, Director of Technical Services at Countrywide Surveying Services and Visiting Industry Fellow of Oxford Brookes University TDE. He discussed an exciting tool in the diagnosis of damp and mould which through utilising AI and a pre-existing data library, ultimately saves time and resources. The technology is still in R&D phase at the university, so a call was put out to Service Provider Forum members to collaborate on further development to help the app meet its full potential and be ready to be commercialised for the market.

In all, the meeting provided vital insight into pressing contemporary matters, and a big thank you to every speaker and member that attended and for all the interesting questions and feedback provided during the session.

If you’re not a member of the NHMF SPF, and you want to be among the first to learn about how we can collaboratively tackle the challenges facing us as a sector, now is the time to join. Call us on 020 8274 4000 or visit our webpage to find out more.

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The NHMF is the leading body representing housing providers, committed to championing innovation to deliver excellence in maintenance and asset management