The training system for cooperative housing associationsSummer school 2012

To achieve its goals, EKYL has created a training-system for the boards, bookkeepers and executive directors of cooperative housing associations all throughout Estonia.

The main activities are development and implementation of training programs dealing with joint housing management and having a nationwide as well as local and regional importance. The process is continuing.

1. For creating own training-system EKYL applied for a Licence from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and established own Training Centre of Estonian Co-operative Housing Associations. The Licence gives EKYL the right to issue official certificate for the gradSeminar: legal acts of housing associations 2012uates.
2. The training system covers all Estonia today
The elements of the training system:
– short term training sessions: training, seminars and information days for the boards, bookkeepers and executive directors of housing associations all over Estonia every year- for example, there have been 37-hour trainings of renovation for representatives of housing associations in 7 towns all over Estonia. The most actual topics of the period are discussed in the lectures always
– 120- hour supplementary training for executive directors of housing associations, EKL issues an official diploma to the graduates. That training is organised in 5 biggest towns in Estonia.
– 8- hour training for those who have graduated previous 120- hour trainings got Licence as Porfessional Maintainer. With that course EKYL helps the professionals to keep the level of their knowledge.
– Round Tables take place in 12 different towns in Estonia and 6 regions in Tallinn. These are meetings, where the representatives of housing associations can discuss solve together problems of cooperative housing associations and exchange experiences and information.
– Estonian Forums of Housing Associations are annual conferences, which provide the chance to discuss practical issues and to keep up with the latest improvements on the state housing politics. The purpose of the forums is to share information, and to draw the government’s attention to the problems of the housing associations.
– Estonian housing associations’ study trips to other countries to exchange experiences and study the housing policy of these countries
– Estonian housing associations’ summer school
– The network of dissemination is created to ascertain that cooperative housing associations have access to all information of seminars and trainings. Housing associations can get information by newsletter on paper and e-mail, from EKYL home-page and from the media. Articles in the EKL magazin ELAMU are supporting the work of education and housing cooperatives can get an extra information about topics discussed in lectures also from the magazine.

3. Active feedback is organized to get the ideas from participants for improving the training system and choosing new topics for lectures. Representatives of housing associations can give feedback also by phone or by –mail. There are often discussions about that in the Round Tables all over Estonia. At the end of trianing there are always feedback-questionnaires for the participants.
Study visit to St Petersburg 2012

4. EKYL is a partner to Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Tallinn City Government, The Credit and Export Guarantee Fund KredEx and municipalities. There have been different cooperative projects to develop the training system for housing associations. The municipalities can invite a lecturer from EKL to local seminars for cooperative housing associations.

Training and seminars are in Estonian language usually but many trainings are organised in Russian language, too, to allow active participation of all representatives of cooperative housing associations in Estonia.

Effectiveness from the participatives associations’ perspective

Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations’ training system:
1. gives cooperative housing associations strength and the power of knowledge
2. cooperative housing associations comprehend the co-operative movement as a part of society and take active part in the process influencing the society- they donate and receive as well
3. offers an advance to cooperative housing associations to support each other and enable the progress
4. affect the development of the housing economy of the whole in national as well local level
5. improves the quality of living-environment
6. gives a possibility to participate actively in the development processes taking place in the society

Innovation Conference 2012Approximately 4500- 5000 representatives of Estonian housing associations attend on the training and seminars of EKYL training system every year all over Estonia. It is considerable number and gives the confidence that cooperative housing associations participate actively and it is the best practice not only in Estonia but also in the international context.

Planned development

Despite the fact, that the training system is working effectively, the process still goes on and the active development of training programs will continue.