Keeping to (ISO9001) standard

March 19, 2021

Dot Dot Dot has just renewed its quality certification to the ISO9001 standard. This means we have demonstrated to an external, independent auditor that we have a consistent way of doing things. Fundamentally it’s about ensuring that we operate in ways which ensure that our services meet our customers’ needs and that our services have a clear standard which we strive to achieve every time.

So, asks our Chief Executive, Peter Brown, what does this mean in practice and what does it mean for our team? How does this show up if you’re a property owner who has a building managed by Dot Dot Dot?

The value of a QMS

Our quality management system is focused on the core of our work: enabling buildings to be safely lived in by carefully-selected property guardians for as long as needed. And having clear processes that mean we can hand buildings back to our clients when those buildings are required for their next purpose. So our quality management system covers the range of tasks and activities that our team use to prepare buildings, to make sure that guardians are always housed safely and to legal standards, and, of course, to hand buildings back when the time comes. 

It’s no surprise that we need to follow the law to make sure that buildings are safely and competently managed, and property guardians are housed safely and in a way that is consistent with legal requirements. But there is value in setting this out clearly, and our quality management system does this, as well as making sure that new legal requirements are understood and embedded into our operating processes. And in some cases we choose to go above and beyond what the law requires, so in those cases, these are included in our processes.

Much of how we ‘do’ quality management happens behind the scenes, and because we have had a quality management system since 2016 is firmly woven into how we already operate. We’ve always done a careful and ethical job and tried to do right by our clients and guardians, and our values have always guided us. So one way to consider our quality management system is that it provides the extra technical detail which our team must follow to make sure that our services are consistently high quality. This reflects in much of our client feedback, which often says that we are a reliable and trustworthy service provider. In turn, this is why we are trusted to manage millions of pounds worth of property assets at any one time.

Practically, our quality management system enables us to:

1. Meet our customers’ needs

It’s important to me and to our team that we meet our customers’ needs and expectations. Having a set of clearly defined standards means we can consistently deliver to our clients’ expectations and – just as importantly – we can be clear and transparent about what clients can expect when they work with us. It’s also a principle within the standard that we should be ready to adapt and update our standards in line with our clients’ changing needs or requirements. Through our regular client conversations and account management processes, we are always interested to hear how we can do better and differently, and we consider how to incorporate feedback. Whilst most businesses say they want to adopt continuous improvement, having a systematic way to do this takes it a step further.

2. Improve performance

Because we have done the work to clearly and unambiguously set out the standards to which all of our processes should be delivered, it makes it easier to deliver on that commitment every day. All of our team members and managers know the standard to which our core processes should be delivered, and are aware of why this is important to our property owners and to the business more widely. Equally, aspects of this same set of standards show up in how our performance is measured at a senior level and within our governance framework. This all feeds into property owners experiencing a high level of attentive service when they choose to work with Dot Dot Dot.

3. Give confidence

I think a big part of choosing to have a quality management system is that it gives confidence – both externally and internally – that we are committed to doing a good job, and that we are working within an established framework to work with and understand quality. And that’s even more important in an industry where we sometimes see corner-cutting and a lack of transparency, especially around safety issues. I hope that the fact that Dot Dot Dot has a quality management system gives all of our stakeholders confidence in our service.

4. Contribute to our culture

The most successful quality management approaches are ones that are firmly embedded in the culture of the organisation. For Dot Dot Dot, we always strive to do a high quality job, so our quality management system helps us assure ourselves and others that we are continuing to do just that. A quality management system that is disconnected with the way an organisation thinks and acts will most likely fail, since it becomes a tick box exercise.

We have been lucky to work with Jennifer, Julia and Bird at ISO Quality Services to look at how we implement quality, improve what we do and to renew our certification.

Dot Dot Dot has held a quality management certification since 2016. Technically, this is known as ISO9001:2015 and is the international standard for quality management.

If you want to find out more about how we work, you can sign up to Meanwhile Thoughts, our monthly newsletter for property owners.

Dot Dot Dot: Solving the needs of three distinct groups – for the benefit of all

December 13, 2016

As a social enterprise, we are unique in the property guardian sector: we are a business with a big idea at our heart. We work to solve the needs of three distinct groups, for the benefit of all.

In our fifth year of proving there is a different way to secure empty buildings, we have spent some time looking at our brand, focusing on three areas.

  1. By making the most of places in transition, we enable results that are greater than the sum of their parts. We do this by addressing the guardian’s need, the owner’s need and the community’s need, which creates a virtuous circle of improvement. Be that through our work housing property guardians in buildings which would otherwise be empty, or where we breathe life into community places like our own home, the View Tube.
  1. We manage places in transition, expertly. Since Katharine Hibbert founded Dot Dot Dot in 2011, we have grown to a team of 15 and proven ourselves trustworthy to the people and organisations we have worked with. This is recognised through the industry awards we have received, our long term relationship with owners and guardians and our continued growth to new parts of the country.
  1. We are changing our industry for the better. We provide property owners with a consistently excellent service across the life of every project we work on. We offer guardians positive management and support to volunteer, as well as transparency about the high standards that we work to, and we use empty buildings to create a positive impact on local communities.

Our thanks go to Studio Blackburn for working with us on our branding project and to everyone who has been part of the Dot Dot Dot journey so far. We hope to use our new visual identity to communicate our approach even more widely, and we look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond as we expand into new areas across the country.

We’ve won a Security & Fire Excellence Award for the 3rd time!

December 5, 2016

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve won a Security & Fire Excellence Award for the 3rd year in a row.

Cheap Rent | Fire Safety | SecurityAs in previous years, we won the category for Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year. We believe this is down to our innovative and socially-minded approach to securing buildings that would otherwise be empty. This enables us to help the communities in which we work as well as providing high quality security and fire safety in our properties.

So thank you to the various organisers of the event, including IPSA, the sponsors of our category. We appreciate the nomination and look forward to continue providing high quality, fire safe and socially-minded security over the coming years!

Feel free to read more about our standards and the community work  that has ensured we have won this award three years running.

We’re publishing the quality standards we work to when housing guardians

November 18, 2016


Property Guardian Standards | Cheap Rent | Property Owners


At Dot Dot Dot, we believe that consistency, predictability and transparency are key to providing an excellent property guardian service. We are therefore today publishing the standards we work to when providing housing to guardians.

We hope that this information will allow would-be guardians to be sure that joining Dot Dot Dot is the right choice for them, will set out what is expected of them once they are living in one of the properties we manage, and will let them know what they can expect from us before, during and after their time as a Dot Dot Dot property guardian.

Our approach goes beyond what is required by law because we are committed to providing great housing to guardians and raising standards in our industry. We believe that a focus on recruiting great guardians and managing them well is the best way to deliver a property guardian service which benefits everyone involved – guardians, owners and neighbours alike.

The document covers four phases:

  1.     Becoming a property guardian with Dot Dot Dot
  2.     While you are living with Dot Dot Dot
  3.     Buildings that are safe, secure and well-managed
  4.     Moving property or moving out

If you are thinking of becoming a guardian or using property guardian services or are just generally interested in the sector, we encourage you to check out our standards. We’re always looking for feedback, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments.

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