Sharon Skinner - experienced caseworker at Land Registry (2)This is the second blog in a series looking at the tasks Land Registry caseworkers complete. We’re looking at just one day in the life of Sharon Skinner. She has worked for Land Registry for over 27 years and we’re going to learn more about the skills and experience she uses to complete casework.

I have been beside Sharon for the past half hour while she teaches me about the environment she works in. You can read about this in the first blog of the series: Environment of a caseworker.

While Sharon is describing her team’s role to me her colleagues ask for her help several times. She gives her teammates confident answers and they relay this information to the customer who asked the question. Sharon is mentoring two caseworkers, helping them to build their knowledge and keep their technical skills up to date.

As well as processing applications to change the register or to create new titles (casework), Sharon’s Customer Team (CT1) has the responsibility of handling all the customer enquiries for the office. This means customer teams 2, 3 and 4 can focus entirely on casework. Sharon will show me how she processes casework later today, but for now she turns all her attention to handling calls and correspondence.

The electronic phone call system shows there’s a caller waiting. Sharon takes it, answering in a well-practised professional manner, and navigates to the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software on her computer. She is typing while talking, updating the customer’s email address. The customer has called to check whether we need original documents or certified copies to accompany a lease application. Sharon knows the answer – we have required only certified copies since June 2014.

She takes a second call. This customer has a question about whether a restriction can be removed from a register. It’s clear there are some complicated circumstances. While Sharon is fairly confident she knows the answer, she tells the customer she’ll double check. She navigates the internal systems with a digital dexterity I am envious of – opening windows and programmes, flipping from one window to another. After interpreting the official guidance she double-checks notes from a training exercise that covered a similar scenario. The notes confirm her initial judgement and she gets back to the customer, explaining the steps they need to follow to remove the restriction. Once the call is complete she finishes updating the CRM system.

Sharon begins to answer a piece of correspondence which a customer lodged through the post. It was scanned in Coventry and routed to Sharon’s team electronically. The customer has asked whether we had sent them documents that confirm their application had been completed. Using her system, Sharon confirms we sent the results electronically in mid-September. Her email response relays this to the customer and explains where the results can be found.

Sharon tackles another piece of correspondence from a customer. It is about an equitable charge. She enters the relevant information into the CRM database while she reads the scanned image on her screen. The customer wanted to add a charge to the register but they had not followed Land Registry guidance and carried out a search. The search would have revealed an existing charge and a restriction in the register, meaning the equitable charge cannot be added to the register. Sharon responds to the customer explaining the steps they will need to take.

After the induction Sharon has given me and the calls and correspondence that she has completed, it is approaching the mid-morning team huddle time. The next blog will follow Sharon as she handles more correspondence and processes applications.

Antony Hart
By Antony Hart,
Senior Communications Officer at HM Land Registry