Quality is an issue which is important to any organisation and permeates everything an organisation does; it can range from how staff are treated (eg Investors in People); how clients are greeted (eg Customer First Standards); to how well services are delivered to beneficiaries (eg Matrix Standard) or how an organisations procedures are implemented (eg PQASSO)
Most Common Standards
These are the most commonly used quality standards by voluntary sector organisations and also refugee organisations.
PQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations)
One of the most widely used quality assurance systems in the UK by the voluntary & community sector(s). Non-accredited system.
- covers 12 quality standards
- 3 levels of achievement ranging from (Level 1 - very small/new organisations to Level(s) 2 & 3 for established organisations.
- assessment process is self-assessment
- can gain a quality kite mark but this is not mandatory
More information visit: http://www.pqassoqualitymark.org.uk
See also FAQ's on PQASSO Standard in 11 bite size podcasts http://tinyurl.com/648zpaj
QASRO (Quality Assurance System for Refugee Organisations)
Non-accredited self-assessment system tailored to the specific needs of refugee organisations. Enables organisations to examine their services, procedures and policies with a view to becoming more effective and improve services.
Many refugee organisations offer asylum and immigration advice services and re required by law to obtain a 'Community Legal Quality Mark' and register with Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and meet its standards. Using QASRO can help towards achieving these required standards.
- 12 key areas of organisational development geared towards refugee organisations.
- guidance in delivering key services to refugees
- sample policies, procedures and forms
More information and downloadable resource pack visit:
Mentoring & Befriending Foundation (Approved Provider Standards)
Providers of guidance and support to organisations involved in mentoring and befriending. The Approved Provider Standard (APS) is a national accredited standard which covers mentoring and befriending projects.
- 12 elements to be met by projects who are then accredited for 3 years.
- 12 elements are focused on the key management and operational areas that underpin the effectiveness of any mentoring or befriending project.
- APS provides a 'health check' and evaluation of mentoring/befriending projects
More information visit: http://www.mandbf.org.uk/approved_provider_standard/
Developed by Community Matters this is a set of quality systems and standards for the charity and community sector(s).
- 7 core principles for community organisations
- 2 tools available a) VISIBLE Standard - (national accredited quality standard. Aimed at med/large community organisations) b) PRE-VISIBLE review - suitable for organisations of any size but is not accredited. Pre-Visible concentrates on the management systems and policies an organisation has in place via a series of questions and online guidance notes.
- very geared towards helping organisation to become Community Anchor organisations; local community groups engaging people to become more involved in their local community.
More information visit: http://www.visiblecommunities.org.uk
Providers of Advice and Guidance who receive public funds to deliver training and education services are required to be accredited or working towards the quality standard for information, advice and guidance.
- national quality standard for organisations who delivery IAG on learning and work
- 2 avenues. a) External Matrix - delivery IAG to external clients; b) Internal Matrix - internal delivery to staff of eg skills training, management development, redundancy programmes, appraisals and promotions etc.
- 8 step journey to achieve accreditation. (includes reviewing own current practices with support of a Matrix registered adviser).
NB: Dept of Business Innovation & Skills are in the process of procuring a new agency to manage and develop the Matrix Standard by January 2011. See link for more details: http://tinyurl.com/2vq9hll
Investing in Volunteers
Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work. The Standard covers all aspects of volunteer management and is managed by 4 development agencies (with local contacts) in each UK country.
- 4 areas of voluntary management (planning, recruiting, selecting & matching volunteers, supporting & retaining volunteers.
- the above 4 areas are divided into 9 indicators (with 46 practices) and then broken down into a
- 6 step process to achieving the standard.
More information visit: http://www.investinginvolunteers.org.uk
Other useful quality standard and procedures websites
Health & Safety Executive - http://www.hse.gov.uk/
Investors in People - http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/Pages/Home.aspx
Customer First - http://www.customerfirst.org/
Community Legal Quality Mark - http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/en/directory/quality.jsp
Quality First - http://www.ncmaqualityfirst.co.uk/