Quality assurance is a systematic process which involves collecting and collating evidence which captures the measurable difference your organisation is making not only on your service users but the sector as a whole. It is important that your system is fit for purpose utilising assessment processes and shows a continuous approach to embedding a permanent culture of improvement to achieve the best results.
Processes include the effective use and implementation of Safeguarding and Equality & Diversity, Health & Safety, good quality auditing systems and monitoring evaluation procedures.
Achieving a high quality assurance system will give your organisation a compelling means of demonstrating that you deliver high quality services to the voluntary and community sectors.
By providing a solid and consistent evidence base against key performance indicators your organisation will be able to identify the impact and value of participation.
Value your outcomes not just your outputs.
The Approaches to Quality
VISIBLE Communities is a quality system developed by Community Matters specifically for community organisations and charities. There are twotools – the pre-VISIBLE Review and the VISIBLE Accredited Standard. The pre-VISABLE online assesment is free, with an optional review and report costing £450+VAT. Costs for the VISIBLE Accredited Standard vary.
Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work. The cost of the accreditation varies according to the size and complexity of your organisation, and accreditation needs to be renewed every three years.
Social Accounting and Audit (SAA) helps you prove, improve and account for the difference you are making. Starting with that in mind, it helps you to plan and manage your organisation as well as demonstrate what you have achieved. Social accounting and audit is a logical and flexible framework which enables your organisation to build on existing documentation and reporting systems and develop a process so that you can:
- Prove! account fully for and report on your organisation’s social, environmental and economic performance and impact
- Improve! provide the information essential for planning future actions and improving performance
- Account! be accountable to all those you work with and work for…
Customer Service Excellence is a Government led accreditation for any organisation with customers. It can be used bypublic, private or voluntary sector organisations looking for a practical tool for driving customer-focused change within their organisation. Costs vary depending on the needs of the organisation.
The EQFM Excellence Model is self-assesment based model that can be used in any size or type of organisation, including the voluntary sector. There are no costs other than the booklet. The C3 partnership have created a toolkit to enable voluntary sector organisations to apply the EQFM approach.
Investors in People focuses on staff, trustees and volunteers to meet an organisation’s aims and objectives. Accreditation is at Gold, Silver or Bronze level, and costs vary according to the needs of the organisation. There are a number of free tools available to help you get to grips with the IIP standard.
The matrix Standard is the quality framework for the effective delivery of information, advice and/or guidance on learning and work. Any organisation which manages, administers and delivers an information, advice, support and/or guidance service to support individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals can become accredited to the matrix Standard. Costs vary according to the size and complexity of the organisation, and the accreditation mustbe reviewed every three years.
Customer First focuses on customer relationships within an organisation, though it can be challenging to acheive the full standard on first assesment.
ISO 9001 is one of the International Organisation for Standardisation standards. It is mainly used in the private sector, although it is also used in the voluntary sector. It focuses on the effective management of processes within an organisation to meet the needs of their customers.