How to use the QuADS Organisational Standards manual
The QuADS Organisational Standards manual can be used to assess a service against the core standards; and against applicable standards from the ‘service specific’ and ‘target group’ standards sections.
Using the manual
The organisation can use the manual to self-assess their service internally against the core standards and against applicable standards from the service specific and targeted standards section.
It is suggested that one person in the organisation take responsibility for coordinating the self-review.
Suggested steps in the self-review process:
Step 1: Nomination of a coordinator from the organisation to either conduct in full, or lead the self-review.
Step 2: Read through the manual in detail. Identify the standards from the ‘service specific’ and ‘target group’ standards sections applicable to the organisation. All core standards are applicable.
Step 3: Identify where individuals (manager, staff member, service user) can take responsibility for particular sections. For example, the Human resource management and development standards could be tasked to an individual with responsibility for, or knowledge of, human resources in the organisation. If it is not possible or appropriate to nominate an individual, the coordinator of the process can carry out the self-review.
Step 4: The review is carried out by collecting evidence to measure against the criteria of each applicable standard, to demonstrate that the standard has been achieved. Criteria can be marked as being met, partially met, unmet and not applicable.
Policies, protocols, procedures, practices, guidelines, structures and systems are all examples of evidence that can be used to show the organisation is meeting a standard (see examples below).
The methods used to gather evidence might include focus groups with stakeholders, interviews with stakeholders, policy review, data collection and documentary research.
Step 5: When all evidence has been compiled, gaps may emerge where applicable standards have not been met or have been only partially met. A plan for working towards those standards can then be put in place.
Step 6: The manual can be used as a running document to monitor progress after the initial self- review has been completed.
The manual can be used for peer review, which involves another similar organisation (e.g. agencies in a particular area, particular service types) reviewing and evaluating your service against the standards. This method is more objective than self-review. However, other factors - such as having the service open to assessment by potential ‘competitors’ - should be taken into consideration.
External independent evaluation
The manual can be used for external independent monitoring and assessment. Independent assessment involves a review by an independent body of the evidence provided against criteria met, partially met, and unmet - and a review of planned action to address gaps in quality provision. Ultimately, independent monitoring and assessment could be linked to the funding of services.