Quality assessment

Different parties may interpret the word „quality“completely differently. Therefore, we need to develop methods to check the appropriateness of various interpretations. Source

At assessing quality the extent of meeting stakeholders’ needs and expectations is measured, therefore the written needs or expectations on which the assessment is based, are in general presumptive or mandatory. So, quality can be measured by the rate to which the cluster of the service characteristics meets demands. See also Terms ISO 9000:2005 (EVS-EN ISO 9000-2007)

Valoris TIQSS – methodoly for assessing care services

In Estonia two methodologies for assessing the quality of social services have been tested: Valoris TIQSS by volunteers and EQUASS Assurance in the frameword of a national programme.

The methodology has been developed by CEDIS in France. In France the law obliges care establishments to carry out an annual internal evaluation, followed within five years by an external evaluation based on the same methodology. Valoris is one of the nationally recognised assessment methodologies. It is based on the principle that care establishments must achieve the integration of socially excluded people in the local community by providing them with social roles that esteem them and raise their value. The care establishments’ customers are strongly encouraged to enter second chance education and to find a job.

The service must be assessed on the basis of approximately a hundred criteria. The areas assessed are the environment, quality of life, service quality, organisation management, etc. All the criteria are assessed by a 4-digit system, whereas the marks A and B underline the strengths and B and C the weaknesses. Among other things it is important to value the service users’ privacy, treat them with respect and see that the means and methods used for protecting customers do not excessively restrict their rights and freedoms. The methodology assesses the way the satisfaction of the service users’ needs and their inclusion in the establishment’s decision process are guaranteed. It focuses on the development of personalities, on raising people’s self–esteem and –respect by enabling everybody to implement their strengths and development potential. Therefore, the primary consideration must be the care establishment’s customer and not the personnel. The establishment, its functioning and responding to the customers’ needs are assessed. At the end of the assessment process both an oral and a written report will be submitted to the assessed organisation.

EQUASS is an integrated sectoral system of certification, training and consulting in the area of quality. EQUASS quality system has been developed by the European Platform for Rehabilitation taking into account the perspectives of various European stakeholders (service providers, service recipients, social partners, financiers and policy–makers) and keeping in mind the interests of service recipients and stakeholders related to them.

Assurance–methodology is based on ten principles of quality important for the social sector: management, personnel, rights, ethics, co–operation, participation, customer orientation, comperehenensiveness, results orientation, sustainable development. All the principles consist of criteria, which total 44 (including the compilation of an annual plan, performance measurement, consistent service provision, co-operation partners of service provision, contribution to the society). The criteria has been explained in 101 questions, which the establishment must keep in mind in its work and be able to carry out in a verifiable way. Evidence is checked by analysing the establishment’s documentation and on the basis of interviews carried out with personnel, customers and other stakeholders by an independent auditor/assessor, who has completed special training. The Awarding Committee will hand out the EQUASS Assurance certificate to the establishment for two years on the basis of the auditor’s report.