PQASSO: the basics
PQASSO is a self-assessment tool that helps voluntary sector organisations take a systematic look at what they do, identify areas where they are doing well and not so well, and decide exactly what improvements are needed. Developed in 1997, for and by voluntary sector organisations, it is a tried and tested approach to quality assurance and management in the voluntary sector.
PQASSO offers a flexible approach to quality which allows an organisation to work at its own pace as it is self-assessed through the 11 quality areas. Organisations can also apply for the PQASSO Quality Mark, a nationally recognised award endorsed by the Charity Commission that offers users as well as commissioners and funders external verification of the quality and credibility of an organisation.
Since its development in 1997, PQASSO has helped large and small organisations to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, with over 17,000 copies sold. Now in its fourth edition, PQASSO’s development is informed by the organisations that use it to improve their work.
What is PQASSO?
PQASSO is the leading quality standard developed for the voluntary sector, by the sector. Used systematically, it'll help you to run your organisation more effectively and efficiently.
PQASSO offers the following benefits for organisations:
- clearer outcome planning and delivery
- greater credibility and legitimacy with funders
- more efficient systems
- higher quality, user-centred services
- better leadership and governance
- more creative thinking, enabling new ways of working
- a commitment to continuous improvement.
Why do you need PQASSO?
There's never been a more important time for you to ensure that you work efficiently and effectively. Charities and others with a social purpose increasingly have to do more with less, and prove their worth to funders and commissioners. Whether you're a small community group focused on voluntary action, or a big multi-sited charity or social enterprise delivering large government contracts, you’ll need evidence-based methods and tools to develop and demonstrate the value of your work. PQASSO offers you a tried and tested way to develop, with a menu of options to meet your support needs.
PQASSO sets out what organisations need to have in place in order to ensure sound governance practices, financial and risk management procedures and a robust system for measuring their outcomes – and sets out a path to continuous improvement for those starting off.
Organisations must be able to demonstrate the quality of their work in order to bid successfully for public sector contracts. Once organisations have implemented PQASSO, they can do this through the PQASSO Quality Mark, the external accreditation for PQASSO users.
How do we access PQASSO?
PQASSO is published as aworkpack, currently in its 4th edition. Organisations implement PQASSO by assessing themselves against standards and indicators in the workpack.
The PQASSO workpack may be used in a variety of ways, including as an organisational healthcheck or to help guide organisational development and growth. Organisations implement PQASSO by assessing themselves against standards and indicators in the workpack, using evidence to support judgements made. PQASSO also offers an external accreditation: the PQASSO Quality Mark.
Guidance on PQASSO 3rd and 4th edition
PQASSO Quality Mark
The PQASSO Quality Mark is the externally assessed award for PQASSO users which demonstrates achievement of the PQASSO standards. This nationally recognised award offers both users and funders/commissioners external verification of the quality and credibility of an organisation.