How to maintain PQASSO
PQASSO is about continuous improvement and the quality cycle does not stop with achievement of the PQASSO Quality Mark. The PQASSO Quality Mark is valid for three years. At the end of this period, the award will expire and organisations must apply for reaccreditation or stop using the PQASSO Quality Mark logo.
We recommend that you continue self-assessing against the PQASSO indicators for the three years that your award is valid. This is the best way to ensure that there are no major gaps and that good practice is maintained. Changes in staff, volunteers, trustees, the external environment, and of course the needs of your users mean that you have to constantly assess and evaluate where you are. Some organisations maintain their PQASSO implementation group as a mechanism for checking that the organisation is still compliant. Others incorporate PQASSO within their standard structures and review systems.
Sometimes organisations decide that this is an opportunity to consider implementing PQASSO at a different level (for example, you have been awarded the PQASSO Quality Mark at level 1 and now you decide to move to level 2). In the plans and processes you put in place in order to meet the new requirements, it is important to check that you are still maintaining your performance against all indicators at all previous levels.
In order to gain accreditation for a further three years, you will need to reapply in the same manner as before and go through the assessment process in the same way. This is because there are significant changes that can occur in both the external environment and within your organisation, and so we must conduct a full assessment to ensure that all PQASSO indicators are still being met. This requires both a thorough desktop review and a site visit as before.
If you want to maintain your accreditation and avoid a gap between the expiry of your original award and your reaccreditation, we recommend that you apply for the PQASSO Quality Mark at least three months in advance of the award expiration. If your assessment progresses smoothly, this should mean that your next award is in place before the expiry of the initial one.