Who is PQASSO for?
PQASSO is suitable for all third sector organisations, no matter how large or small.
Size of organisation
PQASSO is appropriate for all voluntary and community organisations, no matter how large or small. More large organisations are now turning to PQASSO as the system of choice and benefitting from its use. Current PQASSO users range from very small organisations with just one employee to national charities employing over 2,000 staff and 5,000 volunteers. Choosing the right approach to quality standards is not about size; the focus should be on whether or not the standards will help improve performance and achieve better outcomes for users.
PQASSO offers something for all organisations no matter what their size or turnover. The three levels offer a flexible approach to developing quality in an organisation. All organisations should aim to achieve Level 1 as a minimum, then perhaps the bigger and better resourced may want to go on to achieve Levels 2 or 3.
Remember, the external pressure on organisations of all sizes is growing. Those organisations unable to demonstrate the quality of their service provision, whatever their size, will struggle to survive.
Is PQASSO suitable for multi-site organisations?
PQASSO is suitable for organisations of all shapes and sizes, including those that are multi-site. When implementing PQASSO across an organisation that is based over more than one site, it is important to keep in mind that achievement of the PQASSO standards has to be consistent across all of the sites and projects. For example, if the organisation is aspiring to achieve level 2 of PQASSO, all of the sites must ‘fully meet’ the standards at level 2, even if they operate in a slightly different way.
Mechanisms need to be put into place to ensure that your various sites contribute to the implementation process and buy in to the process. Some examples of doing this are:
- setting up a PQASSO working group with members who represent each site, project or region
- a PQASSO page on your intranet
- PQASSO as a standing item on team meetings
- a PQASSO 'roadshow' where members of a quality working group visit other sites to involve them in the process.
However you approach implementation, if you are interested in external accreditation and achieving the PQASSO Quality Mark you must make sure that there are no ‘weak links’ in the organisation and that all sites are of the same level of quality. The PQASSO Quality Mark accreditation process does not just cover your Head Office but will involve visiting and reviewing a sample of your sites and projects as well.
Other types of organisation
The three levels within PQASSO offer larger, more complex and sophisticated organisations a flexible approach to developing quality in an organisation. All organisations should aim to achieve Level 1 as a minimum, with Levels 2 or 3 supporting an organisation’s longer term plans and steering the organisation towards further growth, improvement and excellence. PQASSO can also be a stepping stone to achieving other quality marks, namely ISO 9001, as PQASSO covers all aspects contained in ISO 9001 and more.
Social enterprises including community interest companies and industrial and provident societies
It has been designed specifically for organisations whose primary purpose is to make a social impact rather than a profit. Implementing a recognised quality standard will demonstrate that your organisation is managed efficiently, that you provide quality services, and are making a difference.
Since the early days of PQASSO, CES (before they merged with NCVO) granted permission for the PQASSO standards to be tailored to the specific needs of a number of organisations across the voluntary and community sector.
From our experience of working with numerous organisations’ PQASSO adaptations, there are two options available to you:
- A full tailoring of the PQASSO standards for your purposes
- Using the existing standards as a basis for you to add your own additional organisational or service standards.