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The Race Equality Centre: positive outcomes

The Race Equality Centre (TREC) has been in existence in Leicester since 1967 and its vision is for a racially just, fair and equitable society. TREC’s mission is to challenge racial discrimination, promote the benefits of a racially just society and empower individuals and communities affected by racial disadvantage.

TRECTREC faced numerous challenges over recent years, including the threat of significantly reduced funding in 2013 because of proposed cuts to their local authority contract. The upheaval and uncertainty about the future required them to have a focus on building sustainability and resilience within the organisation.

The trustee board and staff agreed that working through the PQASSO standards and then going for the PQASSO Quality Mark at level 1 was an opportunity to improve the strength of the organisation and gain validation and recognition of how they operated and delivered services.

All staff and trustees were involved in implementing the standards as well as volunteers. Progress on reviewing systems against the PQASSO standards was discussed at team meetings and a shared folder was set up on their server for staff to add to the collection of evidence, but also for managers to monitor progress. Senior managers took responsibility for completion of the PQASSO self-assessment and addressed any gaps identified by the process.

Positive outcomes

Working towards the PQASSO Quality Mark award helped TREC to validate systems and gave them huge encouragement to recognise that what they were doing and how they were doing it was effective. Furthermore, they could compare and measure it to a recognised standard and quality mark. The process helped tighten and sharpen their structure and address the gaps that had been highlighted as part of the process.

Staff, volunteers and trustees came together as a collective and improved their understanding of how they operated through better and wider sharing of information and data through their server. The organisation found the assessment process thorough but hassle free as the preparatory workbook and instructions from the assessor helped them to be prepared. They said:

‘As a small specialist racial minority-led infrastructure organisation, we have realised that PQASSO can help you sharpen your organisation's operations, but also gives you encouragement that you are operating to an effective standard and that you can now measure your activities against a standard. We feel in a good position now, having been through the process, to support other small racial minority-led community organisations who would like to achieve the PQASSO Quality Mark, and hopefully we can inspire those organisations to take part in this process.’
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