CQS review

The joint AEA / Nations / Age UK Quality Review Group is overseeing the quality review process and primarily looking at how we can build on the foundations of the current CQS to take a more continuous improvement approach that is more focused on organisational culture and working practice. While the remit of the Standard and areas it covers will remain the same, the Review Group has adapted the approach so that:

  • You will need to spend less time preparing for audit.
  • Your auditor will spend less time reviewing your documents and more time speaking with your trustees, employees, and volunteers.
  • The audit will look more at how your organisation meets the quality expectations in practice (e.g. how does safeguarding, health and safety, information governance etc work in the context of a service).
  • The audit will feel more ‘bespoke’ to your organisation – looking at how you meet the quality expectations rather than describing how you should meet them.

We are currently working with four partners to pilot the new assessment approach. The first pilot audit has taken place and three more will happen between November and January. At the end of the pilot, the Quality Review Group will review the learning and optimise the standard and assessment process, ready for starting the next assessment cycle in 2022.

If you would like to review the draft CQS workbook and outline assessment agenda, please contact heather.stephenson@ageuk.org.uk We would really welcome your feedback.

Test out our CQS self-assessment and continuous improvement tool!

As a result of the pandemic and extension of the quality review process, the CQS certification for some partners (including Age UK) has lapsed or will lapse before the next assessment cycle begins. Age UK has therefore worked with partners to develop a simple self-assessment tool that will allow certification to be extended.

If your CQS certification lapsed prior to 30 September 2021, you will have been asked to undertake the self-assessment. If your CQS certification will lapse between October 2021 and April 2022, you will be asked to use a new self-assessment tool to prepare for your external assessment. This will be based on the updated version of the CQS and we will share this with you following the pilot, once the wording of the standard has been finalised.

If you would like to try out the draft self-assessment tool, you can find it here. We’d love to hear what you think and how well it works for you. Click to see the self-assessment tool and self-assessment guidance. If you have any questions or feedback on the tool, please contact the Quality Team: quality@ageuk.org.uk.

Try out our optional surveys!

Working with the Quality Review Group, we have also developed some optional surveys to help you assess people’s knowledge of your key organisational processes etc and learn about their experience of working for your organisation. These may also be useful tools for you to use in training and / or one to one discussions with employees and volunteers on particular topics (e.g. safeguarding). We have also created a confidential survey for trustees.

Use of the surveys will be entirely optional and if you’d like to take a look, please click here.

If you would like the surveys in a printable form, please let us know by e-mailing quality@ageuk.org.uk