New Directory of Quality Standards
A new directory of voluntary and community sector organisations which provide independent quality accreditation schemes has just been launched.
Quality in the Voluntary Sector was formulated by members of the Accreditation Providers’ Forum, a group consisting of voluntary and community organisations that have a focus on accrediting quality in the third sector.
To download the interactive PDF version of the Directory click on
The purpose of the directory is to promote knowledge and recognition of third sector-held quality standards to statutory commissioners. The pressure to commission services from the voluntary and community sector is mounting. The Accreditation Providers Forum hopes that this directory will encourage commissioners to be more open to quality standards held and managed by the Voluntary and Community sector, especially in the procurement process.
The Charity Commission has said:
“The Charity Commission fully supports the Accreditation Providers Forum in seeking to publicise and promote quality systems and standards managed and run by national third sector organisations. We know that sector-led quality systems help deliver better run voluntary and community organisations. With the increasing drive to commission public service delivery from the third sector it is important that commissioners and service users are aware of these quality systems and what they can tell them about the organisations that hold them. This directory should help them do that.”
By using Newcastle University’s Business School to assemble the evidence and provide an independent review and benchmarking, Quality in the Voluntary Sector provides a simple, clear and effective guide to commissioners on quality standards for the voluntary and community sector.
Between them the organisations in this Directory have a membership, or support, of over 4000 groups, to whom these quality systems are applicable. In turn, these groups support millions of people in the UK.
Organisations often find themselves struggling to explain the equivalence of their chosen quality mark to ISO 9001. Each of the quality marks in the directory has been developed to place greater scrutiny on an organisation and their specific activities than what would be found in the ISO quality framework.
Organisations in the Directory are:
· Action with Communities in Rural England [ACRE]
· Action for Advocacy
· Befriending Network
· Community Foundation Network
· Community Matters
· London Youth
· Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
· The Helplines Association
· Volunteering England
· YMCA England
To find out more, visit the Accreditation Providers Forum website