VoiceAbility has been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy - an essential service for people who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives.
To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers have to undergo a rigorous self-assessment process and policy review. This is followed by a structured site visit for NDTi assessors to meet advocates and the people they support.
As well as it being good practice for Local Authorities to provide advocacy to people at risk of exclusion, commissioners are required to provide statutory independent advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and more recently the Care Act. The Advocacy QPM provides them with a robust benchmark to measure independent advocacy services, ensuring they select the very best providers.
The Lead QPM assessor reported that: “I am delighted to recommend VoiceAbility, nationally and across all regions, to be awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark. VoiceAbility came across both as a large and influential organisation, as well as many committed and locally embedded teams who serve their communities with skill and passion.”
Originally developed by Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Department of Health funded NDTi to review and revise the QPM in 2014, working with providers, users and commissioners of advocacy services. The application process was streamlined to be as straightforward as possible, while retaining the rigour required to ensure that high standards are met. It is available to organisations providing independent advocacy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Further information can be accessed and applications can be made via www.qualityadvocacy.org.uk.