How to check the quality of services

Parents and young people have told us that it is important to them that the information in the local offer includes as many different services as possible, and that they are supported to make choices in the services they use. 

The council does not guarantee the quality of services that are in the local offer. Instead, we provide information about what you should look for to check if a service is good, so that you can make your own choices.

For services that are inspected by OfSted, we will provide information about their most recent inspection results.

For health services, information is available from the care quality commission to tell you how good services are. Their website is at http://www.cqc.org.uk/

You can also send feedback about your experiences with the services to fis@towerhamlets.gov.uk. We will publish feedback in a way that does not identify you so that other people can see it.  You will also be able to see other people’s feedback which will help you to decide whether a service is suitable for you. 

Here are some of the things to look out for when you are looking for services in the local offer, with links to further information about each quality award, and the standards that an organisation will have met to get the award. You can check the website of service providers to see if they have any of these accreditations:

Customer First is designed for all organisations in all sectors, the standard focuses on customer service and is a certification model.

Investors in People is focused on staff management and development and requires an organisation to submit documentary evidence of its practice. The award is valid for three years.

Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for volunteer management.

The ISO 9001 is an international standard focused on an organisation’s procedures. An external assessment followed by twice-yearly audits ensures the standards are being maintained.

The Matrix Standard is a standard for organisations delivering information, advice and/or guidance on learning and work.

PQASSO was specifically designed for the voluntary and community sector. It encompasses all aspects of an organisation. PQASSO is a self-assessment model, but has an optional Quality Mark, awarded following a process of peer review and which lasts for three years.

The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model  is an over-arching and challenging self-assessment framework for continuous improvement.  It is designed for any organisation in any sector. External assessment and awards are also available.