Your Voice Counts gains new Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM)
Your Voice Counts 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 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.
Gail Petty, QPM Manager and Lead for Advocacy and Rights at NDTi said:
“The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives. It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”
Dave Woolley, CEO at Your Voice Counts said:
"I’m delighted that the quality of our Advocacy services has again been recognised by NDTi with the award of the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark for a further 3 years. As ever, we found the process to be rigorous but ultimately incredibly rewarding. Undertaking the QPM gave us a really great opportunity to take stock and remind ourselves about the reasons why we’re so passionate about the role independent advocacy can play in people’s lives, and helped us to remain focused on the fundamental principles that should underpin all advocacy delivery."
I want to say a massive well done to the team, it has been great for them to receive such positive feedback and to feel validated that the work they do is of such high quality, but I also want to thank them for being so open to the process and willing to learn and develop our approach. Finally I want to say thank you to NDTi and our assessors for providing such constructive and useful feedback. We’ve really appreciated the opportunity to share how we work with such knowledgeable and experienced advocacy practitioners."
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.