The Quality Matters project began in 2008 and was completed on 31st December 2012. The aim of the project was to support Third Sector Interface (TSI) organisations to become better managed and better governed, in order to deliver better, more consistent and more wide-reaching services.
The EFQM Excellence model and self-assessment framework was chosen by the CVS Network as the most sustainable and holistic organisational assessment tool and evidence- based approach to quality improvement across a full range of organisational functionalities. It was agreed that the EFQM Committed to Excellence award would provide a clear measure of the extent to which the project’s aims had been met.
What approach was taken?
The project team worked with Quality Scotland, EFQM’s national partner organisation, to adapt and develop the model for use by TSI organisations. The bespoke model and a supporting Pathway web-tool were then rolled out to organisations across the 32 TSI areas in Scotland.
What was involved?
Organisations participating in the project nominated a lead officer who, after receiving training, led their organisation through a self-assessment using Pathway and prioritised three key areas for improvement. They then developed an action plan using the EFQM template, and were validated for Committed to Excellence status once they had completed the three improvement projects.
The organisations were supported through the process by regular calls from the project co-ordinator, follow-up workshops, one-to-one mentoring support, fortnightly updates and information provided on the SVA website.
Who was involved?
Details of those organisations who have participated in the Quality Matters project can be found on the Participation Map.
What was achieved?
77 organisations received the self-assessment training, but eleven of these have since merged with other TSI organisations or have ceased to be eligible. Of the remaining 66, 56 have achieved Committed to Excellence status.
All participating organisations reported benefits from the project, with many saying it has had a transformational impact on the way they operate:
“It made us stop and re-examine what our core purpose was – who we are, why we are here – rather than just responding to funding opportunities. All staff, including project staff, can see where they fit into the organisation as a whole.” Anne Moodie, VC Midlothian
Embedding Quality Management
The process does not end with the achievement of Committed to Excellence status however, as the purpose of the EFQM framework is to embed quality management into the on-going practices of the organisation. It is expected that organisations will carry out self-assessments on a bi-annual basis to continuously seek improvements and build their capacity and effectiveness.
To this end, the TSI self-assessment process and Pathway have been reviewed and refined in light of feedback from the project participants, and post-project training and support programmes are being developed.
You can find many useful documents to support you through the Committed to Excellence process. These can be found on the SVA guides page of the Information Library.
How to find out more
If you have any queries about the Quality Matters project please email firstname.lastname@example.org