Assessment

Different Levels of Accreditation

The information on our ‘Types of Advice Delivered’ page will help you determine what type of advice service you provide and which is the most appropriate AQS accreditation route for your organisation.

There are different accreditation routes and any one route is no less of an achievement than another, it simply reflects the type of information and advice service you deliver and best fits your service. You should consider the following when deciding which accreditation route is most appropriate for your organisation:

Accreditation Routes

  • Information and Advice services can apply for the Advice Quality Standard – Advice only
  • Advice with Casework services can apply for the Advice Quality Standard – Advice with Casework
  • Telephone Advice Services can apply for Advice with Telephone Services
  • Telephone Advice Services can apply for Advice with Casework and Telephone Services

Important Points to Consider when making your Application

Please note that even if your advice service offers a casework service it’s not mandatory to apply for Advice with Casework you may wish to apply for Advice only – this is your organisations choice.

Recognising Excellence understand that your funding requirements and different partnership projects change from time to time and these changes will reflect your choice of AQS accreditation route. For example, your organisation may achieve casework at your first assessment and may choose not to apply for casework at the 2 year monitoring review and/or change the casework category applied for.

AQS Casework Categories

Subject based

  • Consumer/General Contract
  • Debt
  • Employment
  • Health and Community Care
  • Housing Students
  • Immigration/Nationality
  • Welfare Benefits

Client based

  • Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Disability
  • Older People
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Students
  • Women
  • Young People

Detailed definitions of the individual casework categories are provided in the Case 1 forms which are available on the Application Documentation page

How is the AQS Assessed?

The AQS assessment process is simple, transparent and does not intrude on your every-day working practices.

For the AQS applications and assessment Webinar click here

  • When you are ready to apply for the AQS, you should complete and submit the AQS Application Form and supporting policies and procedures
  • The Application Form is your contract to proceed with the AQS assessment process and triggers the allocation of your AQS Assessor
  • By reviewing your policies and procedures your Assessor will determine alignment against AQS requirements and produce a formal positioning report
  • The report will set out any corrective actions and/or omissions which you will be expected to address before your on-site assessment takes place
  • The on-site assessment visit needs to take place within 60 days of the Desktop Audit There is a separate fee for the desk top audit (for assessment fees please see out Pricing Schedule on our Application Documentation page)
  • The on-site assessment will be for at least a day and your Assessor will need to speak to members of the advice team as well as the person responsible for the advice service
  • N.B. It is important that these staff are available during the on-site assessment and you should take this into consideration when booking your assessment
  • The Assessor will produce a report which may include further corrective actions which you must address within 28 days in order to achieve accreditation
  • You must complete the corrective actions identified and send evidence required back to the assessor (usually by email) within the specified timescale of 28 days
  • All assessment reports are finally signed off by the Advice Services Alliance at which point the Advice Quality Standard is awarded
  • Celebrate your success! You will be given access to the AQS logo which you are encouraged to display on your website and within your promotional material
  • Share your success with Recognising Excellence and the Advice Service Alliance; please feel free to send us photographs of your celebration event and we’ll include this in the quarterly ASA newsletter
  • The AQS award is made for a period of 2 years (24 months) and at the end of this period, the Advice Quality Standard will lapse (and with it the licence to use the logo)
  • In order to maintain AQS accreditation you are required to be reviewed every 2 years and your monitoring review assessment should not exceed your 2 year anniversary accreditation date.

N.B. You are not subject to a desktop review at the Monitoring Review Assessment stage

Please contact the AQS Team or call 01452 688357 to request an application pack.

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