We operate a quality management system called PQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System). It is a leading quality standard developed for voluntary and community organisations such as Waterford CIL. Used systematically, it helps to run an organisation more effectively and efficiently. The main difference between PQASSO and other quality standards is the fact that it was specifically designed for ‘third sector’ organisations whose primary purpose is to make a social impact rather than a profit.
What progress have we made?
Waterford CIL is working with PQASSO since March 2012. Thanks to the full commitment of the key stakeholders, tremendous work has been carried out to create clear policies and procedures constituting every aspect of our activities. Five quality areas are already improved and fully met. These include Governance, Planning, Leadership and Management, Learning and Development, Communication and Promotion). We are working on the next two at the moment and progressing well (User-Centred Service, Managing People). It is our intention to complete the process and achieve the PQASSO quality mark by the end of 2017, a milestone which we will be among the first of the CILs in Ireland to achieve and which will prove that we have attained an externally recognised level of quality.
Why is PQASSO important?
Implementing a PQASSO quality standard demonstrates that our organisation is managed efficiently, that we provide quality services, and that we are making a difference in our community in general and particular, our clients’ lives. By attaining an externally recognised level of quality, it will prove our credibility and reliability. As a non-profit organisation, we expect PQASSO to help us provide good evidence of the impact and value of the work done, and to ensure low financial risk and high standards.