CAS Quality Standard
One process, multiple uses and many benefits
The Quality Standard is a flexible and valuable tool. You can use it in a number of ways to meet your specific needs including:
✔ Gain valuable insights into how well you are leading and governing your organisation.
✔ Supporting you to understand your legal obligations including safeguarding, equalities, health and safety and governance.
✔ It helps you to demonstrate your organisation has strong safeguarding and governance in place.
✔ Helping you prepare for growth. It helps identify policies and procedures you may well be asked for by Funders and will help build your foundations for growth.
✔ It provides a firm foundation of robust policies and procedures for your organisation to build upon.
✔ An effective ‘MOT’ of the health of your organisation and the complementary action plan helps identify areas of strength and for development.
✔ Helping you involve staff in your conversations about what a safe well run organisation looks like and how you can work towards that together.
✔ Clear framework to help start up: A clear guide to use that can help you check what policies, procedures and practice you should have in place to be a safe well run organisation in the Voluntary Community Faith and Social Enterprise Sector (VCFSE).
✔ Provides evidence of external Quality Assurance for your organisation
✔ Dedicated support to achieve the Quality Standard from Community Action Suffolk
✔ It demonstrates your commitment to ongoing improvement and development
An important quality framework for VCFSE organisations
The Quality Standard was created and developed for the Voluntary Community Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector by the VCFSE sector and has been a valuable resource since 2005.In order to sign up to one of these options please click on ‘Join here’ and complete the online application form.
The CAS Quality Standard is endorsed by Suffolk County Council and the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership. It is externally assessed by the Quality Standards Awards Panel comprised of Community Action Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership.
What is included in the Quality Standard cover?
All of the elements of the CAS Quality Framework cover the four main areas an organisation requires to demonstrate it is committed to quality as a safe, well run provider of services. It covers four vital areas: Safeguarding, Health & Safety, Recruitment and development, Organisation Management.
The Quality Standard brings all the benefits that come with having a dedicated member of CAS to support you through the process who is there at the end of the phone, email or via the Quality Standards Peer Support Forum (via Microsoft Teams). It comes with a full range of complementary resources policies, procedures, forms et c. to help you as you develop and embed quality policies and procedures.
You will have a secure virtual online portfolio created for your organisation and you can register up to 5 people from you organisation so you can all have access to your shared portfolio via laptop, computer or other mobile devices. You securely upload your documents and policies to your virtual portfolio to evidence how you meet the Standard. Dedicated support from Community Action Suffolk to help you achieve the standard.
CAS Quality Standard: A quick history
A valuable resource used by over 180 organisations in Suffolk have used the CAS Quality Standards to help them strengthen, build their confidence and embed effective practice across the organisation. But, don’t just take our word for here’s what groups say about it:
“Completing the CAS Quality Standard has been a thorough but rewarding process. It has helped us to ensure that we are up to date with the organisation of our charity and policies and it is a good way to show to our supporters and donors that we take a professional and safe approach to our work with children and young people. The support from the CAS team during the process was excellent.”
‘Improved confidence, resilience and efficiency through the implementation of robust policies and procedures’.
‘Engaged our staff across the organisation to be a part of embedding quality and development’
‘Working towards CAS quality standards award helped us secure robust policies and procedures. Through this work we not only learnt a great deal, but also found it helped us on many practical levels’.
What can I do if I only want to do a self assessment and not have our work externally assessed?
The CAS Quality Framework puts you in control of the support that you need, when you need it.
If you decide that you need a comprehensive range of example policies and procedures but don’t want support and assessment from Community Action Suffolk you could choose the Organisation HealthCheck Plus.
If you don’t need the policies and procedures but you do want to complete your own self-assessment then you could choose the Organisation HealthCheck.
All three elements of the Quality Framework are designed with flexibility in mind so you can choose the level of support and resources that are right for you. Each section acts as a stand-alone resource. However, they are also designed to allow you to progress from one to another.
To read more about the HealthCheck and HealthCheck Plus click on the images below.
It is suitable for all voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations who are part of the Community Action Suffolk network.
Joining the Community Action Suffolk Network is free and you can sign up online here to become part of our vibrant network.
The Award is valid for three years and groups can maintain and renew their Award by re-engaging with the process by registering again.
The process can take a varying amount of time depending on an organisations circumstances but normally takes between three and twelve months to complete.
It is also a good first step towards achieving other accredited Quality Standards, such as Investors in People
Yes. The information in your online portfolio is stored securely and is only accessible to necessary Community Action Suffolk staff and the people from your organisation that you register to have access. The Quality Standards Panel members will only have access to the portfolio for the time needed to fulfil their tasks in relation to the Quality Standards Panel.