Headlines: April 22nd, 2005

Research published today shows that introducing a quality improvement system increases the efficiency and effectiveness of voluntary organisations. It can also develop the organisation and its staff, according to the study commissioned by Charities Evaluation Services and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.The reports says a quality improvement system is one of the best methods for assessing and improving performance and provides a structured way for organisations to look at their work and the services they provide and to help identify ways to improve.

Today more than a hundred voluntary sector managers, trustees and quality practitioners will join the NCVO and CES at the “Approaches to Quality” conference.

Delegates will be given an overview of what ‘quality’ means in the voluntary sector as well as receiving details of available quality improvement systems. They will also be shown real-life examples of how voluntary and community sector organisations have benefited from the introduction of the systems.

The study ‘Adoption and Use of Quality Systems in the Voluntary Sector’ (2004) was the largest and most comprehensive study into the impact of such systems in the voluntary and community sector. The research, undertaken by the Centre for Voluntary Action Research at Aston Business School offers independent evidence on the use of quality systems in the sector for the first time.

Dr Richard Piper, NCVO’s Head of Performance Improvement said organisations were becoming increasingly aware of the need to think about introducing quality improvement systems. This, he said, was partly because some funders were asking whether such a system was in place.