Below are some frequently asked questions that we hope will help, however if you cannot find the information you are looking for please contact us.
The matrix Standard (2011) replaced the 2005 version of the Standard in summer 2011. The ethos of the Standard remains, however it has been significantly strengthened to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. We would like to assure you the revised version of the Standard by no means devalues current accreditations that you may currently hold.
The Standard does look a little different with 4 elements replacing the previous 8. Many of the changes reflect the removal of duplication, the re-structuring to ensure that the Standard follows business processes to help organisations which are part of a wider network to be able to effectively use the Standard. The most significant changes are the increased focus on outcomes, competence of staff, commitment to continuous improvement, service delivery linked to outcomes and responses to information technology advances. You can view the criteria of the 2011 Standard here, or on our Self Assessment tool.
If you require more information, go to support.
There is no longer differentiation within the matrix Standard accreditation for internal or external services, however the Standard is still appropriate for organisations that were previously accredited for their internal services. Ultimately it is up to you to define the service or services that you deliver and who your clients are. This will be what you are assessed against and what your accreditation is for.
Use the Support pages to find the correct support you require.
Each organisation is different, you may already be delivering a quality service or services and are ready to be assessed now. You may be very new to the Standard and wish to engage in the support activities that are available before you commit to your assessment.
The assessor is assessing the organisation and its service or services and are not assessing your staff's ability to provide an information, advice and guidance service or to follow your processes. The matrix Standard is an outcome based Standard and as such observations are not a requirement and would not necessarily provide the assessor with the evidence of the outcomes that you are achieving.
The Standard requires that your organisation defines the qualifications for individual staff roles linked to your aims and objectives of the service. The qualifications that you define should be inline with current national recognised professional qualifications and frameworks and your organisation may also be subject to ensuring that professional standards and qualifications for staff are defined as set out by a specific contract and/or representative body.
No, the Standard is outcome based, therefore you do not have to follow any prescribed processes or systems, or to produce documentation that is not of value to your organisation. Working with the Standard is about helping you deliver a high quality service to your clients, it is up to you how you go about achieving the end result. You do not have to produce a portfolio of evidence. However, it may be helpful for you to show your assessor some documented evidence to support any discussions.
matrix accreditation lasts for 3 years. In order to maintain accreditation after this you must have a review within the 3 year period, however you can decide the most suitable time for your review to take place that fits within your own business cycle.
For organisations who book on or after the 1st of October 2012, accreditation will be dependent on Continuous Improvement Checks 12 and 24 months into accreditation.
Your Assessor will be in touch after 3 months for a follow up call, during which they will discuss the impact of the assessment, progress against any Areas for Continuous Improvement identified and help with using the Self Reflection tool. If you have booked your assessment on or after the 1st of October, you will use the Self Reflection tool to help complete your Continuous Improvement Checks 12 and 24 months into your accreditation, which your Assessor will also support you with and feed back on your progress.
For any further support you may require, please use the Support pages to see what is available.
If you are due for a full review, the review assessment page contains all the details. If you booked your last full assessment on or after the 1st of October 2012 and are due for a 12 or 24 month Continuous Improvement Check, the Continuous Improvement Check page will explain what you need to do.
12. We are accredited, but we are about to merge/take over another organisation/department that aren't. How does this effect our accreditation?
The best thing would be to contact us, we can then discuss with you the timescales that are specific to you in terms of your current accreditation, your merger/take over and the impacts that these changes may have.
If your organisation is undergoing change or has already undergone a period of change, please contact us to let us know so that we can ensure that we have the most up-to-date information about you. We also need to know about any changes that may impact on your organisation and its service or services in order to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the Standard.
If you are due a full review, your assessor will have to be satisfied that you continue to meet all of the elements and criteria of the Standard, before confirming your continued accreditation. However if you don’t currently meet all the requirements but you are committed (from the most senior people in your organisation) to implementing the developments needed in order to show that you are, then we will support you through this period with the retaining accreditation process, detailed on the Assessment Results page. If you are undertaking a Continuous Improvement Check 12 or 24 months into your accreditation, you will just need to demonstrate to your assessor that you are continuing to undertake CQI, through use of the website’s Self Reflection Tool.
The assessor that undertook your last assessment will, wherever possible, be allocated your next full assessment, and will also undertake your 12 and 24 month Continuous Improvement Checks. There are only a few exceptions to this, which are that your previous assessor is not available, no longer with us or you have expressed a preference to have an alternative assessor. More details can be found on the Assessors page.
For organisations that haven't yet been accredited to the Standard, the areas that the assessor raised as not yet meeting the Standard will need to be addressed. In order to achieve the Standard these areas are what your assessor will focus on when they return to your organisation. For organisations that are undertaking a 12 or 24 month Continuous Improvement Check, the assessor will want to explore with you if and how you have used the previous suggestions and how you have built on the strengths identified. At a full review after you have been accredited for 3 years the Assessor will look at those things again, however more importantly they will want to explore element 4 (continuous quality improvement) with you. More information can be found on the Assessment Results page.
At a full assessment review the process is much the same; we will contact you 6 months and 3 months before your review is due and you will need to book your assessment, you can also book your assessment online. 12 or 24 month Continuous Improvement Checks are light touch and consist of liaising with the assessor and updating the Self Reflection Tool.