Quality Framework

Quality Framework

BASE is using a short version of the Supported Employment Quality Framework (SEQF) to audit the model fidelity of Supported Employment services.

There is growing pressure from employers and commissioners for employment services to demonstrate their quality in an independent and transparent way. This quality accreditation aims to provide that assurance. 

We are now available to carry out model fidelity audits on any provider seeking to improve the quality of their services.


How the SEQF audit process works


BASE will allocate an audit team of two people for each SEQF audit.

We will deliver a preparation workshop for the provider(s) who will be undertaking the SEQF assessment process.

The workshop will cover the following:

  • The importance of quality assurance
  • An overview of the EFQM model
  • Description of the self-assessment and audit process and timeline
  • The SEQF standards
  • Key performance indicator methodology
  • Overview of a quality assurance system
  • Gathering evidence through data collection, compliance, observation and feedback
  • Tips for managing the self-assessment process
  • Data security
  • Key contacts and communication methods
  • Confirmation of key milestone dates.



BASE will request the provider’s completed self-assessment report and supporting evidence. The following data will be required:

  • A full list of current clients on a pre-prepared data spreadsheet. This will capture demographics, timeline, current status, and job details
  • KPI data showing calculation methods
  • Any supporting evidence to justify scoring on each standard.

We will acknowledge receipt of this data and request any missing information by an agreed date. Timescales will be agreed for the audit process.



The audit team will select a client sample of 10 – 15 clients. The provider will be asked to provide detailed case notes and documentation associated with the selected clients. Case notes can be redacted to remove identifying information if required and all selected clients will be allocated a unique reference number.

The Provider will be asked to arrange a schedule of interviews with stakeholders: management, staff, clients and employers. The BASE audit team will carry out the following activities:

  • Interviews with the selected stakeholders. These may be group discussions or 1:1 conversations
  • Analysis of client files & documentation
  • Data analysis

The BASE audit team will reach an interim judgement within 5 working days and provide initial formative feedback to the provider. The provider will have 3 working days to provide additional evidence for scrutiny.



The audit team will draft a written report within 5 working days and this will be reviewed by an independent auditor(s) and agreed. The report will provide background information about the provider and the audit process. It will summarise the findings of the audit, provide detailed findings against each of the standards and recommendations for future actions. 

The audit team will supply the provider with a copy of the draft report. The provider will have 3 working days to challenge any factual inaccuracies and request amendment.

A final report will be sent to the provider and to any associated third party organisations. BASE will request that the provider submits an action plan based around the report’s recommendations.

BASE will maintain a record of all audits at its main office and will issue a kitemark if appropriate. This will be accompanied by a document outlining the conditions of using the kitemark.


Scoring methodology

Providers are audited against their self-assessment and this results in a final percentage score.

  • Excellent providers have scored 90% or more
  • Good providers have scored between 75% and 89.9%
  • Accredited providers have scored between 55% and 74.9%

The quality mark is awarded for 3 years subject to BASE receiving an annual self-assement and action plan from the provider service.


The background

Supported Employment services have not had to undertake self-assessment since 2010 when Ofsted inspected provision on the DWP-funded Workstep programme. Most services have discontinued their self-assessment processes leaving clients, commissioners and employers with no idea of the quality they can expect from provider services. BASE is working to improve the quality of provision through National Occupational Standardsworkforce qualifications and a framework for service standards.

The short version of SEQF uses the sections on products and services, business results and builds in some key performance indicators. The self-assessment can be freely used by services to gauge the quality of their provision. We have found wide variation in how services score their self-assessment. Competent services tend to underscore while services not adhering to the Supported Employment model tend to over-rate their quality. This underlines the need for independent auditing of quality.

The product has been tested and was used to audit the self-assessments carried out by 11 providers of the Proof of Concept trials in 2018 and 2019.

There is no doubt that building a quality assurance framework is time consuming for services but it leads to improved outcomes, more efficient provision, and assurance for commissioners and customers. As part of the audit process, BASE can advise you on how to develop a quality assurance framework for your service.

"Pure Innovations have found the audit by BASE extremely useful and it has assisted us to improve the delivery of service to clients and how to evidence the work we do. Pure will continue to complete an audit on several of the employment projects to ascertain the quality of service being delivered and how person centred it is. We have improved how we record information and how our IT reporting system, Eclipse, will provide information, produce reports and that documents/forms are fluent and streamlined to encompass a client's complete journey."

Pure Innovations