Quality Standards within Supported Employment

Quality Standards within Supported Employment

Quality StandardsWe know that supported employment is increasingly recognised as the evidence-based approach which is most effective at supporting people with significant disabilities and other disadvantages into paid employment. Despite this, there is no nationally accredited Quality Mark at present for supported employment service providers. This is leading to many supported employment providers working towards other quality standards which do not fit as these are often required within commissioning arrangements.

From its inception, BASE has sought to promote quality standards in the delivery of supported employment. Our policy statement says:

  • All providers of specialist employment support should be subject to inspection using a common set of standards founded on evidence-based practice. Quality inspections should be proportionate and fit for purpose. Best practice should be identified and widely disseminated.
  • Providers should adopt quality assurance processes that are designed to enable benchmarking across the sector.

BASE has developed a draft set of quality standards for the sector and you'll find it available for download below. The document sets out a series of standards under the headings:

  • Leadership, management and achievement
  • Making effective use of resources
  • Staff capability and competence
  • Engagement and partnership
  • Model fidelity

We consulted with stakeholders about the feasibility and design of an accreditation system that recognises the quality of service provision. We know from feedback at our national conference that there is an appetite for a quality mark that informs jobseekers and employers about the quality of support that they can expect.

The key questions for the quality standards are:
1) Do you think there is a need for supported employment to have a Quality Mark?
2) Do you think the criteria in the 5 elements are fit for purpose?
3) How should it be costed and how often should it take place?