Page 1

EQUASS Annual Report

2011


Content Editorial

page 1

EQUASS adapted to the voluntary European Quality Framework

page 4

EQUASS Certifications

page 6

General overview

7

Overview per country

8

Local Licence holders

page 15

EQUASS Auditors

page 19

EQUASS trainings

19

Update of the EQUASS Auditor profile

20

Interview with an EQUASS Auditor

21

EQUASS Projects

page 22

EQUASS piloting in Estonia

22

PRIME Project

24

EQUASS Events and PR

page 25

EQUASS Awarding Ceremony

25

Benchmarking with EQUASS

26

Other EQUASS events

27

EQUASS Online communication

28

EQUASS Structures and Staff

page 29

EQUASS Quality Control

page 30

Feedback and results from applicants evaluation forms

30

Complaint management

31

EQUASS Annual Report 2011

2


Editorial

Dear readers, Many examples demonstrate that introducing new quality systems on a wide scale is a long-term process with some difficult years before a “snowball-effect� can be seen. For EQUASS, 2011 was the year that the snowball actually started to roll in a few countries, resulting in a doubling of the certified sites and organisations. 440 certified sites in 14 European countries exceed by far the targets as defined in the business plan 2011 – 2013. 90.000 service-users getting services from an EQUASS certified provider and about 20.000 staff members working in certified organisations make a substantial contribution to the mission of EQUASS to engage social

service

providers

in

quality

and

continuous

improvement. This success of EQUASS puts however a greater responsibility on all the actors involved. It demands a stronger management and stricter procedures. Increasing the duration and level of auditors training, issuing transparent complaint procedures, and running an EQUASS Core Group with advisory functions are just a few examples of the focus on governance adopted in 2011. The ambition to make EQUASS compliant with the ISO 17021 standard fits into this strategy to enhance the reliability and credibility of the EQUASS system. 2011 was also the year during which the EQUASS quality principles and criteria were reviewed in the light of the voluntary European Quality Framework for Social Services which was launched by the European Commission and the EU Member States in October 2010. This document will be the reference for quality in social services in the coming years, and EQUASS is currently the only system that can assess compliance with this quality framework in practice. As such, EQUASS meets the needs and expectations from the sectorial stakeholders and is prepared for the near future. All this makes EQUASS particularly attractive to many policy makers and funders in the member states. The EQUASS Annual Report adopts a new format this year, with the aim to reach a wider dissemination scope, and in line with our fundamental belief in transparency and accountability towards all stakeholders involved. Moreover, we hope to contribute in this way to the modernisation of the social services sector, and to the ultimate goal of ensuring quality of services to disadvantaged people throughout Europe.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Spooren EQUASS Manager

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3


EQUASS adapted to the voluntary European Quality Framework Origins of the Changes to EQUASS 2012 The 2012 version of the EQUASS framework takes its origins in the voluntary European Quality Framework (EQF) for Social Services developed by the Social Protection Committee, with contributions from the Common Quality Framework (CQF) for Social Services of General Interest (SSGI), developed by the Prometheus Project. The CQF for SSGI describes a set of domains, preconditions and principles, as well as a set of key criteria that influence the quality of social services. Based on the EQF and the CQF, the EQUASS Awarding Committee decided to adopt the new principles and quality criteria so that all EQUASS certification programmes comply with these quality frameworks. Therefore the new EQUASS certification can be considered as the expression of the new requirements of the European Commission and the adaptation to the changing demands of stakeholders and the European Commission, and to the evolving context in the social sector.

What are the major changes of the EQUASS 2012? The EQUASS certification programmes is offered at two levels: 

EQUASS Assurance



EQUASS Excellence

All EQUASS certification programmes are based on the same framework: the 10 Principles for Quality including the 50 underlying criteria

Continuous improvement

Rights Ethics

Staff

Leadership

Partnership Participation

Result orientation

Person-centred approach Comprehensiveness

EQUASS Annual Report 2011

4


EQUASS adapted to the voluntary EQF (continued)

In the EQUASS Assurance certification programme, the 50 criteria are assessed on 100 Performance Indicators for Assurance, all of which have to be met to receive the two-year certification. The EQUASS Excellence certification is assessed on a self-evaluation report in which the applicant describes its performance on the 50 criteria from the perspective of approach, deployment and achieved results. The performance is then evaluated and reported to the EQUASS Awarding Committee. The EQUASS Excellence certification is valid for a period of three years. The two certification programmes are strongly linked to each other, and facilitate and encourage a natural way of quality development and improvement in organisations for social services. In order to reflect the latest developments on quality in the social sector, new elements have been added to the EQUASS certification programmes: self-determination, informed choices and empowerment of service users, proximity of services, competences of staff, position of volunteers, benefits for service users, added value of partnership and stakeholders, quality of life of service users and innovation. All those issues must be properly addressed by the applicants. An interim level of recognition has also been developed in 2011: Stairway to Excellence. This recognition can be given once to organisations whose score is lower than the required threshold for EQUASS Excellence, or that cannot provide three years trends in results on the 50 criteria yet nor systematic benchmarking. Additional criteria for performance on approach, deployment and results are also applied. Stairway to Excellence is valid for 18 months, and should lead to a new application for EQUASS Excellence.

Implementation and Timeline The ‘new’ EQUASS certification programmes (including criteria for awarding) have been implemented since 1 January 2012. The preparation of this implementation took place in 2011, through the organisation of information meetings, and the adaptation of all supporting documentation. For additional information: please contact the EQUASS coordinator at equass@equass.be.

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5


EQUASS Certifications in 2011 EQUASS certified organisations represent a wide range of service provision to clients. Their services range from permanent adapted work or sheltered workshops (over 80% of all certified organisations in 2011) to supported employment (over 34%) or labour market or occupational training such as vocational training, on the job training or work preparation for in inclusive and sheltered work place (50%). Their clients can choose from various training possibilities, from sectors such as healthcare and hospitality industry to crafts and commercial occupations and computer-based work (web design, computer programming). A great number of EQUASS certified organisations also serve children and youngster with disabilities with the following types of services: early intervention (pre-school) and special needs education; respite care; sports, culture, and leisure activities; family support; and psychological and medical services. As of the end of 2011, the total number of EQUASS certified organisations are serving 60.000 persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups; and employing over 15.000 staff members. Those numbers demonstrate the real impact of EQUASS on the social services sector, and on service delivery to people with disabilities or other disadvantages.

Images Š Microsoft EQUASS Annual Report 2011

6


Overview 2011

319 EQUASS Assurance certified organisations

7 EQUASS Excellence certified organisations

In 2011, EQUASS was awarded in 11 countries (total number of countries with EQUASS certified organisations : 14)

Legend

Country where EQUASS Assurance and/or Excellence certification(s) took place in 2011

Country with a Local Licence Holder in 2011

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7


EQUASS in Estonia

“EQUASS developments in Estonia are moving forward with a good energy. Estonian Quality Associaon has awarded us with a prize “Quality Accomplishment of 2011“, so there’s something to be proud of! “ Keiu Talve, EQUASS project manager and coordinator of EQUASS Local Licence Holder in Estonia

In 2011 in Estonia:

6 organisations certified with EQUASS Assurance Representing over 5.500 persons served Representing 368 staff members

ESF Funding brings great rewards The following organisations benefited from the European Social Fund support in 2011: Tallinn Mental Health Centre - Kristiine Social Center ; Haapsalu Neuroloogiline Rehabilitatsioonikeskus (HNRK) ; Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre ; Jõhvi Welfare Hospital ; AS Hoolekandeteenused Imastu Koolkodu AS

EQUASS in Finland

First EQUASS certification in Finland On 20 April 2011, Ammattiopisto Luovi / Aikuiskoulutus in Finland was awarded EQUASS Assurance for three of its sites: Joensuu, Oulu and Tampere. Luovi represents over 530 persons served, and 50 staff members.

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8


EQUASS in France

Traumatic Brain Injury in France EQUASS

awarded

Mulhouse -

the

Centre

de

Réadaptation

de

Unité d’Evaluation, de Rééntraînement et

d’Orientation Sociale et / ou professionnelle (UEROS) in Mulhouse with the EQUASS Excellence Quality Mark. CRM-UEROS provides professional coaching and vocational training to people with traumatic brain injury. Jan Spooren (EQUASS Manager) with Séverine Golly (CRM)

The CRM-UEROS unit includes 10 staff members, and served 60 users in 2011.

EQUASS in Greece

Panagia

Eleousa

awarded

with

EQUASS Excellence The workshop “PANAGIA ELEOUSA” for people with intellectual and related disabilities of the of Etoloakarnania Prefecture in Greece was awarded the EQUASS Excellence mark for its centres in Messolonghi and Agrinio. Panagia served

Eleousa in

2011,

represents and

125

employed

persons 40

staff

members.

Theotokos Foundation awarded EQUASS Assurance The Theotokos Foundation in Ilion, Greece was awarded with the EQUASS Assurance certification.

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EQUASS in Germany

In 2011 in Germany:

3 organisations certified with EQUASS Assurance Representing over 1.250 persons served Representing 550 staff members Berufsfรถrderungswerk Hamm GmbH, TSBW Husum and Antoniushaus Hochheim were awarded with EQUASS Assurance in 2011

EQUASS in Ireland

RehabCare EQUASS awarded RehabCare with the EQUASS Assurance quality mark for 6 of its Resource Centres: Nenagh, Sligo, Bantry, Bray, Kildare and Castlerea.

Record-breaking Excellence certification for NLN

EQUASS awarded the National Learning Network in Ireland with EQUASS Excellence for 28 of its sites in October 2011. NLN is Ireland's

largest

non-government

training

organisation

with

centres in almost every county in Ireland. The 28-site audit and subsequent certification is a first in EQUASS history.

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EQUASS in Lithuania

EQUASS awarded the Valakupiai Rehabilitation Centre with EQUASS Excellence in November of 2011

“EQUASS Excellence quality mark is the best proof that we meet the expectaons of clients, partners, funders, other stakeholders and society and confirmaon of professional, united and solidarity team work as well.” Valakupiai Rehabilita$on Centre

EQUASS in the Netherlands

Pluryn Rea College succeeds in gaining EQUASS recognition for 3 sites On 31st of July, Pluryn Rea College was awarded the EQUASS Assurance quality mark for three of its sites: Hoensbroek, Nijmegen and Groningen. These sites provide Vocational Rehabilitation, and Vocational Education and Training (VET). The certification encompasses over 480 persons served, and represents 70 staff members.

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EQUASS in Norway

The Norwegian phenomenon: Over 200 awarded organisations

Services offered by the EQUASS Assurance certified organisations in Norway

In 2011 in Norway:

212 organisations certified with EQUASS Assurance Representing over 21 800 persons served Representing 5 200 staff members

“For me, EQUASS Assurance is two improving cycles; one on individual and one on system level.” Sissel Andreassen – Norwegian EQUASS Auditor Read the rest of Sissel’s interview on page 21

The whole list of certified organisations in Norway can be found on the online publication: http://issuu.com/eprehab EQUASS Annual Report 2011

12


EQUASS in Portugal

Capacity Building with the Fundo Social Europeu Services offered by the EQUASS Assurance certified organisations in Portugal

In 2011 in Portugal:

93 organisations certified with EQUASS Assurance Representing over 26 500 persons served Representing 13 000 staff members

“I am sure that all social services, in all social sectors, have the purpose to provide the best service to their clients. And they have in EQUASS the tool to help them to achieve that purpose and to develop further their mission.” Isabel Silva, Portuguese EQUASS Auditor

EQUASS Excellence in Portugal

In 2011, EQUASS awarded EQUASS Excellence to two outstanding organisations in Portugal:

The whole list of certified organisations in Portugal can be found on the online publication:



Fundação AFID Diferença



APPACDM de Vila Nova de Gaia Associação Portuguesa de Pais e Amigos do Cidadão Deficiente Mental

http://issuu.com/eprehab EQUASS Annual Report 2011

13


EQUASS in Slovenia EQUASS Excellence awarded to the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre of University Rehabilitation Institute Republic of Slovenia (URI) Ljubljana URI

provides

a

wide

range of rehabilitation services and

in serves

Slovenia about

14.000 clients each year. The units audited by EQUASS are located in Ljubljana and Maribor, where 50 employees serve 700 clients

ZELVA d.o.o. – Center Zaposlitvene in Poklicne Rehabilitacije in Ljubljana Zelva, was awarded EQUASS Assurance in 2011. Zelva is a company providing training and employment of persons with disabilities, was established in 1991 by Sožitje – Association for mental handicap in Slovenia. The original organisation was founded to provide work training for young people with slight mental health issues (as well as physical disabilities ). The services audited serve over 140 persons and employ over 150 persons

Enhancing performance and meeting needs In social service provision

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14


EQUASS Local Licence Holders (LLH) The dissemination and expansion of EQUASS in Europe is assisted by a set of local representatives, called Local Licence Holders. The LLH serve as a local intermediary between the EQUASS customers and the EQUASS Secretariat, and coordinate the certification process between applicants and auditors in the countries where an LLH is established. The EQUASS Secretariat only comes into action when the full application dossier and Audit report are submitted for approval. In Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia, EQUASS Assurance certification services can be obtained through the Local Licence Holders detailed hereafter. As of the beginning of 2012, EQUASS does not have a LLH in Ireland anymore, as EIQA (Excellence Ireland Quality Association) has stopped its LLH function. All Irish certification requests are dealt with directly by the EQUASS Secretariat. For EQUASS Assurance certification in countries other than those listed above, and for EQUASS Excellence certification in all of Europe, applications are made directly to the EQUASS Secretariat, based in Brussels, Belgium. The EQUASS Secretariat in no way outsources or delegates to the Local Licence Holder the decision on awarding the Quality Mark, but trains, supports and monitors the LLH. National Stakeholder Committees are established in countries where the volume of certifications (actual or expected) is significant, and requires to consult with the sectoral actors for input and scrutiny on the role and implementation of EQUASS in the country. The Committee consultation and comments benefit the cycle of continuous improvement for both for the LLH and the management of EQUASS in Brussels.

Estonia Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Center, EQUASS Eesti Astangu 27, Tallinn 13519 , Estonia Tel. +372 6877 223 Contact person: Keiu Talve keiu.talve@equass.ee

www.equass.ee Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Center was founded in 1995 under the administration of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Astangu is the only vocational rehabilitation service provider in Estonia with clients all over country and has a supportive role for the Ministry in decision making process. EQUASS Assurance has been implemented in Estonia in 2010 and 2011 with the support of the European Social Fund. This has resulted in 6 certified organisations. Astangu has been acting as EQUASS Local Licence Holder in Estonia since January 2012 after having practiced this role in 2010 and 2011, thanks to the ESF capacity-building funds. The National Stakeholders Committee consists of representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Social Insurance Board, the Estonian Quality Association, the Estonian Chamber of Disabled People and service provider Tallinn Mental Health Center.

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Germany EQUASS Deutschland c/o: Josefsheim Bigge gGmbH Heinrich-Sommer-Str. 13 - 59939 Olsberg Tel: +49 2962 800 225 Fax: +49 2962 803 872 25 Contact person: Winfried Henke info@equass.de

www.equass.de

EQUASS Deutschland is operated by the Brüsseler Kreis, a collaboration of the major Protestant and Catholic social enterprises in Germany. The Brüsseler Kreis is active in providing care for persons with disabilities, the elderly, youth and in education. With about 40 000 workers and more than 35 000 inpatient, partly-in patient and out-patient care clients, they serve about 100 000 persons yearly, with a turnover of around € 1.7 billion. The Brüsseler Kreis is being represented by the organisation Josefsheim Bigge, located in Olsberg.

Lithuania Valakupiai Rehabilitation Centre (VRC) Vaidilutés str. 69 Vilnius LT-10100 - Lithuania Tel: +370 5 2477542 Contact person: Daiva Besagirskaite info@reabilitacija.lt

www.reabilitacija.lt/en/

VRC, a public organisation funded under the Ministry of Social Affairs, has a leading role in promoting quality in the Vocational Rehabilitation sector in Lithuania. VRC provides medical and vocational rehabilitation services, social day care, practical driving assessment and a driving school for people with disabilities. VRC was also the recipient of the EQUASS Excellence Mark. The services audited serve over 100 persons and employ over 100 staff members.

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Norway EQUASS Norge AS Postboks 5473, Majorstuen 0305 Oslo Phone: +47 23 08 86 50 Contact persons: Elisabeth Erlandsen and Andreas Tømmerbakke elisabeth.erlandsen@equass.no andreas.tommerbakke@equass.no

www.equass.no EQUASS Norge AS The company EQUASS Norway AS was officially established in January 2012. In 2011, it was still operated as a division of the Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Enterprises (AVRE). AVRE is an employer and interest organisation for approximately 110 not-for-profit organisations spread across Norway. These organisations provide vocational support (vocational assessment, permanently adapted work, research support for a job or further education) to more than 35 000 disadvantaged persons yearly. In addition, the organisations provide work preparatory trainings for persons who need to establish necessary basic skills for any job, as well as supported employment for persons in need of extensive follow-up in the open labour market. EQUASS in Norway has benefited from a tremendous boom in operations due to the decision of the NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation, to recognise EQUASS as one of several certification systems available to organisations providing services to people with disabilities. NAV moreover instructed all concerned organisations to get certified by the end of 2011 in order to improve the overall quality level in the rehabilitation sector.

EQUASS Norwegian Stakeholder Committee On 27 June, the Norwegian Stakeholder Committee of EQUASS met for its annual meeting. Representatives of umbrella organisations for services users, funders, national authorities, service provider organisations, employers and employees discussed the progress and achievements of the implementation of EQUASS in the Norwegian vocational rehabilitation sector.

Members of the EQUASS Stakeholder Committee National Federation for companies providing permanent jobs adapted to the individual (ASVL) Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) Norwegian Federation of Organisations for Disabled People (FFO) Norwegian Organisation for the disabled Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) LandsrĂĽdet for arbeid til yrkeshemmede (LAFY) Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Entreprises (AVRE) Federation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises (HSH)

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Portugal Associação Portuguesa para a Qualidade - APQ Serviços Centrais Rua I do Pólo Tecnológico de Lisboa , nº 3 (Lt 24) 1600-546 Lisboa - Portugal Tel: + 351 214996210 www.apq.pt Contact person: Carla Cunha carla.cunha@apq.pt

www.equass.pt APQ is a membership based non-profit organisation founded in 1969. Its purpose is to promote and spread knowledge and experiences in the field of quality organisational excellence, as well as practices that lead to increase the productivity between organisations in Portugal. APQ is recognised as the leading non-governmental institution of the Portuguese quality movement. APQ regroups around 2200 members, covering organisations from various sectors and dimensions, public and private, and a wide number of auditors, consultants and quality managers. APQ is also a Sectorial Standardisation Body in the field of Quality Management, responsible for three Technical Committees Quality Management, Conformity Assessment and Risk Management.

Slovenia Development unit of Employment Rehabilitation, University Rehabilitation Institute, Republic of Slovenia Linhartova 51, 1000 Ljubljana - Slovenia Tel: + 386 1 475 8 275 Contact person: Aleksandra Tabaj aleksandra.tabaj@ir-rs.si

www.ir-rs.si/en/ The development unit for vocational rehabilitation of URI in Ljubljana has a leading role in promoting quality in the vocational rehabilitation sector of Slovenia. Its role is recognised through public mandate and financially supported by the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs. The University Rehabilitation Institute in Ljubljana started its role as EQUASS Licence Holder in January 2011.

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EQUASS Auditors EQUASS Trainings New Training Format The duration of the EQUASS auditor trainings has been revised in 2011 in order to better prepare participants for their role as auditors. Indeed, the trainings used to last two days, but the feedbacks although positive overall - showed that the trainings were considered too short by the participants. The EQUASS Awarding Committee therefore decided to extend the length of the trainings to three full days. As a result of the revised training format, the auditor trainings offer more opportunities to exchange and to calibrate individual performances of potential auditors as well as practical tips on how to write an audit report, prepare a site visit and run interviews. Additionally, experienced auditors can attend “calibration trainings� at a reduced price, and have a choice between a one day, or a full three-day calibration training. As for the consultancy trainings, they will pay more attention to all phases of implementation of the EQUASS Excellence and Assurance programmes (self-evaluation process, implementation plan and process, internal auditing, test audits and reporting).

2011 Trainings In 2011, EQUASS organised 4 trainings following the new format:  Two EQUASS Assurance Auditor trainings (in Tallinn and Oslo). The Tallinn training was organised and funded by the ESF project in Estonia.  Two EQUASS Excellence Auditor trainings (in Lisbon and Brussels). In total, 52 participants have attended these trainings, both new auditors and experienced auditors looking to update their auditing skills and understanding of the newly updated EQUASS Framework.  21 EQUASS Assurance auditors have been nominated for the first time, or have renewed their nomination as a recognised Assurance Auditor.  20 EQUASS Excellence auditors have been nominated for the first time, or have renewed their nomination as a recognised Excellence Auditor.

Each training resulted in an evaluation from the participants of the quality of the training. With an answer rate over 80% , the participants could grade various aspects of the trainings between 1(very poor) and 5 (excellent). Here are the average 2011 results: Overall Quality of training: 4,38 - Content of the training: 4,02 - Relevance of the training for your organisation: 4,28 - Quality of the trainer / facilitator: 4,62 - Quality of the venue: 4,57

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Update of the EQUASS Auditor profile New Auditor profile The EQUASS Auditor profile was reviewed in 2011 following an analysis of the remarks and complaints from clients, stakeholders and the auditors themselves. An updated profile was adopted by the EQUASS Awarding committee in October, to be applied from 2012 onwards. This profile describes the specific expectations of the abilities of those willing to perform as an auditor in the EQUASS certification process: Interpersonal skills Ability to:  Understand how others think and act  Understand group processes  Communicate effectively in written and spoken English  Handle conflict constructively  Give positive feedback  Convey integrated concepts and opinions quickly The auditor should be able to understand what a conflict of interest is, and act upon it. Operational skills Ability to:  Make a quick overview of complex situations and determine the underlying themes and issues  Translate management concepts into specific situation  Think in a ‘process’ way  Take a high level overview  Assess, in a well-balanced way, the scope and outcome of situations and facts Knowledge and experience 

Broad knowledge and experience of (Quality-) management



A good record of achieving against objectives



Ability to contribute to a multi-cultural environment and meet tight time deadlines

Desired skills:  Qualified for auditing organisation according to EFQM (or national equivalent) and/or ISO 9000 (or

other relevant Quality Management Systems)  Experience and understanding of the social services sector

Credits system The new auditor profile also comes with new requirements that reflect the feedback received from our customers, stakeholders, and auditors themselves. A credit system was established in order to ensure a proper balance between theoretical auditor knowledge and audit practice over the years. The credit system promotes continued training updates for auditors, called calibration courses, to ensure that our pool of auditors are current on the latest developments of the EQUASS quality framework and practices.

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Interview with an EQUASS Auditor What are some the challenges that you have faced?

Sissel Andreassen EQUASS Auditor Sissel Andreassen has visited 110 different rehabilitation organisations in Norway. She has performed 85 audits, 23 audit test-days and one supervision-day in organisations with a staff varying from 2 persons to 1500. How and when did you first get involved with EQUASS? Accidently on a Web-search, I found a notice that Norway was looking for EQUASS Assurance Auditors. At that time, I had been working as a nurse with Quality Improvement in Health Care service for many years. I hoped I could use my experience in another area, and followed an Assurance auditor training in Oslo in February 2007. It took some time before the organisations were ready for an audit, so my first visit to a rehabilitation organisation was in June 2008. Since then, I have been a lucky EQUASS auditor, having had the opportunity to visit 110 organisations. Why would you recommend this system to social services providers? The system contains agreed, necessary elements that, in my opinion, make it a good management tool to ensure development of the staff and the organisation and to achieve expected services for persons served and customers. Another benefit is the focus on results according to the organisational mission and not only on financial and production conditions. It is my opinion that the EQUASS certification results in a professionalization of service provision in Norway. Can you describe one of the best moments of your career as an EQUASS auditor? After visiting so many organisations, sure I have a lot of good moments in my memory! And luckily I have only very few bad moments. Perhaps the best one was one person served who told me that, thanks to EQUASS, his plan now was very good with “hairy goals!” Or another one, a person with a major disability, who told me that this was like a EU-control for cars: I check up some points every second year but they are responsible for daily maintenance! Isn’t it lovely? I have told this story many times. It’s never fun to say “no - you do not comply with the criteria.” More than one organisation has told me that the process not being approved the first time had given them more confidence to the standard, and a necessary learning experience. This shows me the benefits of auditing, as an important tool in the improvement process, and a good moment for me.

Writing audit reports in English was my first challenge. Looking back, fortunately I can see a personal improvement during the past years! It may also be a challenge during two days to get the necessary overview and understanding about the structure, system, culture and attitudes in big organisations, sometimes with several locations. But this is why auditing is so exciting and challenging! You must use all your knowledge about quality system and cooperative processes. In some cases the organisations’ motivation might be a challenge since the system is required here in Norway, and is not something they had choosen themselves. Luckily I have just experienced difficult communication and cooperation a few times only. Based on your extensive experience, do you have some advices for EQUASS auditors? And for social service providers? To be an EQUASS Assurance Auditor requires structured work, humility and a special interest for organisation system and culture. It takes some time to get to know the framework well - to learn the system’s logic and coherence. This demands a volume of audits over a period of time. Just a few audits a year must be like starting all over again every time. My overall advice to auditors must be: work systematic and with respect for the framework and the social service provider. Some service providers say that the standard EQUASS Assurance is designed for big organisations. In Norway we have a lot of small organisations. When I ask them which element is not necessary for their organisation, the question is unanswered. It may look too comprehensive with 100 questions, but when they get familiar with the content and context – they all are useful. For me, the EQUASS Assurance is two improving cycles; one on individual and one on system level. I hope everyone learns to see the benefits of having a good management system like this. My advice to service providers is: develop a system based on KISS – keep it small and simple and measure results of efforts. Every management system should give service providers motivational feedback. It’s my opinion that we are good at planning – very good at doing – not so good at studying our results of service provided - and not good at systematic, structured improvement based on facts. Learn by doing – and discover that it’s useful and fun!

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EQUASS Projects EQUASS piloting in Estonia

2011 saw the conclusion of the ESF- Funded project that aimed to pilot the EQUASS Assurance system to seven rehabilitation service providers in Estonia. Moreover, the project intended to raise awareness on quality of rehabilitation services to a wider sample of sectorial stakeholders, and to build capacity for a further roll-out of EQUASS throughout Estonia in case of a positive evaluation. As result of the project, 6 pilots have been awarded with the EQUASS Assurance certificate and the implementation process have been appreciated and valued by all pilot sites, and as result of this successful project all 100 Estonian organisations providing rehabilitation and social welfare services will be encouraged to implement the EQUASS Assurance requirements in the coming year. Below are the evaluation scores of the project pilot sites:

No

Criteria

Score

Min

Max

1

Overall quality of the site visit

4.2

5

3

2

Communica$on about the programme of the site visit

5.0

5

5

3

Relevance of the interviews with stakeholders

4.8

5

4

4

Performance of the auditor

4.6

5

4

5

Performance of the co-auditor

4.6

5

3

6

Site visit prepara$on form

4.4

5

3

7

Content (feedback) of the audit report

4.6

5

4

8

Informa$on about the EQUASS audit procedure

5.0

5

5

9

Respec$ng the procedure by the auditor

4.0

5

2

10

Respec$ng the procedure by Licence Holder

5.0

5

5

11

Respec$ng the procedure by the EQUASS Unit

5.0

5

5

12

Communica$on with the project management in Estonia

5.0

5

5

13

Communica$on with the EQUASS expert

5.0

5

5

Cohesion

Scale: 1 = very poor, 2 = poor, 3 = satisfactory, 4 = good, 5 = excellent Score: statistical average score of the criteria (Mean) Min: minimum score on the criteria Max: maximum score on the criteria Cohesion: statistical average of deviation on the mean (Standard Deviation)

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EQUASS piloting in Estonia

The ESF project in 2011 was marked by several significant events: 

The training of 10 EQUASS Assurance auditors on 23-24 May 2011



The establishment of a Stakeholder Committee



The Market development seminar on 18 October 2011on the topic of “social policy for developing a more open market”. The seminar explored the consequences of the opening of the social services market to procurement from other types of economic operators. The target groups were staff members (policy makers) of the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and key stakeholders in the social sector: service user organisations – funders and social provider associations.



The project final conference on 15 December 2011, in the Europe Clarion Hotel in Tallinn.

Keiu Talve, receiving her prize for “Quality Accomplishment of the Year - 2011” from the hands of the Estonian Quality Association Chairman of the Board Mrs. Tiia Tammaru.

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PRIME Project The PRIME project, short for PRoject for IMplementation of Equavet, is funded under the Lifelong Learning Programme, a Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation Action, and is led by the REA College Nederland, in the Netherlands. The project was launched on 21 November 2011 and will run until 2013. PRIME aims to use EQUASS as a tool for the implementation of the EQAVET framework for quality in the provision of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Europe. The project will support the implementation of EQUAVET in 6 providers of VET services for persons with disabilities in 5 EU countries: Opera Don Calabria (IT) BBW Adolf Aich gGmbH (DE) CENTERKONTURA (SI) Vilnius Centre for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (LT) RCN-Heliomare (NL) RCN Bartimeus (NL)

The PRIME project initial phase starts with cross-referencing the EQUASS and EQAVET principles and frameworks, identify discrepancies, and provide the necessary adaptations. The project will then provide the partnering institutions with the opportunity to implement the EQAVET framework through the following steps: - Method of self-evaluation and detailed planning, - Sharing experiences and identification and exchange of good practice (bench learning), - Implementation of a system for internal auditing and peer review, - Recognition of successful implementation of EQAVET framework (certified VET-provider)

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EQUASS Events and Public Relations EQUASS Awarding Ceremony The 2011 EQUASS Awarding Ceremony was held in the framework of the EPR Annual Conference, organised in Athens, Greece, on 10 November 2011. The Awarding Ceremony took place during a Gala Dinner, where delicious Greek food, live music and dance were offered to the attendants. Among all the organisations certified since the last Awarding event (November 2010), 18 came to receive their EQUASS Assurance certificate, and 7 were present to receive their EQUASS Excellence certificate.

The following organisations received an EQUASS Assurance certificate:

AS Rehabil (Norway), Astangu Voca Rehabilitation Center (Estonia), Berufsförderungswerk Hamm, JGGroup (Germany), Fretex Norge AS Norway), Haapsalu Neurological Rehabilitation Center (Estonia), iFokus AS (Norway), Imastu Koolkodu (Estonia), iVekst AS (Norway), Kristiine Social Center (Estonia), Link Arbeid kf (Norway), Luovi (Finland), MjøsAnker AS (Norway), Mølla Kompetansesenter (Norway), PLURYN - REA College Nederland (The Netherlands), RehabCare (Ireland), Tallinn Mental Health Center (Estonia), Theotokos Foundation (Greece), Jõhvi Hospital (Estonia)

The following organisations received an EQUASS Excellence certificate: APPACDM Vila Nova de Gaia (Portugal), C.R.M Mulhouse - Unité d’Evaluation, de Réentraînement et d’Orientation Sociale et professionnelle (UEROS) (France), Fundação AFID (Portugal), National Learning Network (Ireland), Vocational Rehabilitation Centres of the University Rehabilitation Institute (Slovenia), Valakupiai rehabilitation centre (Lithuania), Workshop “Panagia Eleousa” (Greece)

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Benchmarking with EQUASS On the 4 and 5 October 2011, 16 participants from 11 organisations and from 5 European countries participated in a benchmarking event organised by the European Platform for Rehabilitation in collaboration with the EQUASS Unit, facilitated by the EQUASS Key Expert, and hosted at the premises of RehabCare in Dublin, Ireland. The participants represented different branches of the rehabilitation sector: vocational rehabilitation, vocational training for persons with a disability and residential care services for disabled persons. The objectives of the event were to allow its participants to: 

Learn from experiences of other centres complying with EQUASS quality principles how to get around specific challenges of EQUASS certification and how to find the most appropriate strategies to achieve goals.



Get insight in concrete examples and approaches to improve an organisation’s practices in the areas covered by EQUASS, and ultimately improve the EQUASS score.



Be engaged in international benchmarking, which is one of the EQUASS Excellence requirements.

The benchmarking event offered the participants the opportunity to discuss and share various views on benchmarking and bench learning, the aim and types of benchmarking, the process of benchmarking and the challenges in defining common agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for approaches. The challenge lies in defining KPIs that can be applied in the various sectors in different national contexts, as well as within cultural and national contexts.

Finally, the participants learned about the concepts, results and lessons learned of the Norwegian indicator project in the Vocational Rehabilitation sector. The seminar concluded on the opportunities and possibilities for benchmarking and bench learning within the European Quality in Social Services: The bench learning instrument, the comparison of the audit results of EQUASS Excellence awarded organisations and the plans for EQUASS to create an EQUASS community with an EQUASS benchmarking platform.

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Other EQUASS Events Parlamentarischer Abend in Berlin On 23 March 2011, the Brusseler Kreis (EQUASS Local licence Holder in Germany) organised an evening for the German Members of Parliament and other key stakeholders in the rehabilitation sector. The event was organised at the National Representation of ‘Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg’ in Berlin. Guus van Beek, EQUASS Key Expert, was invited to give a keynote speech on the European perspective of quality in the social sector, and gave an overview of the current challenges the social sector is facing and the latest developments on quality.

AFID Awarding Ceremony Fundação AFID Diferença invited the EQUASS Key Expert to the official awarding ceremony for the attribution of EQUASS Excellence. The ceremony, chaired by the Portuguese First Lady Sr.ª Dr.ª Maria Cavaco Silva, was held on 18 May 2011 at Museu Electricidade in Lisbon. In his speech, Guus van Beek stressed the importance of quality certification for social services providers and the outstanding performance and commitment of staff at Fundação AFID Diferença to provide quality services. Dr. Domingos Rosa, CEO of Fundação AFID Diferença , received the EQUASS Excellence Certificate from the Portuguese First Lady.

Workshop on EQUASS approach to quality at board meeting of FEANTSA

EQUASS Information event organised by Qualitividade

The EQUASS Key Expert presented the results of the Prometheus project at a workshop for the board members of FEANTSA on 18 May 2011. Two FEANTSA members participated in Prometheus as pilot sites, and subsequently implemented the EQUASS Assurance criteria. The workshop allowed for discussion on the experiences gained from Prometheus and on the opportunities to adapt the EQUASS Assurance certification programme to the homeless sector by developing sector specific indicators.

On 4 July 2011 in Lisbon, Portugal, the EQUASS Key Expert presented the upcoming changes of the EQUASS Assurance 2012 in a one-day seminar organised by Qualitividade. Qualitividade is a Portugal-based consulting agency which has been very successful in supporting social service providers in implementing EQUASS Assurance.

Other Events:  Veneto Investimenti Sociali Seminar in Verona, on 20 January 2011  EQUASS Information for Greek Stakeholders in Athens, 10 November 2011  ENSA Elderly and Disability Network, Eskilstuna, Sweden, 21 November 2011  EQUASS in Practice project is announced “Best

Practice Project” in the Lifelong Learning Programme of 2008 at the QUALLL Conference in Berlin on 28 November 2011  EQUASS Core Group Meetings on 8 February, 6-7 April and 3 October 2011  EQUASS Awarding Committee Meetings on 17 May and 20 October 2011

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EQUASS Online Communication

New Dissemination format of EQUASS Certified Organisations EQUASS has adopted a new way of advertising its certified organisations. The list, and the logos and contact details of the successful applicants, as well as their certificate validity date is displayed as an online brochure, and has a search function, and a convenient screen reading display. The EQUASS Excellence and EQUASS Assurance catalogues can be consulted at: http://issuu.com/eprehab

EQUASS Newsflash EQUASS has published 4 issues of the EQUASS Newsflash in 2011, in April, July, October and December, as well as a special 2010 Overview released in February 2011. A new online format was introduced for the December 2011 issue of the EQUASS Newsflash. The improved format allows for a greater interactivity and more content flexibility.

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EQUASS Structures and Staff

Composition of the EQUASS Secretariat Jan Spooren EQUASS Manager

Guus van Beek

Marie Dubost

EQUASS Key Expert

EQUASS Coordinator

Composition of the EQUASS Core Group Karl-Wiggo Jensen, Durapart (Norway)

Jan Spooren, EQUASS Manager

Jean-Claude Schrepfer, CRM (France)

Guus van Beek, EQUASS Key Expert

Michael Crowley, RehabGroup (Ireland)

Marie Dubost, EQUASS Coordinator

Composition of the EQUASS Awarding Committee

European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR) - Mr. Frank Flannery European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP) - Mr. Wolfgang Schulz-Weidner and Mr Franz Terwey European Association for Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) - Mr. Luk Zelderloo Council of Europe (CoE) - Mr Thorsten Afflerbach Employers’ Forum on Disability - Ms. Catherine Grinyer Rehabilitation International (RI) - Mr. Jan Johansen European Federation of Older People (EURAG) - Mr. Dirk Jarré European Disability Forum (EDF) - Ms. Erzsébet Szöllösi and Ms. Simona Giarratano European Network of Social Authorities (ENSA) - Mr. Johan Lindstrom

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EQUASS Quality Control Feedback and Results from the Applicants evaluation forms

All EQUASS applicants are given the possibility to give feedback on their experience with the EQUASS system, audits and teams via a standardised evaluation form. The form encompasses 15 topics, with 9 questions requesting feedback on a grade going from 1 to 5; and 15 questions allowing for more detailed feedback elaborations. In total, 303 audits were performed in 2011, and the EQUASS Secretariat received 123 questionnaires filled in by the clients. The 40,6% response rate can be considered very high for a voluntary feedback questionnaire. Additionally, the qualitative answers (allowing EQUASS customers to elaborate on their grade in a sentence or two) were provided in average 58% of the time. This good response rate speaks for the level of involvement of the EQUASS customers in the overall EQUASS certification process.

The grades were given with the following instructions: 1: very poor – 2: poor – 3: satisfactory – 4: good – 5: excellent

Average

Minimum Value

Maximum Value

Standard Deviation

Overall quality of the visit

4,54

3

5

0,58

Communication about the programme of the visit

4,58

2

5

0,57

Relevance of the interview with stakeholders

4,46

2

5

0,62

Performance of the auditor (s)

4,65

2

5

0,58

Site visit preparation form

4,36

1

5

0,78

Content (feedback) of the audit report

4,28

2

5

0,82

Information about the EQUASS audit procedure

4,36

2

5

0,77

Communication with the Local Licence Holder

4,28

2

5

0,82

TOPIC

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EQUASS Complaint Management

EQUASS strives for continuous improvement, and has implemented a series of procedures used to address complaints and resolve disputes. The EQUASS complaint process is available to all and can be consulted at the following link http:// www.epr.eu/index.php/equass/certification/303 In 2011, the EQUASS Secretariat received a total of 7 formal complaints, one of which addressed several complaint categories. Six of these complaints came from Portugal, and one from Estonia. The table below gives an overview of the complaints received in 2011, and how they were dealt with.

Reason for the complaint

Third parties dispute that service provider deserves EQUASS certification

Complaint about auditor

Complaints from Auditors or Applicants about LLH

Number of complaints

1

6

1

Reaction

Resolution

The EQUASS Manager performed an inquiry (via phone and e-mail) with the certified organisation and the auditor that had been assigned to the service provider, and investigated the relevance of the allegations raised by the complainant. The complainant was advised which allegations were not relevant to EQUASS for investigation (i.e. not related to the certification process), and which relevant points had been investigated.

The complainant was informed in a formal letter that no irregularity had been found in the process that led to the certification of the institution, and that, pending a request from the complainant to address the Ombudsman, rejecting the outcome of the investigation, the case was closed until further notice.

The perspectives and explanations of both the auditors and the applicants were collected by the EQUASS Manager, and synthetized for the decision of the Awarding Committee.

The appropriate follow-up actions have ranged from: - removing a shadow auditor from its assignment - re-auditing the services with a new auditor - inviting an auditor to attend a calibration session to upgrade their auditing skills - advising the applicant that the audit procedures had been respected by the auditor, and the case was closed until presentation of further evidence.

An investigation was launched by the manager of the EQUASS Unit. A response was issued explaining which issues were justified, which were not, explaining which concrete actions have been taken following to the complaint.

Some issues in the complaint could not be addressed fully and immediately, as the Secretariat cannot break its contractual engagement with the Licence Holder for the duration of the contract. These issues were nonetheless kept as a future point for discussion. All other points for improvement for the Licence Holder which could be addressed immediately were advised to the them, as a request for improvement.

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What is EQUASS?

The European Quality in Social Services (EQUASS) is an initiative of the European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR). EQUASS provides a range of comprehensive services in the area of approval and certification of quality, all of which comply with the European requirements for quality in the provision of Social Services. The certification programmes are complementary to existing quality certification programmes at the national level and are overseen by an independent International Awarding Committee that includes representatives from key European stakeholders.

www.equass.be EQUASS Secretariat

Rue de Spa 15, 1000 Brussels, Belgium Tel +32 2 736 54 44 Fax +32 2 736 86 22 Email equass@equass.be Website www.equass.be

Editor-in-chief: Jan Spooren Editors: Cinzia De Letis, Marie Dubost, Guus van Beek, Julie Buttier

Profile for EQUASS

EQUASS Annual Report 2011  

Annual report of the EQUASS activities and achievements in 2011 - updated 15/05/12

EQUASS Annual Report 2011  

Annual report of the EQUASS activities and achievements in 2011 - updated 15/05/12

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