Probation achieves supreme business awardThe PCA has recently renewed its policy portfolio group on Quality, with a particular focus on standards and awards arising from the EFQM’s concepts of excellence. The group is considering how quality and continuous improvement could be incorporated into the new landscape of Transforming Rehabilitation, including for Community Rehabilitation Companies, Public Service Mutuals, the National Probation Service and the commitment of future contracted providers. A July 2013 PCA statement on Quality, EFQM and Transforming Rehabilitation can be found here:
PCA Statement – Quality Standards

In a competitive environment, successful organisations are characterised by the value that they offer, the effectiveness and quality of their products and services. Effective, innovative and rigorous probation practice will flourish in well managed Trusts that are committed to a culture of continuous improvement.

External awards are an asset to Probation Trusts in several ways. They can contribute to public confidence in Probation as a integral part of criminal justice, they focus staff and boost staff morale through the recognition of effort and improvement. Importantly awards add a significant commercial advantage. Awards are independently assessed and demonstrate that Trusts are committed to continuous improvement, and can meet demanding criteria set by an external body.  Awards such as Investors in People, Customer Service Excellence, and Recognised for Excellence are more newsworthy than typical ‘performance’ reports and are recognised across a wider base of the public, partners and business links. On the whole, such awards provide an excellent model for organisational development.

The awarding body for Toward Excellence, Recognised for Excellence, and EFQM is the British Quality Foundation. Probation is a ‘premier member’ of this charity which is committed to supporting improvement across a range of private, public and voluntary organisations.

Contact details are: www.bqf.org.uk  Telephone 020 7654 5009 or e mail jessica.smith@bqf.org.uk

BQF is a highly recommended organisation. Its events are of a consistently high standard and it provides access to some of the best organisations and businesses in the UK. With links to a range of training and consultancy organisations, BQF runs a series of networks (Lean Six Sigma, Innovation, Customer Experience, Sustainable Development etc) One day workshops (How to use Benchmarking to Improve Performance, Creating an Innovative Organisation, Identifying and Managing Key Processes, etc), training events (Lean and Six Sigma, EFQM Assessor Training, etc), as well as individual help and advice on the journey to achieving Recognised for Excellence.

As a Premier Member, many of the events are free. Where there is a charge, probation pay  the Premier Member lower rate. There are a few free places for probation at some pay events on a first come first served basis. (Make enquiries directly at the time of booking).

Summary of Awards

Customer Service Excellence

A Government standard, originally intended as a device to improve the public sector organisations, it now has wider accessibility to reflect the growing number of non-public sector organisations that deliver a service to the public. The Award is owned by the Cabinet Office but operationally managed through four appointed assessment and award bodies.

There are five criteria each of which has a number of elements.

A small number of Probation Trusts have achieved the award (Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland) but a whole range of organisations including libraries, colleges and police services and museums. Business units within sectors can apply.

More information from: www.cse.cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Investors in People

A long standing award that has a large number of Probation Trust achievers.

The focus is on staff and how they contribute to a forward thinking, dynamic and successful organisation.  The standard itself is an outcome-based framework of best practice which can be tailored to meet need. There are 39 criteria which must be met to achieve but there are three different levels of award: bronze, silver and gold. It is an award that can be achieved by the public, private or third sector.

More information from: www.investorinpeople.co.uk

Recognised for Excellence

R4E is a scored assessment based on the EFQM model. It is designed to help organisations already well on their way to achieving sustainable excellence and it is based on an external analysis of the organisation’s overall performance and achievement. The model has international recognition. The assessment is carried out by trained assessors who assess the organisation’s leadership, people, policy and strategy, partnerships and resources and the strength of its results. The award is relevant across the public, private and third business sectors. Business units within sectors can apply. R4E is probably the most comprehensive ‘across the board’ award and it has proven to be a tremendous model for business development ensuring an integration of all the elements that deliver a successful result.

Committed to Excellence

C2E is a simple self-assessment providing international recognition at entry level. It is designed for whole organisations, or units within organisations, who are at the beginning of their journey to excellence.

Achievement involves three processes: self assessment, improvement projects, validation.

More information from www.bqf.org.uk

Media related artices

Merseyside Probation Trust Wins

Guardian Public Services Awards

Contact PCA Quality  lead