Women’s Lives Leeds
Although Women’s Lives Leeds(WLL) is not a formally constituted organisation, it is lead and overseen by a partnership of eleven Chief Officers (which could be seen as the Trustees) who are the accountable body. They work within a partnership agreement, which is similar to a constitution and sets out purpose, aims and objectives, how the partnership will function and how decisions are made and recorded.
To test the WLL Partnership and Project Arrangements/Agreements, to help in the design of and to see if the Improving Quality Standard is appropriate for such partnership arrangements WLL agreed to be one of the pilots to go through the award.
As a Project Manager who has experience of going through IIP and PQASSO I found the Improving Quality award much easier to follow as it focussed on what I think the most important areas in terms of having the fundamental policies and procedures in place namely: accountability; (leadership and management) Welcoming; (staff, service user involvement and support) Effective; (service delivery and monitoring it) Sustainable; (budgets and money).
Improving Quality proved to be less time consuming, especially when running a multi-faceted project and more effective in terms of knowing if WLL had firm foundations and what our strengths and improvements were. What made the difference to was that I could do all of the evidence gathering electronically and submission on-line, which is my preferred way of working.
The Improving Quality team offered support throughout the process and took feedback in terms of partnership arrangements, to help improve the award to make it more fit for partnership/consortiums.
We experienced a level of flexibility on assessment day that clearly demonstrated that the assessor understood the complexities of a partnership overseeing and delivering a project that had delivery and staff based across the city. Our assessment preparation took one day and the assessment took one day too.
As with all Quality Assurance awards its also about what next and what you do between review dates.
Due to the nature of the simplicity of Improving Quality, it is much easier to use as a development tool and I have since used it in support of a review of all policies and procedures, which took place in February 2019.
Women’s Lives Leeds Project Manager