Organisations can have an optional external assessment.
An organisation must first complete the self-assessment process and ensure that they have all of the evidence needed to show how they meet each of the requirements before they apply for an external assessment by IQ. Once an organisation applies for the assessment and pays the fee, an assessor will be appointed by IQ to carry out the following three steps:
- ask for their self-assessment workbook, together with a range of documents that have been listed as evidence. The assessor will use these documents to assess whether the organisation is ready for a site visit and that their evidence is valid and current
- make a site visit during which they will interview staff, trustees and volunteers to ensure that the evidence identified by the organisation is valid and reflects how the organisation operates. At the end of the site visit the assessor will tell the organisation what their recommendation for accreditation will be
- write a report after the site visit for the organisation which will contain an overview of the evidence found, the recommendation for accreditation, any good practices identified and any suggestions for improvement
If an organisation has met all of the requirements they will receive accreditation for 3 years and will be entitled to use the IQ Quality Mark.
An external assessment shows that your compliance with IQ has been verified by someone who is independent of your organisation. This can improve perceptions about your organisation and your reputation, in particular for partners and organisations that fund or commission your services.
There is a great feeling of satisfaction in getting a quality mark. It is a celebration for the organisation that reflects the hard work involved and the fact that you are now officially recognised as ‘good’.