The Centre’s advice services have been awarded the AQS quality standard at casework level for Housing, Welfare Benefits and Disability.
The Advice Quality Standard (AQS) is the quality mark for organisations that provide advice on social welfare issues and officially demonstrates that our services are accessible, effectively managed, and that we employ skilled and knowledgeable staff.
This latest award is a significant achievement as our social welfare advice team have surpassed the previous award in 2020 by adding housing casework as well as welfare benefits and disability advice.
The extensive work to achieve the accreditation was done within the background of the cost-of-living crisis and the background of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team have been supporting hundreds of people, often in personal crisis, to ensure they have access to support, advice, benefits and payments they are entitled to.
The award was achieved in one of the busiest and most essential services we run
To be considered AQS compliant, our services have to adhere to a number of different advice frameworks with evidence provided in each case. In addition, our six-strong advice team members have to be fully conversant with all advice-related policies as well as participating in continuous professional development through shared learning and peer-supervisory processes. All of this has been achieved in one of the busiest and most essential services the Centre runs.
Appropriate and timely support in this area has a significant impact on people’s lives, families and wellbeing. Our Social Welfare Advice service was also commended by AQS assessors for a number of areas of good practice.
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The Advice Quality Standard (AQS) is an organisation quality standard for advice services operating in the area of social welfare law. It comprises a set of standards designed to ensure a service is well run and has its own quality control mechanisms and that in doing so, assures the quality of the information and advice services it provides and promotes social justice. The quality standards and assessment methods used reflect the minimum standards necessary to ensure that clients seeking advice receive accurate, complete and timely advice, and that they are able to obtain this advice from an advice provider which is accessible to them and which is able to act independently and in their sole interests.