04/04/2014: Update on Driving Up Quality Self Assessments

Here's the latest news on the self-assessment process.

Many of the organisations that signed up to the Driving Up Quality Code before Christmas will have already received a reminder about reporting on your self -assessments.

Some providers have already carried out a self-assessment, and are working on improving the areas that presented them with some challenges.  Others are not sure how to tackle it and where to begin.  The Self-Assessment Toolkit itself has lots of ideas and guidance in the back, a small amount of which I have reproduced here as a taster.  Do print off the Toolkit and look at the guidance for yourself; I’m sure you will find it helpful.

Ongoing improvement

Meeting the Driving Up Quality Code is not a pass or fail. It is recognising that the areas of the Code are fundamental to good services and that for organisations in the care sector, there will always be room for improvement and change.


Think about what you want to get out of the process as an organisation. Different organisations will choose to use the self-assessment in different ways. Some of its uses may include the following:


  • Reflect on practice – why do we do what we do?
  • Mature, established organisations could review their practice and strive to improve
  • An individual service that is struggling could use it to reflect on current performance, ask key questions and develop an action plan
  • As a way to get service users and families involved in reviewing their service
  • When setting up new services, the tool can be used to establish high quality support
  • The Code can be useful in the development of an organisational strategy



The self-assessment process should be designed in a way that is positive, enjoyable and motivating, rather than a tick box exercise. In particular, organisations should explore creative ways of meaningfully involving the people they support, which could include, for example, using video, social stories or drama to help people make a meaningful contribution.


Constructive Challenge

The organisation should rigorously challenge itself and actively encourage constructive challenge by the people they support, families, front-line staff and external colleagues to avoid the potential for complacency in assessing performance. Make it ok to be open about what obviously isn’t working but also to question practice that is more commonly accepted but shouldn’t be.


Reporting your self-assessment

It is up to providers exactly how they choose to report, but we ask that organisations make a public statement on their website and share the link on the Driving Up Quality website. To demonstrate that the code is owned at the highest levels of the organisation, it may be helpful to have a declaration explicitly made by the Chairperson or Chief Executive. There is an example declaration at the back of the Self-Assessment Toolkit.

Your organisation’s commitment to transparency means sharing what you are doing to work towards the code.  It is important to keep the self-assessments reports as brief and easy to read as possible for the general public, avoiding jargon, acronyms and other professional language.  Try to make it as interesting as possible by including quotes that gave you some new insights, or were passionate about some part of the services you offer.

We want to encourage organisations to use experts by experience, peers and other independent people and organisations to say what they think about your self-assessments and give their views on what they see.  Independent verification of self- assessments should be published on the organisations website and a link posted on the Driving Up Quality website.


So, what’s stopping you? There’s a lot more guidance in the back of the Toolkit so take the plunge, and, at the very least, tell us what you plan to do and when you plan to do it.  We are waiting to hear from you.

Enjoy the process!


Yvonne Furze

Driving Up Quality Alliance