Quality Assurance: Challenge Questions
If you want to look at how well your Local Authority is using quality assurance then consider these questions:
- Who undertakes QA activity and audits in your LA?
- Are audits embedded and regular, focussing on the right things and being used to drive improvement?
- Is there wide engagement in the programme of audits – in individual agencies and on a multi-agency basis, with an audit summary report, actions and progress to LSCB?
- Do senior managers and leaders have effective oversight of audits and are able to undertake audits themselves either on a spot-check basis or as planned within your QA framework?
- Do you have a robust process for picking up lessons learnt and go back and re-audit or re-measure to assess whether improvement has been made?.
- Is your internal audit department engaged in supporting your QA and audit programme?
- Are staff undertaking audits sufficiently skilled and supported in their audit and QA functions?
- Do you have a quality assurance framework which sets clear standards and expectations for all service areas, including how these will be monitored?
- Are your performance management and quality assurance and audit aligned to avoid duplication and ensure robust improvement mechanisms?
- Are all your workforce clear about the standards set by the organisation?
- How do you assure that standards are met equally across different localities within your local area through QA, Audit and performance management; a specific challenge for large shire authorities?
- Are complaints (reasons and outcomes) routinely considered and appropriate action taken as to drive up standards and inform audit planning.
- Has the organisation defined appropriate levels of quality assurance responsibility and activity for its various managers?