Quality Assurance: Challenge Questions

If you want to look at how well your Local Authority is using quality assurance then consider these questions:


  1. Who undertakes QA activity and audits in your LA?
  2. Are audits embedded and regular, focussing on the right things and being used to drive improvement?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?.
  6. Is your internal audit department engaged in supporting your QA and audit programme?
  7. Are staff undertaking audits sufficiently skilled and supported in their audit and QA functions?
  8. Do you have a quality assurance framework which sets clear standards and expectations for all service areas, including how these will be monitored?
  9. Are your performance management and quality assurance and audit aligned to avoid duplication and ensure robust improvement mechanisms?
  10. Are all your workforce clear about the standards set by the organisation?
  11. 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?
  12. Are complaints (reasons and outcomes) routinely considered and appropriate action taken as to drive up standards and inform audit planning.
  13. Has the organisation defined appropriate levels of quality assurance responsibility and activity for its various managers?