Derbyshire Mind has again been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy; an essential service for people who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives.
To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers must undergo a rigorous self-assessment process and policy review. This is followed by a structured site visit for NDTi assessors to meet advocates and the people they support. As well as it being good practice for Local Authorities to provide advocacy to people at risk of exclusion, commissioners are required to provide statutory independent advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and more recently the Care Act. The Advocacy QPM provides them with a robust benchmark to measure independent advocacy services, ensuring they select the very best providers.
Anna Woolley, Community Advocacy Service Manager from Derbyshire Mind said: ‘Derbyshire Mind advocates are passionate in the work that they do – ensuring that it is always person led, empowering and independent. We are delighted to have been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark.’
Jenny Hotchkiss, CEO from Derbyshire Mind said: “We’re really proud to have been recognised for the provision of independent advocacy services through the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark. We strongly believe in empowering Derbyshire people to understand their rights, and in supporting them to ensure their voice is heard – our advocates are making a difference to people’s lives every day.”
Gail Petty, QPM Manager and Lead for Advocacy and Rights at NDTi said: “The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives. It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”
Originally developed by Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Department of Health funded NDTi to review and revise the QPM in 2014, working with providers, users, and commissioners of advocacy services. The application process was streamlined to be as straightforward as possible, while retaining the rigour required to ensure that high standards are met. It is available to organisations providing independent advocacy in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Further information can be accessed, and applications can be made via www.qualityadvocacy.org.uk.