Scottish National Standards for Information & Advice Providers
AdviceUK is a member of the Management Board for MBARC's National Standards Accreditation Service. MBARC holds the contract for accreditation of the standards.
Assuring Quality in Information and Advice
The Scottish Government Information and Advice Standards Unit (IASU) has awarded the latest contract for the audit for accreditation against the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (The Standards) to MBARC.
MBARC is now accepting applications for audit. Applications should be e-mailed to Eleanor Clark, Accreditation Service Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Accreditation Scheme
MBARC was instrumental in the original development of the National Standards and has been involved in reviewing and promoting them for more than ten years. Since 2004 it has provided the audit service which allows agencies to be accredited against the Standards as evidence of the quality of their service. We employ a team of auditors who each have experience and expertise in specific topics of advice.
For this latest contract period which runs until 2011 we reviewed the whole process in response to feedback from audited agencies and auditors and have made two substantial changes:
- Agencies providing Type I services (i.e. providing information, advice and assistance but not taking on casework) will now undergo a much more streamlined audit process. Agencies will be required to evidence compliance with 15 core Standards rather than with all 40. Click here for the Type 1 Evidence Requirements Details.
The audit process itself has similarly been customised to allow it to be done in less time on site by one auditor at a reduced price. A list of current audit fees is available on the Scottish Government website.
- For all other agencies both the quality of process and quality of advice audit teams will be on site at the same time where previously there were two separate visits. This will reduce disruption to the agencies being audited and avoid any possible duplication.
You can access the Standards Manual here and you may be interested to know that an updated version was published by the Scottish Government in the autumn 2009. There has been no change to the Standards themselves, but the manual has been amended to reflect legislative changes to some of the topic specific competences as well as including the latest best practice.
Printed copies are available from Scottish Government (contact Roddy McDougall on 0131 244 5522 or email@example.com) and an online version, along with an updated list of resources for advisers will be published on this website.
The number of agencies becoming accredited against the Standards is continuing to increase and it is hoped that these latest improvements will encourage more organisations to consider making an application. The Scottish Government Information and Advice Standards Unit (contact Roddy McDougall, details as above) is available to support agencies in meeting the Standards and preparing for audit.
Click here for the Pre Audit Guidance Type I Information.
Click here for the Pre Audit Guidance Type II and III Information.
Click here for the Application Form.
Click here for link to SG website for Standards Manual Self Assessment checklists.
Click here for the Scottish National Standards Manual September 2009 Edition.
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