In 2016 ECHO achieved highly-sought quality accreditation from PQASSO. The demanding procedure found that ECHO is a very professional and effective charity with extremely well developed user participation procedures and highly motivated staff and volunteers.
PQASSO or Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations is the only nationally recognised award that covers the work of charities and other organisations; no other award addresses all the essential areas necessary for the effective management and governance of a charity or other third sector organisation.
The PQASSO Quality Mark is widely recognised as providing a comprehensive framework for running an effective organisation. An organisation that has the PQASSO Quality Mark offers a guarantee of being fit for purpose in all areas essential to commissioners.
The NCVO assessor who carried out ECHO’s Quality Mark assessment in 2016 made the following positive comments:
- ECHO has demonstrated a clear commitment to quality and has attained the PQASSO Level 2 standard in all twelve quality areas.
- Staff and volunteers interviewed by PQASSO were unanimous in their praise of the quality of management in ECHO. They were full of praise for the level and quality of supervision and support within the organisation.
- Participant involvement is central to all aspects of ECHO’s work, and has had a dramatic effect on the development of its services. The involvement of participant trustees and the Rep Group are examples of best practice in the field.
- ECHO is widely seen – particularly by its participants and their families, but also by the whole local community – as an extremely valuable resource.