Quality Assurance

The Institute’s quality assurance (QA) processes are designed to support clients that want to meet best practice standards and/or minimise risk of challenges. Falling into two categories, frontward and retrospective, they involve the expertise of one or more of the UKs leading consultation professionals working with you to ensure successful project completion.

Frontward QA can be applied to consultations, pre-consultation (listening and engagement) programmes and/or continuous engagement projects. A six or seven-stage process, they begin with a review of your situation before taking you through six stages to final sign off. Retrospective QA involves a detailed evaluation of the processes and engagement you have undertaken. It can be applied to consultations, engagement exercises, option development/appraisal and equality analysis.

QA helps you proceed with confidence and demonstrate to interested parties that you have involved independent evaluation, demonstrating the integrity of your programme.

The Five Key Benefits of Quality Assurance

1

Improves your public engagement practice

2

Provides reassurance for consultees

3

Reduces the risk of legal challenge … and delays

4

Enhances stakeholders’ confidence

5

Ensures real-time support for operational staff

The Process

Regarding the consultation itself, the agreed QA typically includes some or all of the following checkpoints, at which the Institute will satisfy itself that best practice is being observed:

Scoping
When the basics of the consultation are agreed
Project Plan
When the consultation activities are set out and organised
Documentation
Ensuring that all hard copy and electronic versions are fit for purpose and that questionnaires conform to best practice
Mid-Point Review
To assess whether all relevant views are being collected
Closing Date
To finalise plans for analysis, feedback and to influence the outcome
Final Report
To confirm the Institute’s endorsement of the consultation

tCI’s assistance, led by Davy Jones, has been invaluable. It has complemented our in-house expertise and means that we can address any future high-profile, potentially controversial, consultations with confidence. If we have any doubts we know who to call.

Bruce Hill, Improvement and Development Manager, Tonbridge and Malling BC

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