Quality assurance

We have a rigorous system for quality assurance, which supports a culture of continuous improvement in all services

We offer a wide range of quality services for schools, academies and other local authorities, reflecting our commitment to 'excellence and inclusion' – giving every child the best possible start in life.

We aim to:

  • secure consistency in quality standards across our range of services
  • demonstrate our commitment to continuously improving services
  • provide clear expectations for managers and staff in delivering quality services

Our approach to quality assurance means that we:

  • regularly monitor our performance against a specific set of customer service standards and service impact measures
  • use customer feedback to improve and develop services
  • have a defined and transparent process for addressing any problems or issues with services

These processes are supported by:

  • Service Level Agreements/contracts
  • service specific guidance and handbooks
  • the County Council’s Performance Management Framework

Customer service standards and service impact measures

All our services are committed to the following customer service standards. We report on performance against these standards on an annual basis.

1. Timeliness

When you contact us, we will:

  • respond to emails and letters within three working days. If we do not have all the information needed to answer your query, we will let you know when you can expect a full reply
  • respond to telephone messages within one working day, if we are not able to answer your call straight away

2. Professionalism

We will:

  • carry out our work with integrity, treating you with courtesy and respect
  • help you get the best from our services through well trained, knowledgeable staff

3. Quality and availability of information

We will clearly and accurately tell you about:

  • the services we provide and how you can access them
  • our standards of customer service and how well we are performing

4. Resolving problems

We will:

  • acknowledge complaints within five working days and respond fully within 20 working days
  • always consider whether we have got something wrong and take appropriate action

Some services have specific measures for determining the success of the provision in meeting its purpose/objectives. These are detailed within the Service Level Agreements (where applicable) and/or on individual service web pages.

Customer feedback

We routinely use customer feedback to inform service development. We will seek your views using a combination of the following methods:

Complaints, compliments and comments

We welcome comments at any time, whether positive or negative on all aspects of our services. We will acknowledge all complaints within five working days and give a full response within 20 working days.

All complaints, compliments and comments are monitored to ensure that customer feedback informs service development.

Evaluation of specific events or interventions

A number of services ask customers to complete evaluations following specific events or interventions, such as training courses. We will use your responses to inform improvement of the specific service/course provided; but also to inform overall development of the services we offer.

Specific user focus groups

If we are proposing a fundamental change in a service, or developing a new service, we may ask you to join a user focus group. These will be time-limited and focused on the specific service being considered.

Addressing problems or underperformance

In the event of a problem with a service, please inform the appropriate service lead, who will discuss a solution with you and take the necessary action.