Initial Consultation

When your organisation makes contact with us to consider becoming a Member, we will:

  • discuss the requirements of the Quality Standard and answer any questions you may have
  • explain the assessment process, and the support available to help you through this, both from our Independent Assessors and from other RAN Members

Assessment Process

There are three parts to the assessment process:RAN QS logo

  • Self-Assessment by your organisation against the requirements set out in the Quality Standard booklet.
  • A discussion with our Independent Assessors about any questions or problem areas that have emerged through the self-assessment.  They will help you understand what you need to do and, where it could be helpful, will put you in touch with other RAN Members who have already achieved the Standard
  • An assessment visit by the Independent Assessors

Support available

We are all committed to helping RAN Members achieve the Quality Standard. There is lots of support available:

  • the Independent Assessors will be able to suggest ways in which you can meet particular requirements, and give you examples of how other RAN Members have resolved particular issues
  • you can talk to other RAN Members who have already been through the assessment process successfully, who may be able to offer example documents and processes they use
  • you can discuss the Quality Standard itself with RAN's Trustees, although Trustees are not involved with the assessment process and cannot help with that
  • from time to time we may run or give access to a training course on 'Providing a Quality Service'

The Certification Process

RAN Quality Standards certificateWe don't set a time limit for achieving the RAN Quality Standard, but we do encourage all our members to achieve it as soon as possible (but note that if your organisation is contracted or commissioned by Reading Borough Council and delivers information, advice or non-statutory advocacy, RBC expects you to achieve the RAN Standard within 12 months of the contract award).

We recommend that you start the self-assessment process and then develop a practicable timetable with the Independent Assessors.

Once you achieve the Standard, you will be given the RAN Quality Standard logo to put on your website, added to our list of RAN Quality Standard Holders, and awarded your Certificate at the next RAN event.

'Safe and Sound'

Alongside the Quality Standard, your organisation will need to hold or obtain the Safe and Sound Governance Mark awarded by Reading Voluntary Action (RVA). This Mark assesses financial control, governance, safeguarding and health and safety; requirements are set out in the RVA booklet which works as a self-assessment tool. To be awarded the Mark, please contact RVA, who will arrange a consultation, offer support to help you achieve the award and carry out the assessment.