A Big Lottery Fund Scotland grant of £419,648 will enable Quality Scotland and Voluntary Action Scotland to work together on a four year programme to ensure continuous quality improvement within the Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs).
Scotland’s 32 TSIs are responsible for the support and development of the third sector within each local authority area. They play a vital role in building bridges with the public sector to enhance the third sector’s role in delivering better outcomes. TSIs themselves are familiar with quality approaches and this new programme offers the opportunity to build on their commitment to excellence and improvement.
At the heart of Quality Scotland’s programme is a customised version of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model which the Interfaces will use to self-assess their organisation against the European excellence principles. Quality Scotland is the Scottish partner for the EFQM which is the model for effecting continuous improvement and they will build upon previous work with TSIs to measure effectiveness and secure accreditation, embedding a sustainable approach to quality improvement.
The aim, at the end of the programme, is for the TSIs to achieve formal European quality recognition and have the knowledge and skills embedded which allows them to use the tools in the long term. Overall this important programme will help the TSIs to develop and evidence the excellence required to be a strong partner to the wider third sector across Scotland.
Dave Bradley, Chief Executive, Quality Scotland, said: “Our successful application will continue the legacy from the Supporting Voluntary Action (SVA) programme. We will partner with Voluntary Action Scotland to deliver a suite of training on the EFQM Excellence Model and its practical application within the Third Sector Interfaces. This model was previously used by the TSI Network in the Big Lottery funded SVA programme under the Quality Matters strand and by the Scottish Government. Following this programme the Excellence Model was evaluated as having effectively enabled the TSIs to identify and implement quality improvement.
“Quality Scotland is thrilled to be continuing this excellent work and delighted to be working with the committed employees at the TSIs. I would also like to thank the Big Lottery Fund Scotland for supporting this programme which will help Quality Scotland to achieve our mission to ‘Make Excellence a National Characteristic of Scotland’ by enabling the TSIs to achieve business excellence.”
Announcing the award Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen said: “The Big Lottery Fund supports projects that aim to improve the quality of life of people across the country. Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces perform a valuable role in supporting the third sector. Today’s funding, from our Investing in Communities programme, will provide the support they need in order to achieve this European standard of recognition and continue to enhance the important work of the third sector at the local level.’
Welcoming the investment, Calum Irving, Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Scotland, the national membership organisation for TSIs, said: “TSIs in their current and previous guises have shown a strong commitment to quality approaches and continue to recognise the value of assessment, improvement and accreditation. This valuable investment fits well with a growing recognition of the importance of a well supported local infrastructure that can support voluntary and social enterprise action in all its forms.”