Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) has been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM) from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi). The QPM is the UK’s only independent quality performance mark for organisations offering independent advocacy; an essential service for people who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives.
To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers have to undergo a rigorous self-assessment process and policy review. This is followed by a structured site visit for NDTi assessors to meet advocates and the people they support. As well as it being good practice for Local Authorities to provide advocacy to people at risk of exclusion, commissioners are required to provide statutory independent advocacy under the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Health Act, and more recently the Care Act. The Advocacy QPM provides them with a robust benchmark to measure independent advocacy services, ensuring they select the very best providers.
Susan Marsh, RAD’s Advocacy Service Manager said, “We are delighted to have been awarded the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark. It is testament to the dedication and hard work of the advocacy team at RAD. We are committed to ensuring Deaf people have access to advocacy in British Sign Language or their preferred visual communication. All our Advocates are Deaf themselves or fluent in BSL and are able to adjust their communication to meet the needs of the people we work with.”
Gail Petty, QPM Manager and Lead for Advocacy and Rights at NDTi said, “The Advocacy Quality Performance Mark is only awarded to advocacy organisations who can demonstrate that they are providing excellent services to people often experiencing challenging situations in their lives. It indicates that they have the training and policies in place to ensure people’s rights are upheld and their preferences are heard and responded to.”
Photo caption: Members of RAD’s Advocacy Services team (from left to right): Advocates - Damaris Cooke and Nicola Ball, Advocacy Services Manager - Susan Marsh, Advocate -Louise Tang