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Maximum impact: Is your charity being as effective as it possibly can be?

Children’s charity KIDS recently joined the British Quality Foundation, the membership organisation that promotes organisational excellence and performance improvement. Chief executive Caroline Stevens explains why.

Why did you join BQF?

KIDS has always been committed to delivering high-quality services. Working with disabled children and young people we place a high emphasis on safeguarding, health and safety and quality. As part of our continuous improvement programme we wanted to become members of a professional body that would provide a constant source of business support, tools and experience to help us achieve our business goals and keep us ahead of the competition. With the BQF we have access to a range of excellence insights through its programme of training and events, advisers and members. The EFQM Excellence Model offers a structured recognition scheme that will enable us to gain a nationally recognised business standard and demonstrate our commitment to continuous improvement to our stakeholders.

What do you hope to gain from being a member?

Our commitment to the excellence framework will help us to benchmark our activities, tell us how well KIDS is working together as an organisation and help us identify what our priorities are for improving the way we work and the outcomes we want to achieve. We also see it as an opportunity to raise the profile of KIDs and forge new partnerships with the business community.

What was the process that the charity went through to decide to join?

Last year we went through a comprehensive strategic review process and engaged with all of our stakeholders. During that process families, commissioners and other funders us repeatedly told us that they valued our high-quality services and anecdotally we had evidence to support this; however we needed to become more robust in measuring and evaluating our services. This led to us appointing a new head of quality and performance, reviewing our quality standards and becoming a member of BQF.

What work has KIDS done to date to ensure that it is being as effective as it can possible be at delivering its charitable purposes?

Our head of quality and performance has successfully completed the EFQM Assessor Training and will be supporting us with an internal assessment using the EFQM Excellence model. We are also developing links with members from the third sector who have successfully achieved the first level of excellence accreditation to gain insights and learnings. In addition we have completed a review of our data collection and strengthening our impact reporting so that we can demonstrate that we are delivering our charitable purpose.

Tania Mason is editor of Governance & Leadership