Since January 2009, The Cedar Foundation has been involved in a project with 6 other partners from Germany, Lithuania and Greece to conduct a Europe wide comparison of Quality Management Systems used by social service providers. The aim of the project is to derive a common definition of quality that can be applied to all social care organisations and to identify a set of core principles that promote understanding of the nature and diversity of social services and Quality Management.
The project carries the title BEST quality. BEST is an acronym that stands for “Benchmarking European Standards in Social Services Transnationally”. Funding is provided by the European Union, and the project is led by the Josefsheim Bigge organisation from Olsberg in Germany, from where the inaugural meeting of all partners convened in January 09. Since then, there has been a workshop in Greece, in March, and another in Lithuania in September 09. Cedar will host the final workshop in Belfast in March 2010 with the conclusion of the project and the final symposium taking place at The University of Dortmund in September 2010.
Results achieved to date have included the implementation of a project website, publication of a project flyer and development of a matrix for the European comparison of Quality Management systems. Upcoming work will focus on compilation of a survey about Quality Management systems and ongoing review of their effectiveness. It is the intention that the final results and recommendations will be transferred to social care providers across Europe to enable them to optimise their organisational procedures and the efficiency of their services. In addition, the Quality Management Systems themselves can be further developed on the basis of the results.
The final Report is available on the Best Quality Website Here.