LimeCulture recently opened their Independent Accreditation Programme to Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) Services who wish to be independently accredited again the Quality Standards for ISVA Services. These standards were launched at the National ISVA Conference in November 2018 and were developed by LimeCulture after a year-long period of consultation with ISVA Service providers, commissioners and people who have been supported by ISVA Services.
“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the number of ISVA Services who have applied to join the Independent Accreditation Programme” explains Jo Seward, Director of Operations at LimeCulture. “We knew from the development work that we did with ISVA Service providers and commissioners that there was a lot of support amongst the sector for Quality Standards for ISVA Services”
The rationale for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services are now well understood by ISVA Service Providers and Commissioners. Their purpose is to ensure that:
- Every victim/survivor should be able to access a high-quality, well managed ISVA service, wherever they are in the country, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality or beliefs
- Ensure that there is consistency in the quality of the support that is being provided by ISVA Services
- Bench-mark for individual services to monitor their provision against, and also act as a driver to improve quality and consistency across ISVA services collectively
- For providers, the Quality Standards set out the expectations for the organisational leadership and staff teams, and the client experience
- For Commissioners, the Quality Standards provide a framework for the development and monitoring of the ISVA services they commission
There is also a huge amount of support for the independent nature of the accreditation against these Quality Standards. “The vast majority of Providers and Commissioners clearly acknowledge that accreditation against the Quality Standards must be from an external organisation that is able to independently validate the quality of the service provision” explains Jo. “In order to ensure that victims/survivors can access high quality ISVA services without a postcode lottery, we must ensure that the Quality Standards are being consistently applied by ISVA Services, regardless of where they are located or who is providing that service”.
LimeCulture ran an application process between December 2018 and January 2019 inviting ISVA Services to join the 1st wave of services joining the Independent Accreditation Programme for the Quality Standards for ISVA Services. “For planning reasons, we limited the number of ISVA Services who could join in the first wave but we were delighted by just how many ISVA Services applied to join the first wave. The good news is that we have adapted our model to allow for more services to join the programme. We’ll now be running a rolling programme of scheduled intakes, which means that ISVA Services can join at set points throughout this year and next”.
The 1st wave of ISVA Services came together for the first time on Wednesday this week in Manchester where they attended the Accreditation Workshop delivered by LimeCulture’s Accreditation Team. The Accreditation workshop sets out the accreditation process, the timeframe and what is expected from ISVA Services in order to demonstrate that they are achieving the Quality Standards. It provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the Quality Standards in detail and exactly what level of evidence LimeCulture’s Accreditation Team will require in order to issue the ISVA Services with our quality mark, the external validation against the Quality Standards for ISVA Services.
“The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet the wave 1 services and talk through with them exactly what can be expected from the accreditation process” explains Jo. “Our Accreditation Team have the benefit of already working with over 20 services who are working towards the accreditation process for the Male Survivor Partnership’s Quality Standards for Services Supporting Male Victims/Survivors of sexual violence (with further services due to start that process imminently), so we have utilised the experience of those services of going through the accreditation process, to inform these new ISVA Services about how it works“.
LimeCulture expect it to take around 1 year for the ISVA Services to reach independent accreditation, which includes a 7-stage process, but it is clear than some services may well reach accreditation more quickly than this. “It really does depend on how close the ISVA Services is to achieving each of the individual quality standards and how quickly they prioritise any actions that they might have in order to demonstrate that they have achieved the Quality Standards. Yesterday’s Accreditation Workshop was a fantastic opportunity to explore this in detail with the wave 1 ISVA Services, by working with them to identify exactly what they have to do in order to reach the requirements of our independent accreditation” explains Jo.
Due to the huge demand from ISVA Services to join the Independent Accreditation Programme, LimeCulture has been able to extend the programme beyond the 1st wave. “We’re now able to open this programme to more ISVA Services at scheduled intakes, which we are delighted to be able to offer” explains Jo. “We’ve already got other ISVA Services signed up to start in May and July, which is brilliant news and goes to show how important the sector feel these Quality Standards are”
LimeCulture is now taking applications from providers or commissioners of ISVA Services to join the programme throughout this year and next. If you would like to join the Independent Accreditation Programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss which intake you would like to join. Please note, there are a limited number of places for each intake, but we will work with you to identify a suitable intake date.