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sunderland council

Provider Information - Quality Assessment Framework (QAF)

All providers were required to self assess on the Quality Assessment Framework (QAF) when their services were
reviewed and they must now self assess on an annual basis. The QAF is a tool to assess the quality of a service and
to continually improve services.

What is the QAF?

The QAF is one of several tools that were produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now the

CLG) External Link to help providers and administering authorities to implement the quality and monitoring requirements of Supporting

  • The QAF consists of a set of nationally defined standards designed to ensure high quality services along
    with guidance on how to use it.
  • The QAF provides a standardised means for administering authorities to assess the quality of services.
  • The QAF gives provider organisations a framework for reviewing the services they operate.

There are 6 core service objectives:

  • Needs & risk assessment
  • Support planning
  • Security, health & safety
  • Protection from abuse
  • Fair access, diversity & inclusion
  • Complaints

Performance is assessed by means of examining evidence of the ways in which services are provided and then awarding a performance level against each of the core objectives and any agreed supplementary objectives.

There are four possible levels:

A  denotes excellence and is associated with service providers striving to be leaders in their field. These
services incorporate mechanisms for delivering continuous improvement.

B denotes good practice and services at this level should be working towards achieving level A.

C means that the service meets the required minimum standard but there is scope for improvement.

D means that the service is failing to meet the minimum quality standard. In some instances immediate action
will be required to meet legal, statutory or health and safety standards. Level D is below the minimum
requirements for services in receipt of Supporting People Grant and service providers should prioritise achieving
level C immediately.

Assessment at level D means that the service is operating at an unacceptable level. The provider must agree and
implement an action plan to achieve at least level C within the minimum feasible timescale. Failure to do this may
result in the review of Supporting People funding to the service and may lead to termination of the contract.

In all cases the provider must accept the need to improve the standard of the service to achieve level C. Services that
are assessed at level D are likely to be subject to immediate review or other scrutiny from the Authority.

For more information about using the QAF External Website

There are various frameworks for the QAF relating to types of service provision including:
QAF Framework Lite
QAF for HIAs

The Quality Assessment Framework Lite (QAF LITE) sets the standards expected in the delivery of Supporting People
services where those services are:

  • Delivered by small providers. That is, those employing no more than one full time equivalent member of
    support staff


  • Provided at low weekly Supporting People rates (less than £5* per person per week) as part of low value
    contracts (less than £5,000* per year).
  • Community alarm services which are simply a telephone based alarm service and do not include the
    provision of visiting support staff as part of the service.
  • Sole Traders providing individual support who are not working for a charity, housing association, limited
    company or other type of organisation but are working for themselves, often in their own home and not employing
    any housing related support staff. Examples of Sole Traders are supported lodgings or resident adult carers.

For more information on the QAF Lite External Website

There is a separate QAF for Home Improvement Agencies External Website

A range of information and guidance for different types of service provision can be found on the spkweb External Website