Rethink Mental Illness gains new Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM)

Rethink Mental Illness 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 living with severe mental illness who need support to express their needs and have increased choice and control in their lives.

To gain the QPM, independent advocacy providers must 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 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.

Richard Walsh, Associate Director for Advocacy at Rethink Mental Illness said,

"This is the culmination of over three years of dedicated work. We are now one of only two non-advocacy specific organisations in the country to have received this Mark; an award which everyone at Rethink Mental Illness can take great pride in.

"We've learnt a lot throughout this process, but I'd like to thank the team for being so professional throughout. This award represents a benchmark for us to continue delivering a first-class service to people severely affected by mental illness."

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.”

Originally developed by Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Department of Health funded NDTi to review and revise the QPM in 2014, working with providers, users and commissioners of advocacy services. The application process was streamlined to be as straightforward as possible, while retaining the rigour required to ensure that high standards are met.  It is available to organisations providing independent advocacy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Click here to find out more about the QPM Award by visiting the QPM website.