Change that leads to better lives

New version of the QPM Award launched

Yesterday saw the launch of V4 of the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM).

The new version was developed following:

  • Feedback from organisations we have supported through the QPM assessment process over the last 3 and a half years
  • Survey responses from 92 organisations
  • Three co-production sessions, attended by representatives from 36 advocacy organisations across England and Wales (a further 2 organisations provided feedback separately as they were unable to attend the events)
  • Steering Group Support: of 13 external partners
  • Piloting the updated QPM with two organisations, one in England and one in Wales

Our aim was to update the QPM to ensure its continued effectiveness in supporting a diverse advocacy sector deliver high quality independent advocacy provision.

We wanted to:

  • Maintain the rigour and robust approach of previous versions whilst reducing repetition and administrative burden
  • Ensure that the QPM is relevant for all forms on one to one advocacy delivery.
  • Retain a desktop followed by site visit assessment model
  • Maintain a balance between supporting service development and ‘audit’
  • Maintain a fundamental link to the Advocacy Charter
  • increase transparency

This version builds on the previous 3 and aimed to address some particular issues.

The steering group and co-production sessions enabled us to think through with the sector some particular issues:

  • Should there be multiple modules to respond to different models of statutory and non-statutory advocacy, or should there be one QPM assessment that assesses an entirety of an organisations delivering?
  • Should we have a ‘graded’ QPM award, or should QPM be a ‘standard’ award?

At the Steering Group initial meeting it was felt that the Advocacy Charter should also be refreshed and so we also looked at the Charter at each of the three C-Production sessions.

Outcomes from the Co-Production sessions confirmed the views of the Steering Group, these being that

  • There should be one QPM that assesses the entirety of an organisations’ advocacy delivery. Multiple modules would increase cost and be repetitive as well as increasing the risk of different advocacy disciplines being seen as more different than they really are. When we looked in details at what needs to be different in terms of assessment for different advocacy disciplines it was felt that additional modules weren’t particularly helpful. So, whilst as an organisation your operation of different elements of your advocacy service may be different, e.g. the way you ensure people refer to your IMHA service vs your IMCA service etc, the question QPM needs to ask of an organisation is do you do it and how?
  • There should be one QPM award. An organisation will gain QPM when the can demonstrate that all of their advocacy delivery meets the QPM standards. The QPM as a quality assurance framework is more of a health check than anything else, one member of the steering group came up with a good analogy, “QPM is liking passing your driving test, you don’t pass if you can do everything except roundabouts”

To read more about the process and organisations involved in the development please visit

To see the updated Advocacy QPM website visit

Qpm v4 pic

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