IWA shortlisted for prestigious award at the National Q Mark Awards 2015.

IWA shortlisted for prestigious award at the National Q Mark Awards 2015.

Thursday, 07 January 2016

Irish Wheelchair Association began the process of certification for Q Mark Level 2 following on from the success of achieving The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems Level 1 in early 2014 and also winning the award for ‘Best Not-For-Profit Company in Ireland’ at last year’s National Q Mark Awards.

In early 2015, Mary Smyth IWA Director of Quality and Standards alongside the IWA Quality Management Team and Internal Auditors began to prepare for the Q Mark assurance audit once again.

Focus on quality has always been embedded in IWA’s operations. As an organisation IWA has to listen to what our members need and want and make sure that we are providing it. This is where Q Mark comes in. They not only ensure that we are working towards continuous improvement, but receiving positive feedback from them makes the Association fully confident that we are on the right track.

IWA were delighted to be successful in our efforts to achieve the Q Mark in Quality Management Systems with a focus on the Assisted Living Services in 2015.

Mary continued:

Right now we are at Level 2 and we are extremely proud to be recognised by EIQA for our excellence in standards and quality. Our plan is to reach Level 3 the highest standard awarded by Q Mark in 2016. We are also planning for more of IWA’s services to enter the audit process and prepare for Q Mark accreditation. It’s all about continuous improvement and reaching even higher standards. The journey is ongoing! Achieving this recognition has boosted staff and service user morale because everyone takes pride in the service they provide in partnership with our service users.

The National Q Mark Awards ceremony took place in late September. The night celebrates the success of businesses from all over Ireland across a range of sectors. All companies that are audited are considered to compete for a National Q Mark Award. However, only businesses that have achieved the highest scores at audit are shortlisted in their relevant category.

Irish Wheelchair Association was shortlisted as finalists in the ‘Pursuit of Excellence Award’. The Q Mark judging panel includes experts from the areas of food safety, employment law, academia, business and quality sectors. Mary was extremely pleased to learn IWA was shortlisted and explained:

Q Mark has allowed us to be measured against the best industry standards around. IWA are already planning for next year with IWA’s Resource and Outreach Centre joining the Assisted Living Services for Q Mark accreditation.

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