The Q Mark for Government Departments
The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems within Government Departments is a business excellence standard that allows each department to review 100% of their processes and procedures alongside other all other aspects of a departments Quality Management System (QMS) on an annual basis.
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 makes legal provision for the reforms set out in the Government’s Action Programme for Effective Local Government, ‘Putting People First’. Under this act, a series of far reaching changes are planned in the way our public business is managed, with an emphasis on the Quality of service to the public.
Every Government Department is required by law to publish details of, and publicly account for the objectives they are pursuing in accordance with Government policy. They are also required to outline the means by which they intend to achieve these objectives.
The Q Mark for Government Departments creates a best practice framework within which departments can clearly identify, monitor and measure what is and isn’t working for them. Government departments that achieve The Q Mark are clearly demonstrating to ALL stakeholders that they are operating to the highest standard.
The Q Mark for Government Departments – The Only 100% Continuous Improvement Programme!
The Q Mark for Government Departments is a continuous improvement programme. This means that 100% of the department’s processes, procedures and resources are assessed on an annual basis in compliance with the Q Mark for Quality Management Systems framework criteria.
At the end of each annual audit, each participating department is given an extensive business report. This will identify current best practices as well as suggested areas for improvement and will provide the head of department with the basis of a strategic plan for the year ahead.
During subsequent audits, all recommendations from previous reports will be assessed to ensure that every participating Government Department continues to improve their standard of operation year on year.
Using The Q Mark framework ensures that the department has accountability in every part of their service, and whilst enhancing consumer and stakeholder confidence, it allows for easy preparation for any regulatory authority audit. e.g. Finance, Health & Safety, NERA, etc.
Benefits of Holding The Q Mark for Government Departments Certification
- The Q Mark for Government Departments gives the department third party certification from the National Quality Organisation (EIQA – The Guardians of The Q Mark) which enhances the service users’ confidence in all aspects of the departments’ processes, procedures and quality of customer care. (Current consumer recognition of The Q Mark stands at 87% – September 2012, Ireland)
- The Q Mark ensures that you are fully conversant and compliant with all relevant legislative and regulatory controls, and gives your team a framework which encourages them to operate to the highest operational standard.
- The Q Mark identifies what elements of your current operation are working or are not working at ALL levels within your department.
- The Q Mark allows you to gain positive public consumer awareness and visibly demonstrates your department’s commitment to the highest standard of quality and excellence through the use of distinctive certification and marketing material based on the most widely used framework in Ireland.
- The Q Mark enhances your opportunity at tender because you can demonstrate that your quality management system operates to the highest level.
What The Q Mark can do for Your Department
- Increase revenue
- Increase turnover
- Increase service users’ satisfaction
- Improve operating margins
- Increase staff output rates
- Decrease staff absenteeism
- Improve the department’s processes and procedures
- Improve the department’s business efficiency
Who Should Apply for The Q Mark for Government Departments
The Q Mark for Government Departments is for every sector operating in Local, National, and Public or Civil Service departments in Ireland. (Single or Multi-site)
The Q Mark for Government Departments Framework Explained:
The Q Mark framework for Government Departments is based on five principal elements, all of which are underpinned by continuous improvement.
Continuous improvement simply means that there is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes.
The five principal elements of The Q Mark for Government Departments Framework are:
- Leadership and Commitment
Note* The term ‘leadership’ is used to describe everyone involved in running the department. Organisations will have different ways of describing leaders as senior managers, management etc.The commitment of all leaders within the department to fully implement, learn from and continuously improve on the Quality Management System.
- Employee Engagement
The involvement of every member of the department in the Quality Management System and the implementation of any feedback which may be considered positive or which may improve on current practice.
- Excellent Business Systems and Processes
A review of how the key processes of the department are devised, reviewed and improved upon. Excellent Business Systems and Processes also examines the supporting processes of the department to ascertain if further improvements to process’ and procedures can be obtained.
- Customer Experience
A review of how the service users of the department are listened to and how this feedback is acted upon.
A review of how the department collates, reports, reviews and improves its results on an annual basis.
Achieving The Q Mark for Government Departments Certification
On initial audit, the department needs to score at least 30% in each of the five principal elements and an overall minimum score of 55% to achieve The Q Mark for Government Departments – Level 1.
There are three levels that can be achieved in The Q Mark Quality Management System called: The Q Mark for Government Departments, with scoring outcomes as follows:
- 55% Level 1
- 70% Level 2
- 85% Level 3
How to Apply for The Q Mark for Government Departments
- Complete the on-line registration form Here
- On receipt of your application and fee payment, you will receive your registration certificate from Excellence Ireland Quality Association (EIQA – The Guardians of The Q Mark) along with your copy of the Certification framework for: The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems – Government Departments,
- Using The Q Mark for Government Departments Certification Framework, create a checklist of areas in your business that do, and do not comply with the requirements.
- When you are ready for your audit contact a member of The Q Mark team to confirm a date to complete your audit.
The Q Mark team will be happy to support your preparation for your audit and will answer any queries that you may have about the requirements of the framework.
If you would like to compare your current operating standards to The Q Mark for Government Departments Certification framework, you can apply for a mock-audit.
Note** A mock-audit is a full audit by an experienced auditor who will guide you through the process at a time and date that suits your schedule.