Capture the Moment

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council achieves the CSE standard

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Capture The Moment

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Sports Services Unit has been recognised for its excellent standard of customer service after achieving the Cabinet Office’s prestigious, Customer Services Excellence Award.

The award was presented in recognition of the Unit’s customer focused service and commitment to continuous improvement, following a formal three day assessment against extensive pre-set criteria.  This included customer insights, organisation culture, information & access, delivery of service and timeliness & quality of service.

The accolade was obtained for Sport Service’s nine service areas, making it the largest Local Authority Unit in Northern Ireland to achieve the award.  Facilities and services encompassed within the Unit include Lagan Valley LeisurePlex, Dundonald International Ice Bowl, Lough Moss Leisure Centre, Castlereagh Hills Golf Course, Aberdelghy Golf Course, Glenm….

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Families First Quality Award gains new assessment body

The Families First Quality Award is an established national quality assurance and improvement framework designed to help organisations demonstrate excellence in helping families. Assessment Services Ltd has recently been appointed by the Family and Childcare Trust to undertake the assessments against the framework on its behalf.

Frameworks are available for children’s centres, Family Information Services and schools, produced by the Family and Childcare Trust and Suffolk County Council.

Kathy Leahy, Managing Director of Assessment Services said: 

We are delighted to take on the Families First Quality Award into our ‘family’ of quality standards. We see the value that the Standard can bring to organisations and we will be working closely with the current assessors and the sector to maintain its relevance to the valuable work undertaken

- Kathy Leahy, Managing Director Tweet

Megan Jarvie of the Families and Childcare Trust said:

We are pleased the Family First Quality Award has found such a good new home at Assessment Services Ltd. We are confident that their expertise in providing other standards will allow the high-quality Families First Quality Award to grow from strength to strength in supporting schools, children’s centres and Family Information Services to put families at the heart of their work.

Suffolk County Council and the Family and Childcare Trust developed the Family First Quality Award for Schools as part of Suffolk’s Raising the Bar Programme. It can help schools engage parents in their children’s learning and development. There are standards for Schools, and an additional set of Standards to help them meet the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice.

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: 

The Families First Quality Award recognises the excellent work schools, children’s centres and local authority Family Information Services do to provide support, advice and assistance to families. Staff from both organisations designed this successful national accreditation and I am pleased it will now be operated by Assessment Services Ltd; an established company highly respected in the field of quality assurance.


Assessment Services Ltd

a ‘boutique’ assessment centre with over 20 years of experience in assessment and accreditation.

We are committed to ensuring our assessment process adds value to organisations being accredited by Assessment Services. Our philosophy is; 

‘We Care…We Assess…We Add Value.’

We are the sole provider for two Government Standards; the matrix Standard and the Merlin Standard.  We are also part of only four assessment centres assessing for the Customer Service Excellence Standard.  In addition to this, we also assess a range of standards in different industry sectors as well as deliver SFEDI Qualifications, including the Service Champion Level 5 Programme.

Families and Childcare Trust 

Working to make the UK a better place for families by bringing together what we learn from our on the ground parent-led programmes and our research to campaign for solutions that parents want and need. We focus on childcare and early years to make a difference to families’ lives now and in the long term.

Suffolk County Council’s “Raising the Bar”

Raising the Bar is Suffolk’s programme to improve levels of educational attainment across the county. The number of Suffolk schools being judged good or outstanding by Ofsted continues to be high at 87%, but there is still more work to be done.

By working together with education providers, families, communities and businesses, Raising the Bar will ensure that every child can achieve their full potential, build a strong reputation for Suffolk education and deliver wider benefits for the county and its economy.

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Midland Heart and Customer Service Excellence

Midland Heart and Customer Service Excellence

This case study shows how an organisation can develop a strategy at the corporate level and then make the strategy operational so that the customer experience is enhanced and improved. Midland Heart are a leading housing organisation in England, delivering homes and services across the Midlands that enable people to live independently. They have 33,000 properties that provide homes for people from different backgrounds.

To read further on how Midland Heart benefitted from Customer Service Excellence download the case study…

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Selby College matrix Reaccreditation

After successfully holding the matrix Standard since 2004, Selby College have once again been successful in their reaccreditation.  They have maintained their high standards of information, advice and guidance through continual improvement and monitoring focussing on leadership and management.

Matrixduo1 MatrixRobHelen

Key comments from Assessment Services assessor, Susan Smith were, ‘Key strengths in leadership of an effective and supportive IAG service throughout the college – a sense of mission and purpose is evident across the whole of Selby College such that students are offered a consistent service that meets their needs. Staff comment that despite the challenging agenda, the leadership and management in the College helps them to retain their focus on providing impartial support that achieves agreed student outcomes.’


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London Ambitions: Shaping a Careers Offer for Every Young Londoner

London Ambitions: Shaping a Careers Offer for Every Young Londoner – Next Step Plans Webinar

Monday 9th May 2016 at 2pm

Presented by Dr. Deirdre Hughes, OBE


Join us for our 1 hour webinar presented by Dr. Deirdre Hughes, OBE which is designed to bring those interested in IAG developments fully up-to-date with the latest implementation plans underway across London in shaping a new careers offer for young people.  It is recommended participants read this report, published in June 2015, in advance of the webinar. Download: 

Dr Deirdre Hughes, OBE will be hosting the webinar. 

By the end of the 1 hour webinar, participants will have:

1. Reviewed the key steps being taken to implement the 7 key elements and London Careers Curriculum

2. Considered its implications for quality standards in careers work across schools, colleges, universities and other local community settings

3. Reflected on the evidence-base underpinning this work and how this can be applied in IAG practice

4. Shared ideas on effective ways to implement a high impact careers IAG strategy.

Limited spaces so book now to avoid disappointment!

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The matrix Standard assessment described by Rising Star (Zenith People)

Angela Anderson, Managing Director of Rising Star (Zenith People) describes her expectations of the matrix assessment, benefits and their next steps. Rising Star, sister brand of Zenith People, is a recruitment business totally focussed on helping young people find employment. Whatever your career aspirations and whatever your starting point, we’ll help you map out the steps you need to take to achieve your employment goals.
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Great Yarmouth Refugee & Outreach Support gain the matrix Standard

Great Yarmouth Refugee & Outreach Support (GYROS) is a registered charity which provide Information, Advice and Guidance to migrant workers; specialising in Immigration, Housing and Debt. They provide training and workshops in a wide variety of areas to support newcomers and the migrant community settle and integrate into the local community. Training and workshops include ESOL, Healthy Living, Arts and Crafts, Self-employment, Employability, CVs and many more. ‘We are really proud to have been reaccredited today. It also ensures that our community are aware that we are not afraid of putting our service up for scrutiny by an independent body.  The matrix Standard helps us to focus on a quality service.’ GYROS 2 Left to right: Oksana Snaidere, Ligia Macedo, Armine Nikoghosyan, Lidia Silva and Jo Howes.
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