Quality Scotland, in partnership with Voluntary Action Scotland, have been awarded just under £420,000 funding from The Big Lottery Fund Scotland to work collaboratively with Scotland’s 32 Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) on a quality improvement training programme.

The investment, which will be spread over 4 years, will see Quality Scotland adapt the principles of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model – the flagship quality framework adopted by thousands of organisations – which will enable each TSI to self-assess and pinpoint likely areas of improvement within their organisation. This will adhere to a robust measurement policy set against the most demanding ‘excellence’ principles in Europe.

TSIs play a vital role in supporting and developing the third sector in their local authority area and are increasingly building bridges with the public sector to enhance the role of the third sector in delivering better outcomes. This programme will build upon TSIs existing commitment to excellence and will help further embed a sustainable approach to quality improvement.

Quality Scotland will work with the TSI’s to help them achieve European Quality accreditation and train them to do this for themselves in the long term.

Dave Bradley, chief executive of Quality Scotland commented;

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding package from Big Lottery Fund. The achievement of this award will provide a clear measure of how quality improvement is being embedded into the TSIs. Indeed, our partnership with VAS will enable us to align our approach to existing communication and evaluation channels and link our activities directly to the TSI Network’s Common Services Agreement.

Furthermore, I would like to thank the Big Lottery for supporting the funding of this programme which further supports our quest to ‘Make Excellence a National Characteristic of Scotland’ by enabling the TSIs to achieve business excellence.”

For Voluntary Action Scotland, the national network body that supports, co-ordinates and advocates for Scotland’s 32 Third Sector Interfaces, Chief Executive Calum Irving commented;

“TSIs, in their current and previous guises, have shown a strong commitment to quality approaches and continue to recognise the value of assessment, improvement and accreditation. This valuable investment fits well with a growing recognition of the importance of a well-supported local infrastructure that can support voluntary and social enterprise action in all its forms.”

Announcing the award Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen said:

“The Big Lottery Fund supports projects that aim to improve the quality of life of people across the country. Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces perform a valuable role in supporting the third sector.

Today’s funding, from our Investing in Communities programme, will provide the support they need in order to achieve this European standard of recognition and continue to enhance the important work of the third sector at the local level.”