Most organisations probably feel that there is never a good time for an audit, especailly during a pandemic. However, during times of extreme pressure,like Covid-19, it is important that services work hard to maintain high levels of safety and quality. The best way to understand that standards are being maintained, is through the TSA audit programme, against the Quality Standards Framework (QSF). The contingencies that TEC Quality have put in place, as part of their own UKAS accreditation COVID-19 planning, ensure that services are staying safe, which provides wider confidence within the TEC sector.
Throughout the early part of the pandemic, TSA conducted a large-scale outreach programme to almost all TEC services across the UK. This work demonstrated that those organisations who are certified to the QSF, were better prepared for the pandemic, than those that were not certified. This is because the QSF continually challenges organisations on their operational readiness for disasters such as pandemics, but also promotes continued improvement and innovation.
Therefore, we recommend that services ensure that they continue with their certification if it has already been achieved, or if not already, start the journey to certification to ensure the challenging standards are being met.
Performance Measurement in line with the Quality Standards Framework is equally important, as this will help organisations to assess if contingency plans are working, or whether further modifications are needed.
More information on the standards and our audit scheme, can be found on our UKAS Accredited TEC Quality Website. TEC Quality is a subsidiary of TSA.