Circles South West achieves 97.7% compliance with National Standards
Circles South West is delighted to report an excellent result following a recent Code of Practice Compliance Review undertaken in April 2021 by Circles UK on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. CSW achieved the very high score of 97.7% compliance with national standards.
The Compliance Review included submission of a substantial evidence file, 3 x 1 day site visits (separate sites) and interviews with 22 individuals including service users, staff, volunteers, trustees, and external partners.
The Compliance Review Report (June 2021) identifies the following areas of good practice:
- Business plan is relevant, current and embedded with the vision held throughout CSW. Outcomes centre firstly on risks and needs of core members, underlining CSW’s priorities.
- Everyone is committed and passionate about CSW’s vision.
- They are clear about their roles and responsibilities. They are proud to be part of and committed to CSW.
- Adherence to GDPR principles and practice embedded at all levels of the organisation.
- Volunteer Handbook and Training Workbook for volunteers well presented and comprehensive. A useful resource ongoing.
- Coordinators are very qualified for their roles. They are committed to CSW’s work and well regarded by volunteers, core members, external professionals.
- Case files are well organised and up to date. There are systems to ensure large amounts of paperwork are completed in a timely way.
- Young people’s circles – good attention is paid to the particular needs of young people.
- Delivery during pandemic has been exceptional – enormous efforts have been made to deliver the best service possible to each individual
- Independent evaluation – captures outcome data and analysis. Used to good effort informing stakeholders and potential funders of the positive impact of CSW’s work.
The Compliance Review Report includes a section on CSW’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, a dominant factor over the last year. It highlights the benefit of swift and decisive action in relation to furloughing staff and implementing new policies and procedures; the importance of stakeholder communication; the early return to Covid-secure face-to-face work; successfully retaining the commitment of core members and volunteers. The Report concludes that:
“Perhaps the most powerful commendation of the response by CSW to the Covid pandemic was from the interviews with the 3 Core Members. For vulnerable individuals, their Circle appears to have been a crucial lifeline and has offered them support and engagement with others during a prolonged period of anxiety and isolation. Where 2 Core Members’ Circles had moved temporarily onto Zoom delivery, they stated they were very grateful when face to face contact resumed; it was not through lack of Volunteer effort on Zoom, but they clearly found face to face contact invaluable. The Trustees, Staff and Volunteers deserve to be very proud of the service delivered in such a difficult and uncertain time.” Lead Reviewer, Circles UK