The National Standards were compiled with the assistance of advice providers in the voluntary and statutory sectors. The Standards are a framework for the development of effective and efficient services and were compiled in recognition of the fact that people choose to access information and advice from various sources. Some agencies specialise in advice whereas others provide advice only as part of an overall service.
The Standards framework can be used by any advice provider to improve the quality of its advice service.
To become accredited under the National Standards an agency must be able to demonstrate that it meets the quality level defined by the Standards and provides an efficient and effective service. When the agency is confident that it can do that it is audited by an external contractor.
Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers: A Quality Assurance Framework 2009
(The competences for advisers and agencies (section 2 of the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers Manual), has been removed from the PDF version to the web pages below to allow for regular updating to the competences to reflect any changes or to add new legislation):
Standards in Summary
Reference Sources for Adviser Competencies
Training to meet the advisor competences on housing topics is available from Shelter, and on money advice and welfare benefits through MATRICS and CPAG. Formal accreditation in using the Standards can be gained through an audit process.
Any queries you might have on the Scottish National Standards audit and accreditation process may be covered in our Frequently Asked Questions document.
There are two self assessment checklists: one for Type I and one for Type II/III. If an agency advises at Type I only then they should complete the Type I self-assessment checklist. If, however, an agency advises at any area of law at Type II/III, even if most of the other areas of law are at Type I, they should complete the self-assessment checklist at Type II/III.
Each of the Standards is followed by a set of indicators that highlight the evidence services need to provide to demonstrate compliance with the Standards. Indicators for each Standard may differ depending upon the type of service offered by the provider; this is reflected in the self-assessment checklists. The self-assessment checklist has recently been revised and up-dated so that, for those agencies which wish to proceed to audit, the checklist can be used as the basis of an application for audit and accreditation.