Improving Quality Standard (IQ)

The “Improving Quality” (IQ) Standard was developed specifically for small to medium-sized Community and Voluntary Sector Organisations. Its aim is to provide guidance on good practice and basic legal requirements. These requirements are contained in 4 elements of the standard which cover all aspects of management and service delivery. 

Quality standards set out expectations that a good organisation should meet. There are several different standards; some use external assessment and accreditation, while others are based entirely on self-assessment.  

IQ was developed from an understanding that an organisation needs a solid base to work from. It is flexible enough to allow an organisation to use it regardless of what services they deliver. There is no wasted effort – IQ never asks you to create documents that have no meaning or use to the organisation.  

The standard has two levels of achievement, “Foundation” and “Progression”. 

The Foundation level covers the key issues that all organisations have to consider, even the smallest ones.  

The Progression level extends the coverage of the Foundation level and provides guidance on best practice beyond meeting legal requirements.  

Organisations can use the IQ Standard to assess themselves and also identify improvements. They can also use it to be externally tested and accredited as meeting the requirements in the Standard. This process is challenging but achievable and helps to identify issues for improvement as well as good practices 

Is IQ right for your organisation?  

IQ is suitable for any small not-for-profit organisation including:  

  • Charities 
  • Social enterprises 
  • Unincorporated organisations 
  • Community Benefit Societies 

Would you like to:  

  • better understand what you are doing and why 
  • find out what is working and what is not 
  • improve your services 
  • decide where to put resources more easily 
  • make stronger funding applications/monitoring reports 
  • attract more users and volunteers 
  • work with partners more easily 
  • manage risk 
  • gain external recognition or validation 

For more information visit 

Download IQ External Assessment Flyer

For more information contact Dermot O’Donnell, SOLA, Quality and Governance Development Manager, at the Disability Federation of Ireland: – telephone: +353 86 780 8639.