Interview with an EQUASS certified organisation: Follo Futura
Mette Veiby is the Administrative Director of Follo Futura, a centre for vocational guidance and training to persons with disabilities in Ås, south of Oslo, Norway. Follo Futura also produces equipment for physiotherapy and physical rehabilitation.
Mette Veiby has been working in Follo Futura since 1992, as Quality Manager in her first decade in the organisation, and as Director for the past 13 years.
Follo Futura was certified 3 times with EQUASS Assurance, starting with the first certification in October of 2009
When did your organisation first come to learn about the EQUASS quality system for social services?
Follo Futura learned about EQUASS in 2002/2003 when we were attending a meeting at EPR in Belgium together with colleagues from the Attføringsbedriftene.
At what point did Follo Futura decide to start the process to implement EQUASS with the intention of becoming certified with EQUASS Assurance, and why?
Follo Futura started to implement EQUASS in the spring 2009 and we were certified in the autumn the same year. We experienced that the system was taking care of the participants in our services in a better way. EQUASS has standard for how to maintain the human resources in the system.
What were the biggest challenges that you had with implementing EQUASS Assurance in your organisation? How did you overcome them?
Actually with did not meet any big challenges in the implementation process. Follo Futura was at that time certified according to ISO 9001:2008 and had already a quality system. We also had been attending a group at Attføringsbedriftene that was working with quality indicators. We experienced that EQUASS had “solutions” for how to handle some of the indicators.
What differences has the EQUASS Assurance implementation brought to Follo Futura, and the way it operates?
For Follo Futura EQUASS is a management system. It helps the organisation to work after procedures and always look for better ways of doing our services. At the same time the system involves the participants and the employees in evaluating and developing the services. For us the “Årshjulet” is the most important document in the system. It’s a toolbox for all our activities by setting quality goals, corrective actions and innovation activities. We work with “Årshjulet” and this involves the whole organisation in all the goals and activities we are going to perform during the year.
Follo Futura also has an ISO 9001:2008 for its production of physiotherapy aids. Could you tell our readers something about the interaction between the two quality systems in your organisation?
Follo Futura has certified all their products and services in the ISO 9001:2008 in 1994. If we look for the differences in the systems, we would say that the ISO 9001:2008 system focuses on the process while EQUASS is more into participant satisfaction and how to involve them in the services.
What advice would you give to a social service provider organisation that is considering starting the process of implementing EQUASS Assurance?
The EQUASS system is a good management system that makes sure that your organisation has the same directions and goals in the way of offering the services.
 AVRE – Norwegian Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Enterprises
 Cyclical annual plan