On 17th November 2015, the European Platform for Rehabilitation and EQUASS Unit, in collaboration with the EKON Association in Warsaw, organised a seminar and workshop for social service providers and social enterprises on the use of quality instruments in the sector.

In attendance were about 40 representatives of the social sector, mainly from social enterprises, and a few representatives of governmental agencies focused on social affairs.
European Quality in Social Services expert Michael Crowley and Marie Dubost of the EPR Secretariat presented the various quality frameworks in use for social services in Europe, especially in relation to services for persons with disabilities, and the social enterprises that provide them with work.

The seminar explained how business management and quality management approaches can be coupled with rights-based approaches, to allow service providers and social enterprises to comply with the spirit of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, in the way that they design and deliver their services. The traditional approaches of quality towards ensuring good governance, measuring results for continuous improvement were also explored as another key component of a performant social service in today’s environment.

The afternoon session was a practical workshop focused on one of the core dimensions of the rights-based approach: Person centred services. Participants worked on case studies and explored the many ways an organisation serving a person with disadvantages may ensure an individual plan based on the unique and specific needs, situation and aspirations of each service user.