|The EQUASS Excellence certification programme was introduced by EPR in 2002 to identify and encourage excellence and best practice in the social sector.
EQUASS Excellence is the second level of the EQUASS certification in Social Services. The EQUASS Excellence certification programme requires a social service provider to carry out a self-evaluation on the performance on the EQUASS criteria via a self-evaluation report. The self-evaluation report assesses the applicant's current compliance with the 50 criteria based on the voluntary European Quality Framework for social services on three different perspectives: approach, deployment and results.
A team of two auditors reviews and scores the self-evaluation report. All EQUASS Excellence applicants that achieve a consensus score above an appropriate level are offered a site visit. The purpose of this site-visit is to clarify aspects of the social service provider and to ensure that the evidence presented correspond to the real on-site situation. If the site visit confirms a score of 65 points or more the applicant is nominated for the EQUASS Excellence certification.
An international Awarding Committee moderates the certification procedure and awards the EQUASS Excellence certification. Any social service provider that can demonstrate tangible achievements, three years of trends and continuous improvement on all ten principles is awarded for a three-year period.
By applying for the EQUASS Excellence certification, all applicants demonstrate their aspiration to a role model status in the social sector. The results of the certified organisations are published on the EQUASS website in order to facilitate benchmarking and bench learning.
The EQUASS Excellence certification programme underwent a comprehensive updating process in 2011 and was launched in January 2012.