A bit of history

This page explains the history of Quality Checking.

Photo of Quality Chekcers in the early days!

The idea for the AQC arose in 2013 when a group of organisations supporting the work of Quality Checkers came together to find ways to ensure that Quality Checking continues to be led by self-advocates and remains true to its original ethos – to make sure personal experience is used to shape the way services are commissioned, provided and regulated.

How Quality Checking started

Skills for People, a voluntary organisation led by disabled people, first came up with the idea of Quality Checking in 2002.  A group of people with learning disabilities in Newcastle upon Tyne decided to create Quality Standards for supported living services, which would include the things that really matter to people with learning disabilities.  The group went on to use these standards to check how well local services were supporting people with learning disabilities.  

The Skills for People team contributed to the Reach Standards in Supported Living © Paradigm (2006), and used the Reach standards for many years, creating a new pack for Quality Checkers to carry out their work. (Reach was updated in 2013 to Reach: Support for Living an Ordinary Life, with a focus on supporting people to have real choice and control over their lives).  

The Skills for People Quality Checkers team went on to create Quality Standards for a range of other support services, housing, services for young people and health services. They have carried out checks against these standards, and worked with service providers and commissioners to improve services.  

Since the early days, the Skills for People Quality Checkers team has checked many services around the UK and trained hundreds of people with learning disabilities and their supporters to become Quality Checkers too.  The model has taken hold nationally and now many groups of Quality Checkers check services against a variety of standards. 

Suzie Fothergill, the chairperson of the Association of Quality Checkers was one of the original Quality Checkers team and continues to work as a Quality Checker today.

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