The Housing Justice Quality Mark is an accreditation scheme for night shelter projects.

What is the Quality Mark?

The Housing Justice Quality Mark is widely recognised by government, local authorities, commissioned services, funders and even insurers as the kitemark for winter night shelter projects.

For night shelter trustees, staff, volunteers, key stakeholders and potential funders, the Quality Mark equips projects to give the best possible service to guests and offers third party validation that the night shelter is a safe place. A place offering a service that is truly valuable to the people in it, not just a place of respite or somewhere that helps sustains life on the street.

In addition to providing independent external validation, the Quality Mark offers the opportunity to celebrate best practice and drive continuous improvement to further increase the impact that projects have on the lives of their guests.

We have developed the Quality Mark Criteria to cover the following types of projects you might be running:

  • Daytime support.
  • Single room accommodation (short and long term).
  • Dormitory accommodation.

 

Projects will be accredited for the type of support they are delivering and can receive more than one if they are offering multiple services.  We will be developing further categories during 2021/22.

What is the accreditation process?

The Quality Mark accreditation process provides support, not censure, to enable projects to offer the best possible practice.

You will receive the Quality Mark Criteria that relate to your type of project well in advance of our visit to see your project in action.

We first undertake a desktop exercise before the visit looking at documents you have sent to us (primarily policy and procedures). We then visit your project to validate what we’ve read in advance – by looking at your paperwork, and checking with guests, volunteers and staff. We then write a report that is assessed by a panel and awards either a Good or Excellent accreditation, as appropriate.

Accredited projects usually receive an average of six recommendations of opportunities for improvement, and we do our best to support your project to implement any recommendations.

For any projects who do not receive an accreditation, we offer to work with them to help them achieve an accreditation.

What you need to know

Quality Mark accreditation costs £1,000 for the initial accreditation. Accreditation is free for paid members of the WNS Network (£395 per annum).

Quality Mark accreditation certificates are valid for 3 seasons/years, starting with the year accreditation or re-accreditation takes place.

That means to maintain a Quality Mark accreditation without any period of expiry, re-accreditation should occur every three years, with two off seasons between each re-accreditation season.

Re-accreditation is free for members of the WNS Network.

For projects that run all year round, the year period runs from 1st April to 31st March.

31 night shelter projects have been accredited to date.

 

If you would like to find out more, or you are interested in becoming accredited, please email us.

What people say about the Quality Mark

“There were some things [In the Quality Mark Recommendations] that I already wanted to either add or update a little and some things I had not realised needed adding. It was also good to find out about one or two things that I need to make clear to volunteers.”
– Night Shelter Coordinator

“Although the feedback and our practice seems to be of a good standard there were recommendations and discussions that Housing Justice has been able to advise on that will provide guidance and support as we continue to grow as a service in partnership with other churches.”
– Night Shelter Coordinator

“After spending some unnecessary anxious time worrying about the QM inspection, it was a pleasant surprise to review my work and to receive some positive and helpful advice and encouragement.”
– Night Shelter Coordinator

Quality Mark Shelters

A full list of all Shelters who have been accredited

Read more