Before your agency can apply for accreditation, you must first identify what type(s) of advice your agency provides, as defined in the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (SNSIAP): A Quality Assurance Framework (2009).
There are three types of advice defined in the Standards Framework:
This work refers to activities such as providing information either orally or in writing, sign-posting or referring the user to other available resources or services.
It also includes the explanation of technical terms or clarifying an official document, such as a tenancy agreement or a possession order.
We make a distinction between the passive provision of information through the availability of leaflets, e.g. in public places, libraries etc, and the active provision of information by providing assistance to the individual seeking help.
These Standards are aimed at ‘active’ providers.
Type I accreditation is a one-stage process made up of an audit against the Organisational Standards.
Once it has been established that the individual has a case that can be pursued, activities that your agency may undertake include:
Type II/III accreditation is a two-stage process which is made up of the peer review of your case-files, followed by an audit against the Organisational Standards. You cannot apply for audit until you have successfully completed peer review.
Citizens Advice Bureaux follow the same accreditation process as other advice agencies offering Type II/Type III advice. The only difference is the number of Organisational Standards CABx are required to self assess against.
This work includes a range of further actions arising from the casework defined in Type II. This may have been undertaken by the adviser preparing the tertiary work or may have come to the adviser by referral from another organisation or adviser.
The principal activities may include:
Type III work includes some activities that can only be undertaken by lawyers.
The accreditation process for agencies offering Type II advice and those offering Type II and Type III advice is the same.