QUASAR project: map of existing analysis and research on quality assurance

As part of the QUASAR project in which we are a partner, dedicated to improving quality assurance in social care and vocational education and training (VET), an in-depth review of existing studies was conducted. The focus was on the main quality standards, namely EFQM, EQUASS, NEW DIRECTIONS and ISO 9001.

The objective was to evaluate how the standards address some of the most critical elements and needs identified by the literature and partners’ research, such as quality of life and the rights of people with a disability, but also more managerial topics.

Each standard was subjected to a comprehensive SWOT analysis and and compared with a list of 26 critical elements.

All standards are well-centered on process management and improvement. However, the main challenge is to adapt these standards to the user needs and community expectations. EQUASS and New Directions have excelled in this regard.

In order to ensure that this is still the case in the future, standards must rapidly and continuously evolve taking in to account best practices and changing external issues.

At the same time, a new map, similar to a Balanced Score Card, has been drafted out to represent four different perspectives to evaluate a quality framework:


– person centred services;

– rights based approach;

– service user active participation.


– benchmarking;

– innovation;

– improvement of competences.


– shift from institutional to home, family and community-based services;

– external quality certification;

– service continuity;

– life-long learning and support.


– change in focus from input based to output based quality measurement;

– culture shift from quality monitoring to continuous improvement;

– self-assessment as part of continuous improvement.

This not only highlights interconnected key elements, but also creates a set of medium-term strategic goals for service providers and policy makers.

Discover all the insights and analysis in the full report here: Link