National Quality Standards

National Quality Standards

The Women’s Aid National Quality Standards were developed in response to the needs of our members. They demonstrate the unique quality of dedicated specialist services for women and children survivors.

Read the standards in full:

Read our sector shared core standards:

The Standards support dedicated specialist domestic abuse services by providing a set of criteria against which they can evidence their quality. Organisations applying for the quality mark must prove themselves against criteria that promote positive survivor outcomes such as:

  • Physical and emotional recovery
  • Rights and access
  • Safety and dignity
  • Sustainability and autonomy.

The National Quality Standards are more frequently being referenced by commissioners, and the government has used them as assessment criteria for the last three rounds of national domestic violence funding released by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

As more and more services are coming forward to demonstrate that they meet the standards, our sector will strengthen, and Women’s Aid will be better able to advocate on behalf of members to both local commissioners and the government.

“ [The Standards have been an opportunity to] look afresh at our policies and procedures to ensure good, women-focussed practice. The feedback … and recommendations … have promoted important discussions within the staff teams about the history of the movement, the ethos of our organisation and how we balance holding true to our primary purpose alongside meeting service specifications for contracts. A difficult balancing act but one which the National Standards will support us in.”

How does the Standards Process work?

Services are assessed against the standards through the following process:

  • Submission of evidence to Women’s Aid for a desk based review by an assessor
  • Visit to your service by an assessor to clarify any queries and to interview service users, front line staff, CEO/Senior Manager, Chair of the Board, and volunteers (if applicable)
  • The assessor will then write a report based on the documentary evidence provided and their visit to your service which will go to the Quality Assessment Panel to be reviewed.

Services will be required to undertake a Quality Review 3 years after being awarded the Quality Mark.

How do I find out more?

We have produced a Standards Manual to assist with the assessment process. To register you interest and to receive an initial application form and the Standards Manual please e-mail

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