About the Advice Quality Standard

What is the AQS?

The Advice Quality Standard (AQS) is the only sector-owned, independently audited quality standard which is awarded to services delivering social welfare legal advice. The Advice Services Alliance is fiercely proud of the AQS and the role it plays in driving the development of access to social justice in this country. It is a standard which is owned and driven by the sector itself and yet is independent of any of the national advice networks or any individual funders or regulators.

The Advice Quality Standard is held by 700 separate local advice services across England and Wales and who provide advice on social welfare legal problems to a range of client groups; from the general public on a national helpline to specific and often disadvantaged communities within a locality.

Bydd fersiwn Gymraeg o’r ddogfen hon ar gael cyn diwedd 2016.

Features of the Advice Quality Standard

  • AQS has requirements about how case files are kept:
    • firstly that written records of advice are kept;
    • that they are well organised;
    • that conflict of interest checks are carried out;
    • and that there is a key dates system.
  • Staff must have access to relevant legal material and keep up to date with the law;
  • There are requirements about adviser experience and competence;
  • Advice supervisors must have two years’ experience, up-to-date practical experience as well as legal knowledge;
  • Supervisors must allocate casework to caseworkers in line with their experience;
  • Caseworkers have to demonstrate ongoing experience in casework categories;
  • Agencies are required to operate an internal file review procedure to ensure quality of advice and adherence to procedures and there must be systems in place to ensure corrective action is taken.

No other voluntary sector standard contains such requirements.

Find out more about the Advice Quality Standard

  • Content of the Advice Quality Standard
  • Ownership
  • History
  • Management
  • Assessment bodies
  • Relationship to Money Advice Service Accredited Framework
  • Plans for Developing the AQS
  • Facts and Figures