Find AQS Centres
Search for advice agencies that hold the Advice Quality Standard quality mark
This means they have been awarded the quality standard following a rigorous assessment process. If you already know an organisation which provides help in your community or that runs a helpline, type its name to find it. Alternatively you can search by geographical area (county or city) or by topic.
What does the Advice Quality Standard (AQS) tell me about an advice service?
Organisations with the AQS have been through an assessment that checks how they manage their advice service. The checks include:
- the public have good access to the service;
- that clients’ advice needs are met;
- that people giving advice are well supervised and supported;
- that the advisers keep their knowledge up to date;
- and that the service checks they are giving the right advice.
The Standard lasts for two years, and the advice agency needs to go through another assessment within this time to make sure they are continuing to meet the Standard. Organisations who do not re-apply or who can’t meet the criteria are not allowed to display the AQS logo.
The AQS is recognised by the advice sector, funders and by government as the principal measure of good quality, independent advice across England and Wales. This gives you the assurance of knowing that an independent person has visited the organisation and checked that it is offering a level of advice which is acceptable. It shows that the organisation is running their service well and in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of people seeking help. Look out for the orange AQS logo on windows, websites and letterheads as a sign of good service.
Other sources of help
Not every advice centres will help with every problem – nor always at a time which is convenient for you. However, there are many other places you can look for assistance. Below we have listed a number of other places you can look for help and who are close partners with the Advice Quality Standard:
An independent, not-for-profit website, providing information and advice to members of the public. It is run by the charity Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education. It provides accurate information on rights and the law.
The UK’s largest support network for free, independent advice centres. You can find a local independent advice agency through their website.
Age UK provides information or advice on anything from health to housing, via their free national information line on 0800 169 6565. (Open 365 days a year from 8am to 7pm) or use their website to find your local office.
Their website offers a range of information to help people solve their own problems.
Law Centres work within their communities to defend the legal rights of local people. You can use their website to find your local Law Centre.
Shelter has advice centres up and down the country where you can get personal, face-to-face advice from one of our housing experts. They have a separate website for Wales.
Youth Access provides advice, information and counselling for young people. Use their website to find your local service.