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Mind Quality Mark

If you use our services, or you're a donor, funder or commissioner, we want you to know that we’re working to the highest standards. We do this through the Mind Quality Mark (MQM). The MQM is a set of standards that ensures the quality of our work across the Mind Federation of national Mind, local Minds, and Mind shops.

What is the Mind Quality Mark?

The Mind Quality Mark is the set of standards and improvement framework that each part of the Mind family works within.

The Mind Quality Mark (MQM) is a guarantee that the Mind family of charities:

  • Can be trusted
  • Are well run
  • Deliver safe and effective services

To run Mind services, local Minds, Mind Retail (who run Mind shops), and national Mind must work to these standards. They must complete an MQM review every 3 years.

The MQM is also an improvement framework. It makes sure we nurture a culture of improvement. It’s a tool that helps us to improve our support for people with mental health problems.

MQM and local Minds

MQM is used across the Mind family of charities, ensuring we all work to the highest standards. It has particular relevance as a framework that’s grown and developed as a an assurance that local Minds are well run and meet our expectations of good practice.

When a local Mind meets the MQM, we know it's able to deliver the highest quality services for people with mental health problems.

To achieve the Mind Quality Mark, local Minds must be well-run organisations delivering safe, life-changing support for people with mental health problems.

What does the Mind Quality Mark cover?

The MQM gives assurance that local Minds are:

  • Legally compliant
  • Well governed
  • Sustainable
  • Trusted to deliver high-quality mental health services that enable people with mental health problems to make positive changes to their lives

The MQM assesses 4 themes. These are:

  • Leadership and governance
  • Finance and policies
  • Services and people
  • Influence and engagement

Within each theme, there are standards and indicators. Altogether there are 20 standards and 116 indicators.

Learn more about the specific standards and indicators we measure.

How does the Mind Quality Mark work?

The MQM quality assurance framework consists of 3 elements:

  • Standards of good practice
  • A robust system of review against the standards
  • Support to achieve and exceed the standards

As part of the MQM, all local Minds, Mind Retail and national Mind have a formal review every 3 years.

The review identifies strengths of the organisation and areas for improvement. It assesses every part of the organisation, including:

  • Governance
  • Legal compliance
  • Polices
  • How the organisation embeds the voices of people with lived experience
  • Whether services are inclusive, person centred, and help people to make positive changes to their lives

Who carries out the review?

A peer review team carries out the reviews. The team includes:

  • People with lived experience of mental health problems
  • A senior leader from a local Mind
  • A member of Mind’s network quality team

The review team is never from the organisation under review.

For every requirement of MQM there’s support available and all organisations going through a review have a dedicated member of Mind’s network quality team to guide them. They offer personalised guidance, templates, training, tools and best practice examples and can broker further expertise where needed.

How does the review work?

The review process includes:

  • Pre-review support. Leading up to an organisation’s review, our network quality team offers support, including training and best practice examples, to help prepare for their review.
  • Self-assessment. The organisation reflects on their own work. They'll assess where they think they're meeting the MQM standards and where further work is needed.
  • Desktop review. The review team considers the self-assessment along with around 50 documents such as policies, board papers, budgets and monitoring reports. They also run background checks and review social media accounts.
  • Review visit. The review team meets trustees, staff, volunteers, and the people who use services. They aim to learn how the organisation functions, its culture, values, and how it meets the MQM standards. They also gather feedback from service users, staff, trustees and volunteers through an anonymous survey.
  • MQM report. The review team prepare a detailed report with the findings of the review. The report explains how well the organisation meets each standard. It details what the organisation is doing well, and where it needs to improve.
  • Improvement action plan. The organisation prepares a SMART improvement action plan which details the work planned to meet the MQM standards. The work must be completed within 3 months.
  • MQM awarded. Once the organisation has completed its improvement actions, the review team awards the MQM.

“The awarding of the MQM is a great recognition of the team’s dedication and hard work - definitely something to celebrate!”

Every year, our Mind Network Excellence awards celebrate organisations that are going above and beyond.

How do we know the Mind Quality Mark is effective?

There are lots of reasons we know the MQM is an effective way of making sure that local Minds are well run and effective:

  • It includes Mind's vision and values. The MQM uses a holistic framework that's bespoke to the Mind family. It's rooted in Mind's values.
  • It assesses legal and regulatory compliance. The MQM includes the Charity Commission’s governance and legal requirements and other legislative obligations. The standards also include good practice in safeguarding, people management, and financial and risk management. 
  • It includes the voices of lived experience. People who've used mental health services are a key part of the review team and process and reviewers speak with people using an organisation’s services to find out their views.
  • We periodically update the standards. We make sure they're always appropriate, relevant, reflect good practice and take account of changes in law and charity governance.

Can we trust the Mind Quality Mark?

The MQM looks at all parts of an organisation. It sets the standard for all aspects of running a charity in the Mind federation.

The MQM is in line with legislation. It includes the Charity Commission's governance and legal requirements. And it's updated to reflect legal changes and charity governance rules. The last update put more emphasis on leadership, governance, digital, lived experience and strategy.

The review process is robust. The review team are independent from the organisation being reviewed. Meeting the MQM standards is fundamental to being part of the Mind family and we’re committed to supporting local Minds to meet the MQM standards. However if this isn’t possible the local Mind will have to leave the Mind Federation. In some cases they might merge with another local Mind but otherwise they will disaffiliate and we inform the Charity Commission of any concerns.  

While the MQM isn't externally validated as a quality standard, it’s a robust and rigorous system. Local Minds are independently and robustly assessed. It’s unique because it addresses all aspects of how a local Mind operates and the effectiveness of the support it provides to people in its local communities.

What happens if a local Mind fails the Mind Quality Mark?

Meeting the MQM standard is a requirement of being part of the Mind family. This is so we are confident that:

  • All services delivered by members of the Mind Federation are safe and effective
  • Local Minds are sustainable and well run
  • Local Minds are working to Mind’s values

Where local Minds are not meeting the standards we offer support to help them improve the way they work.

If this doesn’t achieve the necessary improvements, we will then take further action and intensify the support. However, if the local Mind still doesn’t meet the standards they will have to leave the Federation. In some cases they might merge with another local Mind but otherwise they will disaffiliate and we inform the Charity Commission of any concerns.

“MQM is the cornerstone of our continuous improvement aspirations”

Standards we measure through the Mind Quality Mark

The MQM assesses organisations on the following standards.

Leadership and governance:

  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Mind federation
  • Board of trustees
  • Legal compliance

Finance and policies:

  • Risk
  • Finance
  • Policies
  • Health and safety
  • Information governance

Services and people:

  • Equality and diversity
  • Effective services
  • Safeguarding
  • Human resources
  • Volunteers
  • Evaluation and impact

Influence and engagement:

  • Collaboration, profile and influence
  • Influence and participation
  • Promoting positive attitudes to mental health
  • Environment
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