A Gateshead organisation that helps people with complex needs to progress from social exclusion to inclusion is the first in its sector to benefit from online self-assessment and improvement planning software developed in the North East.
Working Links, which operates across the UK and internationally helping towards getting people into long term employment, is using Mesma’s expertise after awarding the Gateshead-based firm a contract for its ‘intelligent’ software for the third year running.
At its heart, Working Links endeavours to tackle some of the most vulnerable in society through motivating and increasing self-esteem and changing often deep-rooted views about dependency.
This has created a complex operation, with hundreds of their people located throughout the UK and internationally with a Customer First standard at the core of its approach to quality assurance, which reflects the expectations of both the DWP Merlin Standard and Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.
Working Links has been a key client for Mesma, helping to build the functionality of the system and giving feedback since the first day on how to continuously develop the software’s capabilities.
The introduction of Mesma software has led to improvements in Working Links’ capacity to undertake self-assessment, delivering greater managerial control and bringing transparency and efficiencies to a time intensive process.
In recent months, the use of the software has been expanded to encompass the delivery of rehabilitation and offender management services.
Mesma is an adaptable, versatile and cost effective web-based resource, which enables the rapid set-up of individual accounts and allocates important areas of the self-assessment process to authorised people within the organisation.
A key feature of the software is its intuitive properties: it enables managers to incorporate their guidance notes to allow other members of staff to add and store their own information to ensure all relevant documentation is up-to-date and readily accessible.
Mesma maps directly to Working Links’ internally devised quality standard, providing flexibility for the quality team to modify the self-assessment content and approach to ensure alignment with business requirements.
More than 100 team members utilise Mesma to undertake annual self-assessment and ensure accountability for improvements is retained at individual, site and regional levels. The solution also helps the central quality team to oversee all of this in real-time, focusing on impact and output rather than chasing updates or following email and paper trails.
Helen Wrightston, customer standards manager, said the team had benefitted from advantages Mesma provides, and added: “Mesma is a valuable management aid, offering a flexible and cost effective resource that gives us better self-assessment reach and control.
“It has helped us to engage our regional staff in undertaking self-evaluation and ownership of improvement activity. This ensures we are in control of making positive changes that can impact on the service we offer our customers.”
Relevant reports, policy documents, quality assurance processes and guidelines and other important documentation can all be stored on line in one place within the system for quick and convenient access and reference from any location. The system can also monitor activities allocated to other staff to track progress and completion.
In the next quarter, Mesma will release its new Observations module and has ensured the content is flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses like Working Links who have a strong emphasis on providing initial advice, guidance as well as ongoing support to help people move into sustainable employment.
Mesma is available through an annual subscription and is tailored to meet specific requirements and individual needs. More at www.mesma.co.uk