Quality improvement in the voluntary sector: knowledge, capacity and education

Samuel Quinn, Rhoda Macrae, Elaine Gifford, Helen Rainey, Mandy Andrew, Kevin Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Quality improvement has been proposed as a means of enhancing health and social care on an international scale. Despite being a key stakeholder in health and social care delivery, there is a lack of evidence regarding the adoption of quality improvement in the voluntary sector. For this study, 21 semi-structured interviews and five focus groups were conducted with Scottish voluntary sector staff. A gap analysis was undertaken, and findings were used to co-create educational sessions that may aid capacity building. Our findings suggest that knowledge, adoption and practice of quality improvement are currently variable in the Scottish voluntary sector. Capacity building for improvement is most successful when supported with sector-specific examples and networking opportunities. We conclude that the current policy landscape provides an opportunity for national governments to involve the voluntary sector as an equal partner in the adoption of quality improvement. We make recommendations for researchers and policy makers on how this may be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-206
Number of pages24
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number2
Early online date6 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2022


  • voluntary sector
  • quality improvement
  • quality management
  • capacity building


Dive into the research topics of 'Quality improvement in the voluntary sector: knowledge, capacity and education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this