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

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

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Introduction: 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.

Methods: 21 semi-structured interviews and five focus groups with Scottish voluntary sector staff. a gap analysis was undertken and findings were used to co-create educational sessions and may aid capacity building.

Results: 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 sucessful when supported with sector-specific examples and networking opportunities.

Conclusion: The current policy landscape provides an opportunity for national governments to involve the voluntary sector as equal partner in the adoption of Quality Improvment. 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


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