More than 200 delegates gathered at the Holywell Park conference centre in Loughborough on March 1, making the inaugural national Quest conference the largest industry gathering of the year so far.
During the one-day symposium, the final format for the new and improved Quest 2011 was revealed. Operations Director Caroline Constantine and Regional Manager David Monkhouse together outlined a number of significant changes, which will come into force when Quest 2011 officially launches on June 1. The new structure is designed to make the quality scheme a more flexible, relevant and valuable tool for continuous improvement for all leisure sites.
Key to Quest 2011 is the introduction of three new levels. Quest Entry is a one-day, operational assessment aimed at smaller and community sites. Quest Plus is a two day assessment, which includes a one-day operational assessment plus the option to select day-two modules. Finally Quest Stretch will feature an unannounced day-one assessment, plus a second day focussing on a centre’s approach to measuring impact and outcomes. This advanced award is designed to challenge sites that already have an excellent rating and wish to push themselves further. Furthermore, sites will no longer receive a percentage and instead be awarded abanded score ranging from unsatisfactory, satisfactory and good to excellent or outstanding (which can only be awarded to sites participating in Quest Stretch). All assessments carried out after June 1 will be against the new format.
Caroline Constantine, Quest Operations Director, says: “Another new element is that we are introducing a health and safety threshold score. If sites don’t pass this, they won’t pass their assessment. They will also have to know the impacts and outcomes their changes have made – for the first time Quest will be asking sites to measure the difference they make to their customer’s lives. “A further significant change is that the minimum score an assessor can give will now be zero, rather than one. Historically, even poor sites could score 25% just for signing up and very few failed. The new scoring system can only help us as we drive to improve industry as a whole. With the current cuts in local authorities, it’s essential for centres to demonstrate they provide excellent customer service. This can be achieved only through benchmarking other facilities, which Quest allows them to do.”
Charles Johnson, Sport England’s Facilities and Planning Executive Director, says: “Quest is more important now than ever. It’s going to drive best practice, efficiencies and the quality we need to ensure that in a competitive and constrained market we can still provide the very best of services to keep people in sport or drive them into sport. It’s not just a measuring tool; it’s fundamental to site management and will help centres to achieve the ultimate in efficiency. It’s not a question of can I afford Quest, but can I afford not to have Quest?”