Good, bad or indifferent? The quality of money advice in ScotlandAuthors: Sharon Collard, Bob Burrows
Funded by: Scottish Executive, Royal Bank of Scotland
Published by: Money Advice Scotland
Publication date: October 2002
This study, undertaken in partnership with Money Advice Scotland, had a number of specific objectives:
- To identify and evaluate the range and quality of money advice services provided by advice agencies that are members of Money Advice Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland and the Federation of Information and Advice Centres, and also those agencies that are not members of these networks.
- To provide an analysis of the background factors that may cause or influence differences in standards and quality of money advice at the point of delivery.
- To identify areas where investment in money advice is required in order that standards of delivery are maintained.
- To produce a strategy for building on current provision to improve the overall quality of money advice across Scotland.
- Make recommendations for improvements in service delivery and support, and provide benchmark measures for the assessment of future developments.
The research was conducted in three stages:
- The first stage collected information on initiatives to ensure quality, assurance and the factors that determine, promote or undermine the quality of money advice services across Scotland.
- The second stage involved a peer review of recent case records to assess the quality of money advice services being provided by a cross section of agencies.
- The final stage assessed the quality of money advice from the viewpoint of users - identifying how they judge the quality of service they have received and the outcomes of the advice and assistance that was given to them.
The research found that, overall, the quality of money advice casework in Scotland was good. In contrast, the quality of advice given in response to one-off telephone enquiries was less good. There were a number of factors that seemed to determine the quality of money advice, including staffing, caseload and pressure of work; training, skills and experience; the support infrastructure; and case review and case recording. The report concluded by making a number of recommendations for the future development of money advice in Scotland.