Quality assured? An assessment of the quality of independent money adviceAuthors: Sharon Collard, Jane Steele, Professor Elaine Kempson
Funded by: Barclays Bank, Money Advice Trust
Published by: Money Advice Trust
Publication date: February 2000
The Money Advice Trust (MAT) brings together the major advice networks in a joint strategy to improve the quality of money advice. This project aimed to evaluate the quality of money advice provided by MAT agencies through their networks, and also advice provided by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS). Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, the project identified and evaluated the range and quality of money advice provided by agencies involved in the Money Advice Trust strategy, and that provided by CCCS. It also provided an analysis of the background factors which may cause or influence differences in standards. The research was undertaken jointly by the Personal Finance Research Centre and the Public Management Foundation.
On the whole, the research found that the quality of money advice work in the independent sector was almost universally high. However, it was clear that this high standard of performance was a fragile achievement, as good quality money advice was often delivered by agencies that depend on volunteer workforces and which have limited and insecure funding.
The report makes a number of recommendations for improving the quality of money advice services, including funding and planning for the sector as a whole, and action that could be taken by advice agencies and their networks.