When it comes to writing our QIP and updating it, we tend to spend more time on the goals and outcomes than the strengths. Often this is because we are so busy getting through everything that we need to get through that we forget to celebrate the positives and what makes us great. Here are some tips for building your strengths section of the QIP:
- Focus on what makes you stand out, not compliance: The regulatory authorities expect that you will be compliant in the requirements of the NQF, they want to know what makes your service unique and why people choose you over another service, or how you utilise critical reflection to develop and grow as a service and remain viable and reflective of the community.
- Get help from your stakeholders: Use surveys, discussions and feedback to help form your strengths. Often we get so focused on the day to day we don’t have time to step back and see what makes us different, or visit other services to see what we are doing that is great and innovative. Our employees and parents have access to other services, through previous employment or visits to services, and therefore can help us see what made them choose us.
- Turn weaknesses into strengths: The way in which you address a potential weakness and focus energy and resources into it can turn it into a strength. These are the types of things that show regulatory authorities the way your service overcomes adversity and reflects on situations to change and adapt.
- Paint a picture of what is important to your service: The whole point of the QIP is that it is the first overview of your service the regulatory authority receives, and therefore is starting to share with the officer what is meaningful to your service. Using strengths to focus on what is of value to your service, and what you feel about your service, helps officers to understand the journey you are on.
- Don’t forget to update your strengths: When you go through the QIP every year and update it, add in any relevant strengths that have developed over that time. This may be because goals have been achieved, it may be because grant money was provided, it could be because an innovative new project was implemented, or it could be as simple as the stability of the service is allowing for more professional growth and development. Strengths may not develop every year, but when there has been improvement it should be noted.
Below are two images that demonstrate some of what was mentioned above, and the version update is recorded to show progress and development over time.
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