Full membership of Assist UK is open to organisations that meet the minimum criteria summarised here. Application Forms are available from our offices. When we receive an application, we arrange to visit the centre or service to undertake a supporting assessment. Full, accredited membership carries full voting rights.
- Equipment information, service and advice must be free and ethical.
- The general public must have direct access to the service. Opening times or hours of provision are realistic, regular and well publicised.
- The Disability Living Centre of service should actively involve and include disabled people, other service users and carers in all aspects of its service provision.
- An equal opportunities policy that includes disability equality is in operation or under development, and that the centre or service welcomes all members of their communities within the client remit of that centre or service.
- The service is based on a representative range of products, services and solutions for daily living that is: relevant to the local community's needs and existing resources; up to date; well represented and maintained. Any display facilities provided should ensure easy access for demonstration.
- Information about equipment and services are: accessible; accurate; up to date; relevant to users needs.
- Accurate and up to date information is recorded about service provision and uptake.
- Suitably trained staff and/or volunteers are available during the centre's opening hours to provide: information; advice; assessments (where appropriate), and/or to provide services in the community.
- Staff and/or volunteers ensure that they work in partnership with users to provide information, advice and assessment services which enable informed choices.
- The service must adhere to and uphold all Assist UK standards agreed by members.
- The centre or service must have a mission statement and quality assurance procedures in place.
- The Disability Living Centre or service is well publicised to the community it serves.
- Assist UK imagery is used in publicity and promotional material about the service wherever possible.
Assist UK will provide further guidance to assist those organisations wishing to develop their facilities to meet national quality standards for product information, service and advice.
To work towards the day when products and services for independent living are seen as part of everyday life, and to lead a UK wide network of centres and services that introduce people to products and solutions which make life easier and safer, creating greater choice and control.
The main requirements for Full (Provider) Membership of Assist UK are:
Advice, product and service support is available free and impartial at the point of delivery.
Full membership is based on the provision of disability products and/or services, in a centre and/or the community, that are facilitative of the needs and rights of disabled people for independent living. Any equipment information service is, as far as possible, free, comprehensive and impartial. Membership of Assist UK requires that:
- Services are prompt, responsive and person centered in time rich environments.
- Members aim to ensure ethical service, evidence competence, and avoid malpractice.
- They are representative of a wide range of product and/or services and solutions for daily living relevant to the local community's needs and existing resources.
- Services and resources are up to date, well presented and maintained.
- Any display facilities provided should ensure easy access for demonstration.
Access to the service
Membership of Assist UK requires that members verifiably strive to achieve the highest standards in the following areas:
- Profile - public promotion and visibility.
- Environment - location and accessibility.
- Local demographics - responsive and relevant to local need.
- Client interface(front of house) - maximizing quality of client experience.
- Health and Safety - meeting appropriate legal standards.
- Staff/volunteer training - professionalism and customer care.
- Information and display - user friendly and relevant.
- Product service and knowledge - comprehensive advice and assessment.
- Disability awareness - DDA compliant and aspiring to ‘best practice' standard.
- Language services - culturally accessible.
- Consultation and design - meaningful user consultation and involvement.
- Policies and procedures - legally compliant and aspiring to best practice.
- Monitoring - evidence of service use and trends. This should include information on age, ethnicity, gender, location, volume and type (i.e. by phone or in person).
- Recording - this information should be made available to Assist UK for aggregation and publication.
Benefits of Full (Provider) Membership
- Access to a national information network of disability services and equipment specialists.
- Reduced delegate rates for Assist UK training events, conferences and seminars .
- 33% discount on Assist UK publications.
- Copies of our regular newsletter and electronic e-Updates.
- Access to our online data base and interactive discussion fora for the sector.
- Access to subsidized insurance services.
- Access to disability research projects.
- Free membership to the Charity Skills resource website including discounts on website creation.
Full (Provider) Membership is £300 p.a. (plus a one off site assessment fee of £50)