The Q-Kit is a new Quality Assessment Tool commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council Learning Disability Partnership Board and designed by service users from Southdown Housing Association in partnership with the charity Stay Up Late.

Last year a team of three service users from Southdown’s Learning Disability services worked on a project called It’s My Life, which involved working with four residential services in the city to improve residents’ meetings. The team working on this project were inspired by visiting services and talking to other service users and they started to think about other ways to involve people in improving quality and wellbeing – thus the idea for creating a quality assessment toolkit was born!

The project is service user designed and led, and currently involves four people with Learning Disabilities working as volunteers on the ‘Q Team’. The team have not only designed the toolkit but also work as Quality Checkers, visiting services across Sussex to implement the Q-Kit and carry out quality checks.

The aim of the Q-Kit is to encourage people with Learning Disabilities to talk about what is important to them and identify how their service can be developed and improved to meet their needs, ideas and dreams.

The Q Team spoke to lots of people about what is important in their lives and from this they produced a set of nine categories by which to assess a service.

The Q-Kit is designed so that anyone can use it, so where people do not have verbal communication the Q-Kit suggests alternatives, including a questionnaire for family members, friends or advocates and ways in which a team of Quality Checkers can assess a service.

Accompanying a Guidebook and Workbook in the Q-Kit is a DVD which can be used to help service users see what other people are saying about why good support is important to them and how it makes them feel. They are hoping that the DVD will inspire people and help them to think about new things they may want to try.

For further information please contact Kate Withers, Quality Consultant Coordinator at

Southdown Housing Association are an ARC Member.  Visit their website here