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Wychaven District Council

Wychaven District Council
03/12/2007

UK “Council of the Year” gains Charter Mark Wychavon District Council – Council of the Year 2007 – has gained Charter Mark certification for all its services. Aimed at public-sector organisations, Charter Mark is the Government’s national standard for excellence in customer service.
“We’re delighted to have achieved overall Charter Mark status,” says Wychavon District Council Managing Director, Jack Hegarty. “It highlights once again how we’re looking to put local residents first and provide value for money in everything we do.”

Council-wide certification Although individual units of Wychavon District Council have held Charter Mark since 1993, in 2007 it decided to apply for a council-wide Charter Mark. “We wanted to use Charter Mark as a driver to continuously improve customer service across the organisation,” says Jack Hegarty. “We didn’t want Charter Mark as a plaque on the wall – rather as something that constantly reminds us of what we need to do to enhance our services, not least through annual performance health checks.”

SGS: “best format, available and helpful” Jack Hegarty says: “We considered four assessment bodies but chose SGS United Kingdom Ltd because it came up with the best format for developing us to full corporate status – a single Charter Mark covering all our services.
“We were very pleased with SGS, which was always available and extremely helpful.”

Assessment In the Charter Mark assessment, SGS evaluated the council’s frontline and internal support services from a customer’s perspective. SGS assessed what the council did well, what it needed to improve and how it would implement improvements. The assessment included examining a written submission from the council and interviewing various council customers, partners and staff. To secure the Charter Mark award, Wychavon District Council was required to demonstrate excellence in: setting standards and performing well; actively engaging with customers, partners and staff; being fair and accessible to everyone, and promoting choice; continually improving; using resources effectively and imaginatively; and contributing to better opportunities and quality of life in the community.

“Customer service first” “Wychavon District Council clearly puts customer service first,” says SGS Charter Mark Assessor, Fred Weston. “In our time with the council we saw for ourselves how it’s dedicated to delivering high quality, efficient and customer-focused services for all.”

Ends

Notes for Editors:

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognised as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With 48'000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1’000 offices and laboratories around the world. www.uk.sgs.com

Employing 340 staff, Wychavon District Council provides a wide range of services for around 117,000 people in east Worcestershire. The district’s main towns are Droitwich Spa, Evesham and Pershore. Wychavon District Council was crowned Council of the Year at the Local Government Chronicle Awards 2007. The LGC Awards recognise outstanding service provision. In addition to gaining Charter Mark for all its services, Wychavon District Council’s other achievements include: scoring top marks from the Audit Commission for value and use of resources; attaining the UK’s first and still only double excellent inspection score in district housing services; providing high-quality services while charging the twelfth-lowest council tax in the country; being the UK’s second-best council to work for, according to The Times; and receiving an Investors in People award.

Further information:

SGS United Kingdom Ltd Marketing Tel: 01276 697999 Fax: 01276 697696
E-mail: uk.nowisthetime@sgs

For more information on  Wychaven District Council  talk to  SGS United Kingdom Ltd

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