Citizens Advice

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what criteria his Department uses to assess the effectiveness of Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Education) (Women and Equalities) , The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Central Government does not fund Citizens Advice Bureaux. It funds the umbrella body for the service only. The effectiveness of delivery is a matter between the umbrella body and its member bureaux.

Bureaux are audited both for quality of advice (QAA) and against the standards of membership. Bureaux who fail their audit are referred to the Membership and Standards Committee – a sub-committee of the main Citizens Advice Trustee Board. The Membership and Standards Committee’s annual report for the 2013-14 financial year reports that the quality of advice provided in bureaux is good and continuing to improve despite the challenges they are facing with the current average QAA score achieved at 74%.

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