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Approved Provider Standard (APS)

The Approved Provider Standard is a national quality mark designed specifically for mentoring and befriending projects. Achieving the standard demonstrates that the project met the 10 requirements of the standard, and was independently assessed by experts in good practice in mentoring and befriending.

While NCVO is no longer accepting applications for organisations to achieve this quality standard, we encourage those organisations which have already achieved it to continue using the badge for as long as their award is valid. 

Projects with the Approved Provider Standard

The following projects currently hold the Approved Provider Standard in Mentoring and Befriending:

Organisation: Project

  • Age UK Lincoln and South Lincolnshire: Befriending Project
  • Baca Charity: Volunteer and mentor team
  • Befriending Kent Consortium:
    • Swale CVS: New Connections Befriending Service
    • Ashford Volunteer Centre: Befriending Service
    • Kent Coast Volunteering: Good Neighbours Service
    • North West Kent Volunteer Centre: Smiles Befriending Service
  • Evergreen Care Trust: Befriending Service
  • Le Chéile Mentoring
  • North Somerset Youth Offending Service: Junction 21 Mentoring Project
  • Safer Wales: Mentoring Scheme
  • SHINE Mentoring: Mentoring Programme
  • Shoreditch Trust: Bump Buddies

10 requirements of the APS

APS covers 10 requirements across four key areas supporting safe and effective practice in mentoring and befriending.

The four key areas of APS

Management and operation

  • Does the project have clear aims?
  • Is there an appropriate level of resources?
  • Is there a commitment to safety of staff, service users, mentors and befrienders?

Service users

  • Is there a clear process for the identification and referral of service users?
  • Are the needs of the service users assessed in determining how mentoring and befriending can help?

Mentors and befrienders

  • Is the recruitment and selection process for potential mentors and befrienders safe and effective?
  • Do mentors and befrienders receive appropriate induction and training to provide effective support to service users?
  • Is support provided to mentors and befrienders to help them develop their role?

The mentoring and befriending relationship

  • Is there a clear and consistent place for matching service users with mentors and befrienders?
  • Are the mentoring and befriending relationships regularly monitored to ensure progress is being made and outcomes are achieved?
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