ACAPO was awarded a European Quality in Social Services (EQUASS) Certificate covering the following services: its ten Social Rehabilitation Centres located across Portugal, its three regional Independent Living Support Centres and the three divisions of its Employment and Vocational Training Department. The audit took place in December last year and in addition to examining the work of these departments, it heard from ACAPO Members, users of our services, our social partners and the Association’s governing bodies.
Since 2010, when we achieved ISO:9001 Certification in the field of “Representation of interests at a national and international level”, ACAPO has held that the recognition of and improvement in performance quality through certification was the way to go. This is because we recognise the importance of permanent openness and learning, plus external validation of our work. Having walked this path for over ten years, in December 2019, ACAPO successfully applied for funding from the 4th Edition of the Quality Certification Program run by the Portuguese Association for Quality (APQ) and backed by the Montepio Foundation. It was set up to support economic entities in the implementation of Quality Management Systems and the obtaining of the respective certification, in accordance with the EQUASS Assurance benchmark, which is represented in Portugal by the APQ.
This result reflects the quality work that ACAPO carries out daily with visually impaired persons, reinforcing the commitment made in our mission statement.