Like any other organisation committed to delivering improving quality services, we believe that external assessment is important, as it allows an independent view to be taken on how we are performing.
Our external statutory assessments include:
Councils are required to produce an annual performance report which sets out our strategic priorities, objectives and performance indicators for the coming year and reports on our success at meeting previous years targets. Called "Performance Counts", our report is a combined Annual Corporate Plan & Performance Report and is published on 30 June.
The plan and performance indicators are subject to audit by the Audit Commission and their audit report is published in December each year (please see how to access PDFs).
Previous audit reports:
The Audit Commission inspects and makes judgements on the services that we review. Inspectors make judgements on two aspects of the service - whether it is good, average or poor and whether it is likely or unlikely to improve. Stars are awarded according to the inspectors' judgements. The inspection report makes recommendations, which are then incorporated into a revised service improvement plan.
Based on the assessment given in their 2004 report, the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate advised the Audit Commission to award Thurrock Council's Benefit Service a Corporate Assessment score of 3 out of 4. The inspectorate undertook a reassessment of the service in September 2004.
Previous Benefits Service reports:
The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial government department whose main aim is to help improve the quality and standards of education and childcare through independent inspection and regulation, and provide advice to the Secretary of State of Education and Skills. Thurrock Council has been the subject of two inspections by OFSTED
The Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) is the Department of Health agency responsible for inspecting local council's social services departments. The inspectorate evaluates the quality of local council social services through inspections and through joint reviews with the Audit Commission. The inspections assess a specific service area in depth, while joint reviews look more broadly at how the council performs all of its social services functions and uses its resources.