Customer comes first as government introduces quality mark for public services

HR directors have given the thumbs-up to a new customer services standard designed to make public services more responsive to people’s needs.

Minister for transformational government Tom Watson launched the customer service excellence (CSE) quality mark last week to recognise organisations that provide services reflecting their customers’ needs.

Stephen Moir, president of the Public Sector People Managers Association, and director of people and policy at Cambridgeshire County Council, said the new standard would help public sector HR professionals to marry up good leadership with business performance.

He told Personnel Today: “For some, HR professionals [the CSE standard] will be really helpful to correlate good HR practice with levels of public satisfaction. You will have customers no matter where you work, so from an HR perspective the CSE mark provides the opportunity to improve organisational development issues such as staff culture, service delivery and leadership.”

However, Moir warned that the government must invest enough time and money into helping employers get on board with the standard, and provide examples of best practice.

Joe Bennett, HR director at disability charity Scope, one of the first organisations to apply for the CSE mark, said: “We want to put our customers at the heart of everything we do. Staff need to be sufficiently skilled to do that and the standard encourages organisations to involve staff and provide good leadership.”

CSE indicators

  • Workforce skills – customer-focused training
  • Leadership and commitment
  • Personalisation of services
  • Working with citizens
  • Accountability to communities

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