IQ –  the Integrated Quality Project        

The IQ project supports a new vision for young people’s mental health and wellbeing; one in which accessible, self-referral YIACS are a key part of every local offer. Through the IQ project, which runs from 2016 – 2019, Youth Access wants to improve young people’s access to high quality, nationally recognised models of integrated provision. We aim to: 

  • Strengthen the coherence and profile of the existing Youth Access national network of YIACS
  • Increase the integration of the YIACS model in local systems for young people’s mental health and wellbeing
  • Improve the joint planning and commissioning of YIACS to meet young people’s mental health and wider wellbeing needs

‘Future in Mind’ – the report of the Coalition government’s Taskforce on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing proposed YIACS as a key part of every local offer.  The IQ project, funded by the Department of Health, is helping Youth Access support this ambition. 

Through consultation with providers, young people, commissioners and other stakeholders, Youth Access will develop tools and resources to enable: 

  • Service providers to have a national benchmark for the YIACS model; enabling them to plan and manage their services to meet agreed minimum requirements and a tool in negotiations with funders and commissioners
  • Young people to have better information about what they should expect as a minimum from a YIACS.
  • Local policy makers and commissioners to have guidance to (i) support the development of a local mental health offer and (ii) plan and fund services informed by a national service specification

We are now consulting!

Youth Access is now seeking views on YIACS core functions and competences following consultations with service providers and young people to address two key questions:

  • What should young people expect from a YIACS?
  • What is important in how they work with young people?

The attached document sets out the main proposals and in addition to two workshops on 6th July, London and 13th July, Manchester, we are also running an online survey.

We would be very interested to hear views on our proposals and if you would like to take part in the survey, which closes at midday on 31st July 2017, please contact so we can send you the link.

Progress so far  

From the project’s inception to September 2016 we have: 

  • Recruited Dr Cathy Street to undertake an independent evaluation
  • Undertaken desk-top research and produced a paper tracking the history and evolution of YIACS
  • Set up and held a meeting of a Project Advisory Group comprising a wide range of representatives, including the DH, NHSE, CQC, the LGA, local YIACS, commissioners, independent funders and other voluntary sector groups.
  • Set up a recruitment process to select 6 local YIACS which will provide six young people’s consultation and advisory groups
  • Undertaken planning for four regional consultation events with providers and commissioners during October 2016.

Further information

If you want further information about how to get involved or any other matter then please contact and one of Youth Access’ team will be pleased to respond to you.