IQ –  the Integrated Quality Project        

The IQ project supported 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 ran from 2016 – 2019, Youth Access sought to improve young people’s access to high quality, nationally recognised models of integrated provision. We aimed 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, helped Youth Access support this ambition. 

Through consultation with providers, young people, commissioners and other stakeholders, Youth Access developed 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


The project succeeded in producing the following resources: