Green care includes nature-based interventions such as care farming, Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH), and animal assisted interventions (e.g. Equine Assisted Therapy). Green care organisations provide health, social and / or specialist educational care services for the benefit of service users with a range of defined needs (e.g. clinical, social or educational), through the use of farming, gardening or animal-related activities. Meaningful, hands-on activities in nature on a farm, in a garden or other natural environment, promotes physical and mental health and well-being and can provide excellent therapeutic and educational opportunities.
Green care services are delivered in a structured and professional manner, by practitioners who understand the needs and capabilities of both service users and their land-based operation.
The Green Care Quality Mark is a clear set of guidelines, intended to meet the requirements of referral agencies, service users and their families to show that organisations meeting the Quality Mark are safe, professional and efficacious. It is intended as a Quality Standard for green care provision, assured through a process of self-assessment.
The Quality Mark assesses the organisation rather than the individual delivering green care and is site specific. An organisation delivering green care at multiple sites will need to complete an application for each individual site.
Self-assessments are peer-reviewed by experienced green care practitioners and Social Farms & Gardens (SF&G) staff, affirming the organisation's commitment to following the Quality Mark. In this way, quality standards are maintained by green care providers and their stakeholders, without imposition from external agencies.
As green care provision is very diverse, some elements of the Quality Mark may not be relevant to all sites. This ‘smart’ online form is designed to recognise this.
This is a self-assessment form, so it is the responsibility of the organisation to provide accurate information.
Green care providers use different words to describe the people who they provide services for (e.g. client, service user, co-farmer, farm volunteer etc.) in this Quality Mark we have used the term 'service user' throughout.
Each green care provider is fully and individually responsible for the way it carries out its business: Social Farms & Gardens can only serve to enable and facilitate, and not accept any liability.
If anything changes that may affect your self-assessment of the Quality Mark (e.g. ownership change; changes in enterprises or service user groups of your organisation; or if one of the standards falls below requirements), these changes and associated evidence should be amended and highlighted in your document and re-submitted to Social Farms & Gardens.
In order to continue meeting the Green Care Quality Mark, your organisation will be asked annually to confirm that you still meet the standards and to report any changes or challenges by logging into the original application and making any necessary updates.
In addition, Social Farms & Gardens will from time-to-time issue revisions to the Green Care Quality Mark, as and when necessary. When such changes that may alter your self-assessment are required, we shall notify you in writing of the details of these changes and will require you to submit a statement to confirm that you comply with them ASAP, but no later than 8 weeks.
This Green Care Quality Mark represents a set of minimum standards to which providers should adhere. It is the aim of Social Farms & Gardens to ensure that all green care providers in the UK go through the Quality Mark process to maintain high quality service provision within the green care sector.
As organisations and sites vary enormously, please provide the following details. The information you provide in this section is purely to help us get a feel for your organisation and what services you are providing and for whom. This is not part of your assessment.
If you answered ‘other’, please give more details here
Please tell us the approximate size here (e.g. acres, Hectares, m2)
(e.g. commercial agricultural unit, horticultural site, educational establishment, riding school, wildlife reserve, school, care organisation etc.)
You may give us more information (e.g. Charity Number) if you would like or if you answered ‘other legal entity’, please give more details here
(such as Farm Assured, RSPCA Assured, Organic Certification etc.)
The organisation can provide a clear statement showing type of legal entity and where responsibilities fall. Our business structure and operation comply with legal requirements. We have registration certificates or other publicly available information for our organisation – i.e. company, charity, CIO, CIC etc.
If you have answered no, please provide further explanation here
The purpose of the organisation is clearly identified and in the public domain. The purpose of our organisation is clearly identified and can be seen in the public domain (e.g. on our website)
Appropriate systems are in place for the type of business, as well as banking arrangements detailed in contracts. Our end of year accounts are audited, independently examined or otherwise externally certified
Appropriate systems are in place for the type of business, as well as banking arrangements detailed in contracts. Our green care operation has a dedicated bank account in place
Appropriate systems are in place for maintaining financial sustainability and a business plan or strategy (either formal or informal) is in place. We have a financial plan in place
Adequate insurance is in place as appropriate for the organisation, i.e. public liability insurance, employers liability etc.
(A scanned copy of current insurance certificate is required) We have employers' liability insurance in place at all times.
Please add in the link to the doc on your googledrive/dropbox
(A scanned copy of current insurance certificate is required) We have public liability insurance in place at all times
We have all other insurance(s) required for our operations, in place at all times
Appropriate systems are in place to receive and respond to feedback from service users, staff and all other stakeholders We have an arrangement for evaluating our operation and for collecting and processing feedback which informs management decisions.
The organisation has a minimum negative impact on the environment. We have an environmental policy, and associated procedures are in place.
The organisation adheres to legal obligations where applicable.
We are a registered holding and have flock / herd numbers
We have appropriate animal passports / identification
We have medication and medicines records in place as appropriate
We have secure storage of all medication, veterinary equipment and sharps
Note: this is for green care sites in England only We comply with licensing requirements under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 as required by our Local Authority
We have suitable, safe and secure animal isolation facilities
The operation meets the Five Freedoms as set out by the RSPCA, RSPCA Cymru, USPCA and SPCA.
We have an animal welfare policy in place
We meet all welfare of animals during transportation legislation
We have annual veterinary inspection reports, or equivalent other external evidence
The organisation has a health and safety policy which shows our commitment to our staff and service users.
We have a health and safety policy in place
Our health and safety policy is signed by the most senior member of staff, dated and reviewed annually
The organisation is keeping abreast of understanding any changes in legislation or commissioners' policy. We keep abreast of understanding any changes in legislation or commissioners' policy
The organisation is aware that any significant changes to the way it is run, occurrence of any major incidents etc. can affect its ‘Quality Mark’ status. We agree to keep Social Farms & Gardens informed of any significant changes.
The organisation understands the needs of all parties. A preliminary meeting is held to mutually agree the services required. We hold preliminary meetings with the service user (and other stakeholders as appropriate) to ensure needs are discussed and agreed.
The organisation has a clear induction process for new service users We have an induction process for service users and their support workers
The organisation has service user agreements / contracts / or similar in place for all service users We have service user agreements / contracts / or similar in place for all our service users.
Add your googledrive or dropbox link here
The organisation has safeguarding policies in place for adults at risk, and for children - as advised by their Local Authority
We work with both children and adults and have separate adult and child safeguarding and protection policies in place as advised by our Local Authority
We only work with adults and we have adult safeguarding and protection policies in place as advised by our Local Authority
We only work with children and have child safeguarding and protection policies in place as advised by our Local Authority
We have a named Safeguarding/Protection Officer in place
We have all policies in place as required by our Local Authority(ies) and regulating bodies (e.g. social services, Ofsted etc.)
The organisation complies with all legal requirements relating to data and confidentiality
We have a confidentiality policy for staff (including volunteers) and service users
Our use and sharing of data are compliant with current UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations
The organisation takes care of personal belongings. We provide facilities where personal belongings can be kept secure.
The organisation’s policy is applicable to all those associated with the organisation. We have an Equality and Diversity policy
The organisation has a protocol in place for people working out of earshot or sight away from colleagues, so they can communicate in emergencies We have a lone working policy and associated procedures in place
Staff (including volunteers) are recruited according to written procedures which meet all legal requirements; employment policies are in in place; skills and knowledge of staff (including volunteers) are matched to particular service users/group(s) wherever possible.
We have a recruitment policy and associated procedures
We ensure that job descriptions are used in our recruitment
We have an induction process for staff (and volunteers), including a list of topics covered
We have all relevant employment policies in place
All our employees have a contract in place
All our volunteers have an agreement in place
The organisation provides opportunities for staff development
All staff receive ongoing training, support, and appraisals
We keep a record of all our staff training and appraisals
The organisation provides opportunities for volunteer development
All volunteers receive ongoing training and support
We keep a record of all our volunteer training
Designated people are responsible for working with service users and the staff: service user ratio is safe and appropriate for the particular service user/group We have a staffing plan in place that reflects the appropriate staff - service user ratio
A dry, warm and comfortable space is available in case of extreme weather, as well as somewhere to eat and take a break. We have a suitable indoor space available
Alternative activities are available in case of extreme weather or any change in need of service users. We provide alternative activities as necessary
The organisation maintains a balance between service user outcomes and day to day operations We organise activities in order to prioritise service user outcomes over day-to-day operations
All sessions are fully planned, taking into account service user needs.
We have activity plans in place.
If more than one (individual /group) service user is on site at the same time, we take the potential impact on each other into consideration and deliver activities accordingly
As much of the green care operation is accessible as possible to people with additional needs. We endeavour to make our green care site as accessible as possible.
Adequate, safe parking is available on site (or accessible to the site) and vehicular traffic is separated from pedestrian walkways (where appropriate).
Adequate, safe parking is available on site (or accessible to the site).
Vehicular traffic is separated from pedestrian walkways (where appropriate).
The organisation maintains all necessary safety records.
We comply with relevant environmental health standards
We comply with the relevant legislation on accidents, injuries and near misses and illness
We have all electrical safety certificates (e.g. Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR)) in place at all times.
All of our portable electrical appliances are regularly PAT tested as required.
As we use gas on site (either mains and / or LPG), we have a current gas safety certificate in place at all times.
Practical Emergency procedures are written and effectively disseminated, for emergencies (such as fire, missing persons, severe weather, behaviour management policy and procedure, power failure, etc.) We have all required emergency policies and procedures in place.
All equipment is appropriate and in good working order
All our plant and equipment are safe and in good working order. Maintenance, repairs and replacement records are kept.
All our tools, equipment and machinery are used by competent operators only. Training records are used to ensure correct use of equipment.
All our tools, equipment and machinery are secured in case of unauthorised use.
Use of COSHH substances is kept to a minimum, control measures are in place, and records kept.
We maintain a COSHH register on site (including data sheets for each COSHH substance).
All of our COSHH substances are risk assessed
All our COSHH substances are safely and securely stored as per requirements.
Adequate First Aid arrangements are available when service users are on site.
We have a First Aid policy in place.
We have a trained First Aider on site when service users are present.
We have a ‘First Aid Appointed Person’ for the site
People on site know what risks are present on site and while involved in various activities, and what has been done (or needs to be done) to avoid harm.
We have a Fire Safety Risk Assessment in place, as required by law.
We have a generic Risk Assessment describing the hazards that may be present on site
We have separate Risk Assessments for each activity that carries significant risk without safety precautions
We have separate personal risk assessments for individuals who, by nature of particular disabilities or behaviour, may alter the level of risk involved in an activity
Risk Assessments are reviewed and updated regularly, at least annually or if there is any significant change in circumstance e.g. near accident etc.
We will respond to any external issues or pressures (such as Covid-19) with appropriate risk assessments
To avoid cross contamination, we have adequate handwashing and toilet facilities on site.
As we have animals on site, we meet the Industry Code of Practice “Preventing or Controlling Ill Health from Animal Contact at Visitor Attractions”.
Suitable and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is issued for relevant operations, and their use enforced.
We have a PPE Policy in place.
We ensure adequate PPE is available at all times.
All signs and markings on site are clearly visible. Any health and safety signage is of an approved design, complying with The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
All our signs and markings are clearly visible
Our Health and safety signs are of an approved design