Quality Support in Safe Hands

19 Mar 2013

Sport England extends Quest/NBS contract for two years

"Quest and the NBS is a fabulous return on investment. If we are to continue challenging standards, cutting costs, driving best practice and creating successful leisure facilities that have a positive impact on the community they serve, they're an indispensable tool. We're delighted to fund the schemes and extend the Right Directions contract for another two years. It was an easy decision for us to make; we at Sport England hope to maintain the partnership for years to come." 
These words, said to more than 200 delegates at the third annual Quest and NBS Conference by Charles Johnson, Director of Facilities at Sport England, were just some of the positive feedback to come out of the event in Holywell Park, Loughborough. 
Chief Executive of Halo Leisure, Jon Argent, said: "This was another excellent Quest conference, with excellent speakers presenting interesting and relevant content. Well done to Right Directions and Leisure-net Solutions; Quest and the NBS are going from strength to strength." 
Caroline Constantine, Director of Right Directions and Quest Operations Director, said: "Right Directions and Leisure-net Solutions are extremely glad that Sport England and the Quest board have been pleased with the extensive changes we've made to scheme and how we are managing it. All the fantastic feedback at the conference helped demonstrate to Sport England that enthusiasm for Quest continues to grow year on year, and Right Directions are doing a good job!" 
Plans revealed at the conference for Quest in 2013 include the launch of the newly remodeled Sports Development (SD) model, new modules focusing on arts development, health sites and libraries for the Facility Management (FM) model and, later on in the year, the roll out of the new award - Quest Combo. "Our new double assessment will include SD and FM, and is designed to help leisure management operators, schools, Further and Higher Education, and specialist facilities to truly embrace best practice across the board," said Constantine. 
As part of the day, Quest Awards were handed out to more than 80 leisure facilities, all of which have been participating in the scheme for 10 years. Fareham Leisure Centre, run by SLM, also received an award for being the first and only facility to get an Outstanding score in the advanced Quest Stretch model. 
Key themes to arise from one-day symposium were the need to harness the unprecedented consumer awareness of physical activity following the 2012 Olympics, and the necessity to form stable partnerships. "Now more than ever we need a broad coalition of public, private, big and small health sector partners - we have to change and innovate or we'll stagnate," said Dave Stalker, CEO of UK Active. "The time has never been better to join forces, but we won't succeed if we can't guarantee we are experts in our arena. Quality and standards must always underpin what we are about as an industry." 
Charles Johnson went on to stress the importance of efficiencies in the current constrained climate, encouraging operators to see budget cuts for the opportunity they pose, rather than the threat. "Sport is not a statutory obligation for local authorities, but it can offer a cost-effective solution for some of their obligations which are statutory. Working with Quest and the NBS can help facilities review operational arrangements, decrease capital spend and reduce revenue costs while still achieving growth in participation," he said. 
"Once again the conference shows that Quest is helping the industry to find solutions to the challenges we're facing," said Rich Millard, Sports Development Director at DC Leisure. "It's refreshing to see key partners advocating a more unified approach and inspiring to see that, despite the tough economic times, our industry still believes we can drive participation - and reduce costs - in the future."

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