Towards a definition of quality

The basis of the quality mark and working on quality is having a clear and unambiguous delineation of the concept. Everybody has his own idea of the concept of quality which has resulted in quality being described in many ways. Sometimes people think that it is not necessary at all to describe quality, for “Good wine needs no bush”. However, this only applies to connoisseurs! So let us have transparent criteria for service!
It is not only important that clients know how the lawyer interprets quality, but it is also important for the employees and fellow-lawyers to have a clear defi nition of the concept of quality. To set up a policy aimed at improvement of quality the lawyer will have to name the various elements. Quality within the legal service contains both service with respect to professional content and the process of production:

“Complying with justifi ed expectations of the client in an adequate price-quality ratio by an incorruptible and independent lawyer who meets the criteria of sufficient professional competence, to be tested by the colleagues and to be attuned to the partners in the chain and who works in an office which has been provided with instruments for measuring output and outcome and which applies auditing in accordance with unambiguous and well worked-out standards.”

  • A framework of standards has been written on the basis of ‘best practices’, ISO 9001, the INK model and an abundance of existing material at NOvA. This framework represents a set of criteria, and you should make agreements concerning these with your colleagues. Taken as a whole, these agreements actually constitute your quality policy and risk management system. Viadicte makes use of external auditors (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) who evaluate on the basis of an integrated evaluation programme.

  • With the use of software application, lawyer’s offices can anonymously compare their financial housekeeping with that of other offices. Thus they can obtain insight into the financial position of their own office in comparison with comparable offices in the fields of, for instance, staff expenses, library expenses, turnovers, sickness leave and so on.

  • An extensive survey like the Intomart-surveys only has to be conducted once every four years. In the meantime the offices measure client satisfaction by means of concise evaluations, comparable to the evaluations that must be filled in after courses and congresses. Foundation Viadicte offers example forms to conduct such concise surveys.

  • Law practices that have a permanent quality policy receive a Met Recht Tevreden (‘justifiably satisfied’) seal of approval from Viadicte. The seal of approval signifies that your practice complies with the requirements with regard to know-how, integrity and office operations. Moreover, the seal-of-approval programme promotes efficiency and streamlining within your organisation.