Independent living standard published

29 April 2015

BSI, the business standards company has published PAS 278, Principles for the provision of information and advice to individuals to support independent living – Code of practice in conjunction with Innovate UK. The guidance which was developed by BSI using a consensus-based approach, has had input from key organizations such as Age UK, NHS Choices and Public Health England amongst others. 

Policy makers and service providers know that they need to start planning for an ageing society. As the older profile of the population increases, individuals will need to take more responsibility for their own planning, relying on third party information and advice to arrange necessary care and lifestyle support services. It is vital that they are able to trust that information and advice, and that it is accessible, easily understood, accurate, relevant and of a consistent quality. 

Therefore as populations age, associated health concerns can also become a factor and sometimes a burden. Not only does this affect the individual but their carers and the wider community. It is essential for individuals to achieve a level of independence within their surroundings, to improve quality of life and wellbeing. 

PAS 278 recommends procedures for the provision of information and advice related to independent living for individuals, with or without a pre-existing condition. Ultimately, it will enable them to make informed choices about long term care and support needs and maximize opportunities for independent living. 

Anne Hayes Head of Market Development for Governance at BSI said: “As populations age, those within our communities who suffer debilitating conditions (and their carers) face new challenges in their everyday lives. We aim to meet this need head on by being at the forefront of innovation.”

PAS 278 includes principles related to:

  • Options, planning, informed choices, consistency and trustworthiness
  • Individualized (tailored) advice and information
  • Relevance
  • Transparency
  • Personal journey
  • Autonomy and empowerment
  • Information and advice for the person, and their support group
  • Financial, health and wellbeing, care, and housing aspects

The PAS sets guidelines for good practice for organizations, providing information or advice about independent living and care services for older people. Therefore it is applicable to any person or organization in the UK that provides information or advice about financial matters, health and wellbeing, care or housing to individuals, their families or carers.  It is also relevant to other consumers such as those with long term care needs. 

PAS 278 was developed using a collaborative approach involving experts from across the industry. Some of the other organizations involved include: Consumer Empowerment Alliance, Institute of Financial Planning, Longhurst Group, Office of the Public Guardian, Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) and Tunstall.