The EQUASS certification programmes are based on ten Principles for Quality, a widely approved set of European Principles for Quality which includes the perspectives of Europe's most important stakeholders in the social sector.
The ten Principles for Quality comply with the leading principles of the Voluntary European Quality Framework for Social Services (SPC, 2010) and the Common Quality Framework for Social Services of General Interest (Prometheus, 2011).The EQUASS sector-specific quality framework for certification can be operated at the European level as it is based on universal key values which are translated into specific criteria and operational indicators.
EQUASS certification can be obtained on two levels: EQUASS Assurance and EQUASS Excellence. The two labels of certification are non-compulsory and sector-driven to overcome the fact that regulating social services is a competence of the European Member States. The two EQUASS certification programmes are based on the same framework and the same criteria. They certify two different levels of Quality.