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Quality standards FAQs

The HPass Quality Standards draw together best practice in humanitarian learning and assessment from across the global humanitarian sector.

The standards are available in the form of handbooks and can be used by your organisation as guidance documents, and to review and improve the quality of the humanitarian learning and assessment you provide.

There are two sets of Standards, each contained in a handbook:

The Quality Standards are for any organisation involved in delivery of humanitarian learning and assessment. These may be NGOs, learning and development departments of INGOs or UN agencies, private sector organisations, civil society organisations or academic institutions.

The Quality Standards are intended for use by any learning or assessment provider in the humanitarian sector. All organisations can use the HPass Quality Standards, regardless of their size, thematic focus, geographical location or whether they are not-for-profit, or private institution.

For large organisations, it is possible to certify part of the organisation, for example a specific department, rather than the whole organisation.

The Quality Standards were developed over a period of two years in consultation with four hundred organisations worldwide. Consultation took place via a mixture of online surveys and regional workshops. The process was led by Bioforce, RedR and Pearson in partnership with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy.

The Standards were piloted in 2018 and feedback was incorporated into the final versions.

Two additional services are available (see separate FAQs to find out more about these services)

  • Support Services providing hands-on assistance to integrate the Standards into your work

Quality Review to enable you to be assessed against the Standards, and achieve HPass Certified Status. This can be used to promote the quality of your services, or demonstrate the quality of your learning offer internally to staff and volunteers.

Each set of Standards contains eight standards for best practice delivery of humanitarian learning or assessment. These are supported by key actions to enable you to verify whether or not you are meeting each standard. The Standards suggest evidence you would see in your organisation to determine whether or not you are fulfilling the requirements of the key action.

For example, this is Standard 1 under the Humanitarian Learning Standards:

  1. Relevant learning needs are identified and prioritised

Key actions

A learning provider will:

  • 1.1 periodically identify humanitarian learning needs using evidence

  • 1.2 prioritise which learning needs to address

  • 1.3 identify competencies that need to be developed using relevant competency frameworks when available

  • 1.4 analyse target learners’ existing competencies to identify gaps

  • 1.5 analyse target learners’ characteristics, learning preferences and requirements

The Standards suggest evidence required to meet each of the key actions, and provide details guidance on how to implement each standard.

To see an up to date list of organisations that have completed a Quality Review and been awarded HPass Certified Status, click here.

To find out more about the Quality Standards, please download the handbooks here or email