The Reach Standards

Scope of this chapter

The Reach Standards are a set of nine voluntary standards to ensure people are supported to live the life they choose.

This chapter contains ‘I’ statements for each standard. These statements illustrate what achieving the standards means for the people we support and can help us to know if we are meeting them and what we may need to do differently.

The Reach Standards are not a statutory requirement but are best practice and recommended by the Care Quality Commission.

Note: The Reach Standards (and therefore this chapter) only applies to supported living services providing care and support to people with a learning disability and/or Autism.

Note: Service providers are responsible for deciding whether to adopt the standards and how to do this. It is not the intention or purpose of this chapter to tell providers or managers what they must do to deliver their services.

Related Chapters and Guidance

It’s up to me who I live with, or that I live on my own if I want to.

If I want to live with someone, I get help to work out what kind of person I want to live with.

I choose my new housemates, along with any other people who live with me.

If I’m unhappy about who I live with, I get help to change things.

I am supported to live near my family and local community if I want to.

Someone I trust helps me to work out what kind of place I want to live in – and where I want to live.

Someone helps me to understand what choices I have so that I can decide for myself.

Someone helps me understand what money and resources I have to make this decision.

If I am not happy with where I live, I get help to change things.

Someone helps me to understand my rights and responsibilities as a tenant or homeowner.

If I rent, I have an easy-to-understand tenancy agreement and it gives me the same rights as anyone else.

My landlord has no control over my support workers.

My support workers have no control over my housing.

I decide (with my housemates if I have any) what happens in my home and how the rooms are used.

I decide (with my housemates if I have any) how my home looks.

My home does not look or feel like a workplace for supporters. They do not have an office, open my front door to visitors, or hold meetings in it unless I say it is okay. They do not have their post sent to my house.

No one has the keys to my home unless I have said it is okay. Even then, they should always knock and wait for me (or someone I ask) to let them in.

I am helped to plan the right support, in the right place, from the right people for me. Supporters are there to support me, not do things for me.

I get help to think about the kind of people I want to support me, e.g. whether I prefer men or women, people of a certain age, the skills they need, the type of personality and interests.

I am supported to think beyond paid support, e.g. time with friends, family, neighbours etc.

I take part in choosing my supporters, advocates and circle of support (if I have one).

My supporters know what kind of help I want and don’t want from them. I get just the right amount of help for me.

If I am not happy with my supporters or the job they do, I will get help to complain about this, to make changes.

There is some flexibility in the way I receive support, which respects that sometimes I don’t want to stick to a fixed plan.

My supporters know who is important to me. They help me spend time with who I want.

I get enough support and space to help me with my relationships, and I get to know new people when I want to.

I have the same rights as everyone else to choose my relationships.

My supporters (including friends and family) offer support and advice to help me make choices about my friendships and relationships.

My friendships and relationships are my responsibility and I can sometimes make mistakes, like everyone else.

I have the same rights as any adult to have loving and/or sexual relationships with people I choose. I have support to explore this.

I am supported to explore my sexuality.

My girlfriend/boyfriend can stay over if I want them to.

My supporters help me think about these things and plan with me how to keep me as safe as possible.

People chat with me often about whether I want to make changes in my life. We talk about ideas and possibilities.

If I do want to make changes, I get help to plan and make them happen.

People around me listen to what I want and how I feel. I get support and feel comfortable talking with them about my future.

I can plan how I want my future to be. I get help to plan with people who care about me and in a way that helps me to have more choice and encourages me to be more independent.

If my health changes, or I need help as I am getting older, someone helps me with planning for my future.

If I need meetings to make changes, I decide who will come and how the meetings are run. I am always the most important person at meetings that are about me.

People understand and protect my human rights.

I am supported to get an independent advocate if I need one.

I am treated with respect, so I feel safe.

Supporters know my fears and worries, and they help me to feel safe in and outside my home.

I get friendly advice about my body and health, but I don’t have to take it. I am supported to make my own choices.

I am given health information about health support available to me, e.g. health checks, so I can make decisions.

I get help to understand about treatments and medicines and about choices I have.

I have a say in what is safe for me. Supporters help me to take risks sensibly so that I can do what is important to me. I am not stopped from doing things just because other people worry.

I am supported to explore my community and to get involved.

I am supported to share my interests, talents and skills with my neighbours and the wider community.

I am supported to join groups that I am interested in and to make links with local people.

I have the support I need to get a job, work experience or a volunteer role.

I am encouraged to learn new skills.

I am supported to explore how I can get around my local community as independently as possible.

I am supported to understand my rights and responsibilities as a tenant or homeowner, as a citizen, and as someone who receives support.

I am supported to understand my responsibilities about money and how to use it. This helps me to use my money the way I want to.

I know how to complain in a way that is easy for me. I get support to do this. When I complain, people listen to me and take me seriously.

I know what information other people keep about me. It is private and kept in a way that I can understand. I can see this information whenever I want.

Supporters help me to understand the things that are going on around me that might affect me, e.g. change of supporters.

My supporters help me to understand the news and politics so that I can vote if I want.

My supporters have a good understanding of the benefits I am entitled to, if any.

I am supported to go out in the evenings or weekends and stay up late if I want to.

There is a practical guide from Paradigm to help services implement and evidence the standards. Paradigm is the development and training organisation that developed the Reach Standards.

Paradigm: A Practical Guide to the Reach Standards

This guide contains:

  • An overview of the standards
  • Reach conversation sheets
  • Ideas into practice: Evidencing the Reach Standards

Paradigm can also provide Reach training and have a range of training packages available.

For further information see the Reach pages of the Paradigm website.

Last Updated: March 24, 2022