There are 54 Leader groups of different sizes and compositions in Finland. The purpose of Leader quality work is to polish the diamond: to strengthen both the commitment of the boards of the groups and the role of the groups as strong experts of local development and to clarify the interface with the Centres for Economic Development Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres). The quality work already launched during the previous programme period also gave the groups the opportunity to learn from their peers and encourage each other.
Programme period 2014–2020 also invests in quality work, and peer audits between the Leader groups have indeed now started. The groups have themselves chosen their audit partner. According to the criteria, the group's partner must not be located in the area of the same ELY Centre. Peer auditing is voluntary, but all groups wanted to take on the challenge.
During the audit round, at least the state of the quality work in the Leader groups is reviewed. In addition, it is recommended that the audit partners choose at least one process for a review.
The first audit round should be completed in April 2018 when one of the two annual joint meetings of the groups (Leader seminar on topical issues) takes place. In the seminar, an overview of the situation, the gallery of good practices and experiences from peer auditing will be discussed. The general observations made in the audits will be reported to the ministries and to the appointed Leader quality team.