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How we take accreditation schemes into account: NHS trusts

  • Organisations we regulate

A trust may participate in certification schemes for some of its clinical services. These are more commonly known as accreditation schemes.

A trust’s participation in accreditation schemes is reflected in the well-led key question at provider level as evidence of a commitment to quality improvement and assurance. Achieving accreditation under a specific scheme is reflected in the effective key question for the relevant core service.

We will only use an accreditation scheme in this way if it meets key quality standards that assure us of its quality and rigour.

Reducing CQC inspection activity

We will use accreditation schemes that relate to a particular core service to inform and, in some cases, reduce our inspection activity. We only do this if we are assured that a scheme meets quality standards and:

  • there is adequate uptake among NHS trusts, to enable benchmarking
  • the scheme’s standards can be mapped to, and cover the breadth of, CQC’s assessment framework.
  • The Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) helps to develop and support accreditation schemes that enable CQC to use them as part of our regulation. The current approved accreditation schemes are:

Relevant in the acute sector

  • Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy (JAG)
  • Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme (ISAS)
  • Medical Laboratories 15189
  • Improving Quality in Physiological Services Accreditation Scheme (IQIPS)
  • Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark Award in End of Life Care
  • Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA)
  • Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • CHKS International Accreditation Programme
  • Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchair and Seating Services (CECOPS)
  • MacMillan Quality Environment Award (MQEM)

Relevant in the mental health sector

  • Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) covering the following branches:
    • AIMS – WA (Working Age Units)
    • AIMS – PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Units)
    • AIMS – AT (Assessment / triage wards)
    • AIMS – Rehab (Rehabilitation wards)
  • Quality Network for Older Adults Mental Health Services (QNOAMHS)
  • Quality Network for Inpatient Learning Disability Services (QNLD)
  • Quality Network for Inpatient CAMHS (QNIC)
  • Quality Network for Community CAMHS (QNCC)
  • Quality Network for Perinatal Mental Health Services
  • ECT Accreditation Scheme (ECTAS)
  • Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN)
  • Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP)
  • Accreditation for Psychological Therapies Services (APPTS)

Last updated:
16 May 2019