Accreditation Unit

Accreditation is a supportive process of evaluating the quality of clinical services and promotes quality improvement through highlighting areas of best practice and areas for change, encouraging the continued development of the clinical service. 

What we are doing

The RCP has a long history of driving up high quality care by setting standards against what good practice should look like. The Accreditation Unit at the RCP manages a range of accreditation programmes, with the aim of improving the quality, safety and experience of patients and improving service delivery.

We do this by developing standards with a multi-professional group of clinicians, managers and patients and working to an accreditation pathway which involves self-assessment and quality improvement against the standards. Accredited services submit evidence annually to demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the standards and have a 5-yearly on-site assessment carried out by our experienced assessment team.

The Accreditation Unit also supports the quality assurance process and certification of endoscopy trainee practitioners.

Why accreditation is essential

Accreditation is a voluntary process for services to engage with. It is a team-led process and acts as an indicator of quality for patients, services, commissioners and the wider community.

Benefits of accreditation include:

  • Raising the profile of a service across the organisation and leveraging support for investment
  • Independently measuring services against national standards and reducing variation
  • The opportunity to showcase the achievements of a service and the quality provided to patients
  • Inspiring services to continue to achieve increasingly high standards
  • Demonstrating a service’s dedication to improvement, patient safety and reducing risk.

Put simply, accreditation means that patients can have increased confidence in their service and be assured of receiving high quality consistent care. 

Hear from clinical services about the benefits of accreditation

Accreditation is supported by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and a number of our RCP accreditation programmes have already been recognised as an information source to inform inspections.

Our accreditation programmes

The Accreditation Unit manages accreditation programmes in a number of clinical services including:

Within our JAG endoscopy programme, we also support the delivery of high quality and standardised training for the endoscopy workforce. We have designed an e-portfolio to allow endoscopy trainees to record their endoscopic experience in order to demonstrate their performance and competence in core endoscopic procedures.

This further supports the delivery of excellent patient care by ensuring endoscopists are continually developing their practice. More information about this can be found on the JAG website.  

Get involved

If you are interested in developing an accreditation programme in your clinical service, or have any other queries, please do not hesitate in contacting the team on +44 (0)20 3075 1620 or


New IQAS standards launched for all allergy services in April 2019

IQAS has launched updated standards for allergy services in April 2019, for both general and specialised allergy services. The standards have been released alongside a set of clinical quality and workforce metrics census, to be captured annually. The revised standards have been aligned with a nationally recognised standard owned and published by the British Standards Institute, which are specifically for clinical service accreditation schemes.

To find out more, please see the IQAS website.

What we have produced

The RCP offers a range of accreditation services, with the aim of improving the quality, safety and outcomes of healthcare, the patient experience and service delivery. 
The CSAA is a collection of colleges, professional bodies, regulators, commissioners and patients who have come together to standardise and improve the quality of healthcare service accreditation.