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.

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 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.

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.

The benefits of accreditation

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. In addition JAG oversees the bowel cancer screener accreditation panel and developed the National Endoscopy Database, which collects live procedure data from endoscopy units across the UK into one central database.

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.

Work with the RCP

If you are interested in working with us to develop 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

Code of conduct

This document defines the code of conduct that applies to all independent contractors working on behalf of the RCP Accreditation Unit. The code of conduct includes performance of duties, conflict of interest, confidentiality and breach. Adhering to this code of conduct is a minimum expectation of all independent contractors.

Accreditation Unit code of conduct

Expenses policy

This policy sets out responsibilities for those claiming expenses from the RCP Accreditation Unit. It also provides information on the level of reimbursement to be expected for expenses arising as a result of conducting official business and ensures there are processes in place for conforming to relevant legislation.

Expenses policy

Policy on independent consultancy by assessors

This policy clarifies the Accreditation Unit’s (AU's) position and expectations of assessors providing consultancy to services. It applies to all professional and lay assessors working for one of the AU’s accreditation schemes.

Policy on independent consultancy by assessors