» Accreditation of Certification Bodies for Clinical Service Certification Schemes

05 December, 2016

Call for Expressions of Interest

In addition to UKAS’ existing accreditation of scientific and diagnostic services, UKAS also has accredited other providers of quality assurance schemes that either certify healthcare services as conforming with defined standards, or inspect and report on healthcare services and patient pathways. UKAS is now pleased to announce a further extension to its work in providing accreditation to underpin confidence in healthcare.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service is planning to support the work that has been undertaken by the Clinical Services Accreditation Alliance (CSAA), by establishing a project to develop accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065 Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services.

As part of the CSAA project to improve and harmonise assurance schemes for clinical services, UKAS has worked with the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to develop guidance, to support the application of ISO/IEC 17065 to assessment of the competence and impartiality of those bodies that operate schemes ‘which assess the quality of clinical services, and award certificates of conformity to those services which demonstrate achievement of the required standards’.   UKAS now intends to run a pilot programme and is inviting expressions of interest from organisations who wish to seek accreditation for this ‘certification’ activity.

Participants in the pilot assessment programme will be required to agree to the terms of reference of the pilot and will be subject to assessment by UKAS against the international standard ISO/IEC 17065.

The pilot programme will consist of the following key stages:

Friday 3rd February 2017: Expressions of interest from potential applicants due.

March/April 2017 (date to be announced): Consultation meeting at the UKAS offices, if required, with those who expressed interest to participate in the pilot including key stakeholders to discuss the objectives and terms of the pilot. This meeting will provide further information about the process, likely costs and timescales (timescales will be set in conjunction with the participants).

Application period: Formal applications for accreditation to be received by UKAS to enable more detailed planning of the assessment of pilot applicants.

Assessment period: Head office and witnessed assessments take place and provisional decisions made to grant accreditation where applicable. Assessment outcomes will be reviewed and any outstanding issues addressed (matters may be referred to HQIP/relevant stakeholders as necessary).

Those who wish to express an interest to participate in the pilot programme are requested to contact the UKAS Development Coordinator (alison.severn@ukas.com) and provide their contact details by no later than 3rd February 2017.

Potential applicants will be provided with outline Pilot Terms of Reference following the meeting proposed for March/April 2017.