Medical Imaging 4 mins read

Update on the future of accreditation of diagnostic imaging services

As previously communicated UKAS will continue to provide accreditation for diagnostic imaging beyond June 2024 in accordance with its role as the UK’s national accreditation body.

UKAS operates under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with government, which confirms that UKAS is the only organisation recognised by government to provide accreditation, including that for imaging services.

To address any queries that may have arisen from recent communications from the Royal College of Radiologists and College of Radiographers UKAS has published some further information below.

UKAS has reassured its accredited and applicant organisations that it will continue to deliver nationally recognised accreditation for diagnostic imaging. Furthermore, services can continue to apply for and work towards obtaining UKAS accreditation.

Further information:

For any questions or concerns regarding future accreditation activities, organisations are encouraged to get in touch with their Assessment Manager or a member of the team via [email protected]. A Frequently Asked Questions page can be found here.

What gives UKAS the remit to accredit diagnostic services?

UKAS is the sole national accreditation body recognised to provide accreditation for diagnostic imaging to the QSI standard. UKAS’s role is set out in legislation and in the MoU that it has with government through the Department for Business and Trade. Our assessments are conducted in accordance with the requirements for a national accreditation body.

Why should I retain my UKAS accreditation?

UKAS has a reputation built over 25 years of successful service, growth and investment and is recognised world-wide for its integrity, independence and expertise. UKAS accreditation creates confidence in your service, that you can share with your patients and stakeholders as evidence that the diagnostic services you are providing are of the highest quality. UKAS offers accreditation for other diagnostic and scientific services that you may hold in in your Trust or service, this provides opportunities for a joined-up approach to quality management across the diagnostic disciplines.

Will UKAS continue to use the QSI standard as the basis for its accreditation?

UKAS is appointed by government to provide healthcare accreditation as the National Accreditation Body. The QSI standard is publicly available, and we will continue to use this standard as the basis for UKAS accreditation. All standards are reviewed regularly, and UKAS has a process in place to ensure a smooth transition when we change between standards should the need arise.

Our service is part way through a cycle of accreditation, what should we do?

UKAS will continue to offer accreditation for imaging services in the future. If you are part-way through your accreditation cycle, your surveillance assessments will continue as planned. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your Assessment Manager.

Our service was preparing for accreditation before the announcement. What should we do?

Please continue with the process. We welcome applications for UKAS accreditation at any time. If you would like information about the process for accreditation, and the benefits that UKAS accreditation could bring to your service, please get in touch with us at [email protected]. Our Assessment Managers are trained to support new services through the process of accreditation, and we will continue to offer our supportive pre-assessment package for all services applying to us. We are also developing bitesize webinars for services preparing for accreditation, e-learning modules and short-courses which will be available shortly.

How does the pricing structure work?

UKAS is a not-for-profit organisation as required by UK Law. Fees are based on the time taken to complete each assessment including review of evidence provided by the service, remote assessments and onsite visits with our team of trained technical assessors. Imaging customers currently have a 20% discount from the standard UKAS fees agreed until March 2024 when they will be due for their regular annual review.

Can services continue to use the QSI logo in the future?

The QSI logo has been developed by the Colleges and can continue to be used until June 2024. All UKAS accredited organisations can use the relevant national accreditation symbol, containing the Royal Crown that conveys recognition by the UK government. The UKAS accreditation symbol denotes the accreditation status of a service. If you are an accredited service you will continue to use the UKAS medical accreditation symbol in the future.

If I have further queries, what is the best way to contact UKAS?

If you are already a customer of UKAS, please continue to communicate with your Assessment Manager. If not, please use the [email protected] email address and one of the team will respond to you. We will also be holding regular drop-in sessions. We will be inviting all our contacts, but if you wish to be invited to any of the sessions, please e-mail your details to [email protected].