Imaging (QSI) 3 mins read

Important changes for the accreditation of medical imaging services ‍

Following recent communications from the Royal College of Radiologists and the College of Radiographers regarding the QSI Scheme, UKAS has written to all accredited and applicant diagnostic imaging services  regarding the future of the accreditation for this scheme.  

More specifically, UKAS has confirmed with the Colleges that our agreement with them will come to an end in June 2024, in a year’s time. The Colleges have not developed their plans for the future of the QSI standard and as such UKAS has expressed its disappointment that this change has been made without prior consultation with UKAS or its Imaging Providers at this acute time for the NHS.  

UKAS has confirmed that the decision by the colleges does not affect the UKAS accreditation  for diagnostic imaging. 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. 

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 the QSI standard. 

NHSE continues to support the drive for improved quality and safety of diagnostic and scientific services and strongly supports the use of UKAS accreditation to provide evidence of safe and competent services. NHSE has committed to embedding UKAS accreditation in service specifications and contracting arrangements for diagnostic and scientific services, including the services offered via Community Diagnostic Centres. 

What will UKAS be doing?

 UKAS will continue to work with NHSE and the healthcare science leads in the devolved countries to harmonise the approach to accreditation. There are opportunities to better align the criteria and assessment processes across the diagnostic services to make implementation more efficient. There is potential to reduce the complexity of the applicable criteria and process that has previously been prescribed by the Colleges.   

UKAS will engage with services and stakeholders further in the coming months to consult on opportunities for improvement and will seek to continue to work with professional bodies, medical royal colleges, and other organisations to ensure their plans for their quality improvement activities support the path to UKAS accreditation. 

Access to expertise

UKAS has confirmed that its contractual arrangements with the 112 peer and lay assessors who have been trained by UKAS and are authorised to participate in UKAS assessments are not affected by the decision. UKAS will also retain our six radiographers who are permanent members of staff that lead and manage assessments. 

Further information

We appreciate that this news may have caused uncertainty and concern, however, seek to assure all customers that UKAS will continue to provide accreditation to all existing and applicant organisations. 

For any questions or concerns regarding future accreditation activities, organisations are encouraged to get in touch with their Assessment Manager or the team via [email protected]