About accreditation

What is accreditation | Accreditation pathway| Tracking Progress | Assessment team

What is accreditation? 

Accreditation is a supportive process of evaluating the quality of clinical services against established standards. Accreditation promotes quality improvement through highlighting areas of best practice and areas for change, encouraging the continued development of the clinical service. Accreditation is a voluntary process for services to engage in.

Having developed standards with a multi-professional group of clinicians, managers and patient representatives, services participating in pulmonary rehabilitation accreditation work 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.

Accreditation pathway

By participating in accreditation, services are enrolled on an ongoing programme of service and quality improvement. A high-level overview of the accreditation pathway is depicted below.

Tracking progress

Participating services have access to the accreditation standards via a self-assessment tool. The tool allows services to review:

  • which standards they meet and have evidence for
  • which standards they meet but need to collate evidence for
  • which standards they are not meeting.

The tool enables services to target their team’s improvement efforts. Downloadable summaries are available which enable services to track and share the progress being made towards achieving PR accreditation.

Once a service can fully demonstrate that they meet the standards, an accreditation assessment will be organised to review the evidence submitted by the service. An on-site assessment will also take place, usually lasting one day.

Award of accreditation is subject to an ongoing annual review process to ensure the standards are continuing to be met. A site assessment is undertaken every five years and between these assessments there is an annual remote review of key pieces of evidence to show that the service is maintaining the standard.

There is an annual service subscription for participating in the programme.


Assessment team

The programme provides a comprehensive training package for supporting assessors.

Typically, the assessment team consists of a physiotherapist or nurse who work in a PR service and a lay assessor, representing the patient voice. They may not have personal experience of using a PR service.

Assessors undergo a blended training programme of both face to face and online learning to fully understand the accreditation pathway, the standards and how to carry out assessments.

Register your interest in becoming an assessor by emailing us at pulmrehab@rcp.ac.uk


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