Practice Accreditation and Quality Practice Award

As we are currently reviewing our strategic approach to Practice Accreditation we are not accepting applications for the Quality Programmes. The following information is provided to give an understanding of our current quality programmes. Practices currently signed up to these programmes will complete them by autumn 2014.

Quality Programmes

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is committed to supporting GPs and the wider practice team to deliver high quality care to patients. The RCGP have considerable experience and expertise in setting standards, administering education and continuing professional development provision that is bespoke for General Practice.

RCGP Quality Programmes aim to establish a culture and ethos along with underpinning processes and frameworks that actively support continuous improvement throughout the whole of the practice. Taking part in our quality initiatives, designed specifically for general practice, will help you identify which of your processes may need to change to make sure you meet the needs of your patients and their carers.

The College has developed two quality initiatives: Practice Accreditation (PA) and Quality Practice Award (QPA). Both awards aim to help practices improve their quality of care for patients and their carers.

Practices that successfully complete Practice Accreditation can continue through the quality programme by embarking on the Quality Practice Award with the programme acknowledging the standards completed preventing duplication of effort. QPA is the highest award attainable from the RCGP. Those practices that wish to aim for excellence should embark on QPA from the offset. Practices that wish to improve their organisational process and begin a journey of quality improvement should embark on PA.

The RCGP Quality Journey

Essential Standards

These core standards represent the essential standards that every practice should meet as a minimum. Over 80% of the criteria are mapped directly to the CQC essential standards which will be of particular interest to practices in England. The essential standards are present in both PA and QPA.

Practice Accreditation

Recognises practice teams who have demonstrated organisational Good Practice in the delivery of primary care.

Quality Practice Award

Recognises practice teams who have demonstrated both clinical and organisational Excellent Practice in the delivery of primary care.  

Practice Accreditation

The RCGP Practice Accreditation award is a thoroughly tested framework that enables practice teams to improve their organisational quality of care. The straightforward process has been designed to be manageable for practices of all sizes. Forward looking practices will start to see immediate benefits by progressing towards accreditation.

The standards reflect key aspects of primary care, particularly the organisational systems and processes that ensure delivery of safe and quality care, facilitate on-going team development and recognise the contribution to quality improvement that can be made by the whole practice team. Practice Accreditation is a quality standard aimed and tailored specifically for General Practice.

About RCGP Practice Accreditation

The Practice Accreditation standards have been developed in partnership with the University of Manchester, and in collaboration with the Royal College of Nursing, Care Quality Commission, Department of Health, NHS Confederation Primary Care Trusts, the British Medical Association and Patient Groups.

The 78 Practice Accreditation standards are spilt into 6 domains, 42 of the Standards are mapped to processes, protocols and systems that specifically support the requirements of CQC registration

Quality Practice Award (QPA)

Quality Practice Award is a standards-based quality accreditation process designed to improve patient care by encouraging and supporting practices to deliver the very highest quality care to their patients. In operation since 1996, Quality Practice Award recognises the commitment of the entire team, including the attached staff, in providing high quality care for patients within a learning and adaptive environment.

Quality Practice Award is the highest attainable award available from the college encompassing a large clinical component and assessment of patient experience. Quality Practice Award asks the contributing team members to demonstrate reflective learning resulting in a quality initiative that is a holistic process of quality improvement.

Quality Practice Award requires practices to submit a portfolio of written evidence set against a number of standards covered in six modules. When a practice’s written evidence is complete, a full day assessment visit is conducted by a panel of three, which will comprise a combination of GPs, Nurses, and Managers.

Resources for current QPA practices

Getting started

Assessment modules

You’ll be assigned a QPA adviser, who will advise you on how to prepare your application and tell you when they think you’re ready to submit your documentation for assessment.

Formatting guidance for submissions  

  • make sure submissions are bound or securely held within large folders – don’t overfill them
  • written evidence should be typed in 12 CPI on A4 size sheets
  • start a new page for each criterion
  • present the criterion first, then the evidence
  • number each page and index the submission, referencing the appropriate modules
  • don’t use of poly-pockets or multiple appendices
  • make sure patients can not be identified – avoid using initials or dates of birth the
  • proof read your submission to eliminate typing errors
  • it’s a good idea to ask your QPA adviser to check your submission

Assessment visit

Once we’ve received your submission, we’ll arrange for an assessment team to visit your practice. It’s a full day visit, and the team will need a room at your practice to work from. The visit is intended to be a positive experience for the practice.

Other useful documents

For more information on QPA please email:

For more information on Practice Accreditation please email:

If you’re in Northern Ireland, email

Find courses & events

The item has been added to your basket.

Continue shopping

Go to basket

This item is out of stock.

Continue shopping

The item is out of stock.

Yes Continue shopping