Accreditation and quality assurance

The NICE accreditation and quality assurance service assesses the processes that external organisations use to produce their own guidance and advice.

If these assessments show an organisation is producing guidance, which is of a good standard, we award them accreditation. This gives them a recognised mark of credibility amongst their peers and the general public.

We also produces a range of quality assured resources to support the health and social care sector in England. These include:

  • Cochrane case studies – these identify practices that could be significantly reduced or stopped completely. They aim to release funds or resources without negatively affecting the quality of care.
  • Do not do recommendations – these identify clinical practice that should be discontinued or not used routinely. They link to all relevant NICE guidance.
  • Endorsement – this is where we have reviewed relevant resources that support the implementation of NICE guidance and found them to be of good quality.
  • Shared learning – this collection provides a set of examples where health and social care organisations have implemented our guidance in an innovative and effective way.
  • Quality and productivity – a set of case studies where we have assessed the initiatives for saving money and improving quality in health and social care.

Highlights of 2016-17:

Six new and six returning members

We awarded accreditation to 12 institutions. Six of these were new applications, 6 of them were renewals of organisations we had previously assessed.

A new light-touch programme

When we launched the NICE accreditation programme in 2009, the aim was to ensure that all guidance developers were working to the same high standards, and that their recommendations are based on robust evidence.

As of 2016 the majority of external guidance producers have been awarded accreditation.

We now plan to launch a light-touch renewal programme in the future to uphold relationships with accredited guidance producers. Information about this will be shared on the NICE website when finalised.

Sharing best practice

Each year, organisations across the health and social care sector submit examples where they have followed our guidance in innovative and exemplary ways.

Our judging panel produces a shortlist of entries; the top three or four finalists are invited to present at the shared learning awards session of the NICE annual conference.

Last year, Somerset gastroenterology flexible healthcare team was crowned the winner for their work on improving care for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Watch the video to find our more:

NICE Shared Learning Awards 2016 - meet the winner

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In 2016/17, a total of 66 shared learning examples were published on the NICE website. A shortlist of 20 featured as poster presentations at the 2017 NICE Annual Conference. And four finalists presented to the judges:

Spreading the word of NICE across England

Our endorsement programme reviews relevant resources that support the implementation of NICE guidance to check that they are accurate and of good quality.

We endorsed 24 resources in 2016/17. All of these will support the implementation of our guidance:

Saving money whilst improving care

Quality and productivity case studies are a set of examples where we have assessed the initiatives for saving money and improving quality in health and social care.

We published seven quality and productivity case studies in 2016/17.

Each one details where NICE guidance has been followed and patient care has improved as a result. Some examples include:

  • Salford Royal NHS foundation trust provide a lower limb vascular assessment and triage service. GPs can refer their patients here rather than hospital. This helps to free-up emergency hospital appointments.
  • Queen Alexandra hospital has created a system to reduce waste costs in two of its surgical theatres by using alternative equipment when appropriate and only opening new supplies when they were needed.
  • South Norfolk healthcare community interest company have developed an initiative to raise awareness of lower urinary tract symptoms in men so they are referred for the right treatment as soon as possible.
Now you've finished this page we think you might be interested in reading about 'Quality standards' or our 'Medicines and technology programme'