When a service registers for accreditation, they are committing to an ongoing annual programme of quality improvement, assessment and maintenance. This offers many benefits for a service:
- Provide independent and impartial recognition that the service provider has objectively demonstrated their competence, providing external validation and a badge of quality.
- Identify good practice so that it may be furthered and built upon.
- Identify sub-optimal practice so that it may be improved.
- Provide a standard for all services to work towards, improving consistency across services.
- Identify gaps in existing services so that they may be remedied.
- Identify the staff and other resources required to deliver an effective service.
- Gather workload data systematically to inform optimal use of resources.
- Encourage networking through appropriate professional societies and groups.
- Establish evidence-based local referral guidelines and indications for patient referral.
- Establish agreed patient referral pathways.
- Develop and promulgate cost-effective management guidelines and standardise care.
- Inform efforts by patient groups to get the local services patients require.
"The work required to achieve accreditation cannot be underestimated but it is so worthwhile... it demonstrates to patients and commissioners our capability, competence and commitment to providing audiology services. The whole team felt a great sense of achievement when we achieved our accreditation."
Tony Kay, Head of Audiology Services, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, IQIPS accreditation scheme