Once a service can demonstrate evidence to meet the standards, an accreditation assessment will be organised. This involves bringing together a multi-professional assessment team, including a consultant, nurse and lay representative, to review the evidence submitted by the service. The assessment also includes remote interviews with staff and patients at the service, which helps to triangulate all the information about the service and make a judgment about whether accreditation can be awarded.

There are three possible outcomes of an accreditation assessment; accreditation awarded, accreditation not awarded or accreditation deferred. Accreditation deferred indicates that the assessment team felt that a few areas of the standards needed improvement or additional evidence to demonstrate full achievement. A service has a maximum of 6 months to improve on those standards before a final outcome is reached; at the end of this period, accreditation is either awarded or not awarded. A deferral is a common outcome of assessments, and can help services ensure they have senior management support.

Accreditation is awarded for five years and then another site assessment will take place. Between the assessments, there is an annual remote review of key pieces of evidence to show that the service is maintaining the DCAP standards.

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