Accreditation process

Note: During the pilot phase, services will work to a condensed timeline and support the programme team in testing the standards and process in an inpatient setting. To understand how the pilot process will work, see here.

In the post pilot phase, the process will be broadly as described in the image below.

Participating services work to a pathway which involves self-assessment and improvement against the standards. Services can take anywhere between 18-24 months to be ready for an assessment, though this time frame varies depending on the support and time available in the service; there is no set deadline to have an assessment and the DCAP team understand there are many factors influencing how services progress.

Services that are awarded accreditation submit evidence annually to demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the standards and have a thorough assessment every 5 years carried out by our assessment team.

Tracking progress

Participating services have access to the accreditation standards, evidence requirement and a range of resources through a bespoke website. The website helps services review:

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

Undertaking the self-assessment enables services to target their team’s improvement efforts and work towards achieving DCAP accreditation.

Services are supported through the accreditation journey with remote events and access to a resource library, which contain examples of best practice seen across the UK.

Accreditation is not mandatory for services and there is an annual subscription to participate in the programme.

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