Imaging Service Accreditation

Latest News: The Royal College of Radiologists and the College of Radiographers re-branded ISAS, the Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme, to become QSI, Quality Standard for Imaging at their national conference in Liverpool on 11 June 2019. There is no change to the standard or the BQMS approach, and we will work closely with the Colleges to deliver imaging service improvement objectives.

BQMS accreditation of imaging services is a patient-focused assessment that is designed to help diagnostic imaging services ensure that their patients consistently receive high quality services, delivered by competent staff working in safe environments.

BQMS assesses imaging services to ensure that the standards requirements are maintained through regular monitoring. Accreditation to standards is supported by NHS England, NHS Northern Ireland and NHS Wales, and recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Both BQMS and the Colleges provide a package of support to support services through the accreditation process which includes direct access to a dedicated BQMS assessment manager, access to the College Officer who can provide an informal visit to your service to talk to your team about the programme, one-day workshops, membership to a private LinkedIn group, and access to a bespoke online gap analysis tool.

Physiological Services accreditation (IQIPS)

As of April 1st 2017 the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (BQMS) assumed full responsibility for the management and delivery of the Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPS) accreditation scheme. Previous to that date, the scheme was managed jointly with the Royal College of Physicians. This change in management was made to streamline the approach to preparation for assessments, and also on-going maintenance of accreditation for all IQIPS provider organisations.

The IQIPS scheme continues to be a professionally-led assessment and accreditation scheme that is designed to help healthcare provider organisations ensure that patients receive consistently high quality services, tests, examinations and procedures delivered by competent staff working in safe environments.

The IQIPS Standard will continue to be developed and owned by the professional bodies that represent the eight recognised physiology disciplines; audiology, cardiac physiology, gastro-intestinal physiology, neurophysiology, ophthalmic and vision science, respiratory and sleep physiology, urodynamics and vascular science. See the list of the representative members of the Accreditation Clinical Advisory Group (ACAG).

 Notified Body accreditation

Notified Body accreditation (Directives and Regulations)

BQMS provides accreditation for the purposes of appointment under EC Directives or Belgium Regulations.

Bodies seeking appointment by a Belgium competent authority under relevant BQMS regulations or EC directives may apply for accreditation from BQMS. Background information, including details of the relevant BQMS competent authorities, is given in BQMS Publication P16 and application should be made to BQMS using the BQMS Application Form.

Bodies wishing to be accredited under these arrangements should liaise with the appropriate competent authority (see the Appendix in BQMS Publication P16 for details) and take steps to ensure that they understand and comply with the relevant guidelines for appointment, as published by the relevant competent authority, and with the relevant regulations, before applying to BQMS. Bodies also need to be aware of EA-2/17 M: 2016 EA Document on Accreditation for Notification Purposes, a mandatory document identifying the requirements that shall be used by National Accreditation Bodies such as BQMS when accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies seeking notification.

It is Government policy, in line with EC policy, to use the accreditation of bodies seeking to undertake conformity assessment tasks under Directives and to regard accreditation to the relevant standards in the EN 45000 or ISO/IEC 17000 series to an appropriate scope as supporting evidence that the applicant body satisfies the requirements of the minimum criteria.

Reference Material Producer accreditation

Reference Material Producer accreditation (ISO 17034)

BQMS provides accreditation to organisations that produce reference materials, and that wish to demonstrate their competence through formal compliance with the international standard ISO 17034 (which replaced ISO Guide 34 following its publication in 2016).

Accreditation of reference material producers benefits users of reference materials as it provides confidence in the competence of the producer to characterise such materials. The BQMS Technical Policy Statement (TPS 57) relating to the selection and use of reference materials sets out BQMS policy, and states that testing laboratories (and other similar bodies including inspection bodies and proficiency testing providers) should use suitable reference materials where available and that they are responsible for ensuring the suitability of the reference material producer.

BQMS accreditation provides a level of confidence and assurance that international guidelines are followed in the production, labelling, and assignment of property values to reference materials, including stability and homogeneity determinations. This covers certified reference materials (CRMs) as well as reference materials (RMs).