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Update on Physical Sciences and Engineering Quality Improvement Project (PSQIP)

An update on PSQIP following the 9 Jan Stakeholder event, including presentations from the meeting


This important project was launched with a stakeholder workshop held in London on 9 January 2014. The event brought together keynote speakers from the Royal College of Physicians, UKAS, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and the Academy for Healthcare Science and a wide range of stakeholder representatives from professional bodies and organizations either using or providing physical sciences and engineering based healthcare services.

The speakers provided a comprehensive introduction to the role and structure of accreditation schemes within the healthcare sector. The meeting also explored the role of International Standards as well as those developed by Professional Organizations. Speakers highlighted the statement from Professor Sir Mike Richards of the Care Quality Commission on the important role that service accreditation will play in the future regulation of healthcare providers.

The development of standards such as this will be vital to deliver robust inspections of healthcare services as well as drive quality improvement.

An important part of the workshop was the breakout groups where the proposals for the structure and content of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Quality Improvement Programme were discussed. Although it is intended that the programme links with the IQIPS (Improving Quality in Physiological Sciences) programme the group was specifically asked to consider how a new standard might be linked to ISO 15189:2012 as an existing standard.

The breakout groups and stakeholders contributed significantly to an understanding of the issues involved in creating a new quality improvement programme and the necessary links to existing schemes. There was a clear request that any scheme did not add to the administrative burden of service departments.


The outputs required from the workshop were to review, update and agree the key standards domains and the associated core standards to facilitate a wider consultation exercise. The group was also asked to provide clear guidance as to whether the standard could be based upon the ISO 15189:2012 standard and lead to accreditation under this standard.

Timescale and delivery

In order to meet the exacting timescale for the delivery of the programme the group discussed the key service areas that should be included in the early pilot phase. The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine will be developing a number of task and finish groups to develop service specific quality indicators and accreditation guidance notes. The pilot areas will be agreed in mid February when further information will be provided on how interested parties might engage further with the programme. It is important that there is wide stakeholder engagement in this phase to ensure consistency and coherence in the final standard with other professional standards.

Next steps

The project team is currently reviewing the outputs from the workshop to provide final documentation on the core standards and plans to initiate a consultation exercise in early February. Presentations from the workshop and draft standards documents will be available on the Academy for Healthcare Science website. Further engagement with stakeholders is planned by the AHCS project team to clarify issues raised. Further discussions will take place with standards and accreditation bodies to understand how the programme can meet the requirements to permit accreditation under an international standard.

The Academy for Healthcare Science would be pleased to hear from individuals or groups that are interested in engaging with this exciting project. Please contact the PSQIP lead Dr Peter Jarritt  ()


Presentations from the event

Accreditation Methodology (Lorraine Turner) UKAS 

International and Professional Standards (Lorraine Turner)

Accreditation Phys sciences RCP (Caroline Rogers)




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