ACSA applied to independent sector organisations

In 2018, following successful pilots, the ACSA scheme was opened to independent sector organisations so that they and their patients can also benefit from quality improvement through peer review. The process that independent sector organisations go through to achieve ACSA accreditation is exactly the same as for NHS organisations.

Independent sector organisations are assessed against the same standards as NHS organisations. The RCoA recognise that for many independent sector organisations some of the ACSA standards will not be applicable, eg obstetric and paediatric standards. As with NHS organisations who do not provide these services, if the ACSA committee agree the standards are not applicable, then the organisation can be accredited once all other priority 1 standards are deemed as met.

For clarity, departments should note that:

  • if your organisation treats 16–18 year olds, some of the paediatric standards, specifically those relating to safeguarding such as the separation between adults and children, are still applicable
  • if your organisation only provides elective or urgent surgery, provision for emergency returns to theatre should be considered when assessing the applicability of the standards relating to emergency surgery.


Independent sector organisations are charged under a different fee structure than NHS hospitals. This reflects both the higher direct costs incurred by the RCoA for carrying out reviews in independent sector organisations and, unlike for NHS organisations, fully reflects the RCoA’s overall costs of running the scheme. The subscription charge is based on the size and complexity of the department.

The initial term of engagement will be four years. The quoted fee may increase annually in line with UK inflation rates; however, subscribers will be offered the opportunity to pay a four-year subscription in advance; fixed at four times the agreed charge for year one and thereby protected from any inflationary increase. Payment of the annual subscription fee is required to maintain your accreditation status. If you have any queries about costs, please contact

How to engage with ACSA

Once your organisation has taken the decision to engage with ACSA, the next step in the process of ACSA accreditation is to register your interest with the scheme. Please contact the ACSA team to provide us with essential information about your site/s, including the size, structure and services. We can then guide you through the next steps. Contact via