The Health and Social Care Accreditation Forum is an established network of organisations with the intention of sharing experience, good practice and new ideas around the methodology for such programmes, covering issues such as developing healthcare quality standards, implementation of standards within healthcare organisations, assessment by peer review and exploration of the peer review techniques to include the recruitment, training, monitoring and evaluation of peer reviewers and the mechanisms for awards of accredited status to organisations.
The original functions of the Forum were defined as:
- Co-ordination: to map programme provision and need, to reduce duplication and to encourage the sharing of core developments
- Communication: to provide a mechanism for accreditation bodies to communicate with each other and, collectively, with others such as government departments, professional colleges and national associations, and commissioning, funding and insurance agencies
- Self-regulation: to seek voluntary convergence of standards and of the operation of the assessment process
- Standards: to support the development, integration and assessment of organisational standards.