Corporate origins, affiliations, memberships

CHKS is the UK’s leading independent provider of healthcare intelligence and improvement services to the NHS and the independent sector.  Working with 400 clients internationally, from NHS acute and primary care trusts to national healthcare quality institutes and governments, we provide insight for informed decision-making.

As the leading accreditation service in the UK and working across Europe we have unrivalled experience in assisting healthcare organisations to apply quality standards to improve patient care, whilst addressing key challenges such as risk management, clinical effectiveness and patient safety.

Our service-specific and hospital accreditation programmes put quality at the heart of everyday working practices.  Internationally-recognised by ISQua (International Society for Quality in Healthcare) and certificated by UKAS (UK Accreditation Services) to award ISO 9001:2000 certification, we tailor our services to reflect the priorities of each client in every health sector, and take into account the cultural differences and complexities of various healthcare economies and systems.

Established as the King’s Fund Organisation Audit, CHKS accreditation services  combine the work and expertise of three established accreditation programmes regarded as leaders in the field of voluntary healthcare accreditation in the UK: The Health Quality Service (HQS), the Healthcare Accreditation Programme (HAP) and the Accreditation and Development of Health Records Programme (ADR).

The CHKS Accreditation Council and Awards Panel ensure impartiality in awarding accreditation and ISO certification, inform standards development and ratify revisions, oversee the accreditation process and advise on all issues relating to the quality agenda.

As volunteers, they crucially bring independence to the accreditation process and a breadth of expertise that reflects the broad range of organisations we work with.  The members represent Royal Colleges, professional institutes and other healthcare organisations, and cover different healthcare sectors and specialities.

The Accreditation Awards Panel is a sub-group which meets monthly specifically to review accreditation survey and monitoring reports and discuss accreditation awards.


Our mission

The CHKS Accreditation Unit uses its ‘Standards’ Framework’ to work with health and social care organisations to:

  • Establish and maintain a culture of continuous quality improvement.

  • Encourage leadership and motivation in the delivery of excellent high quality care.

  • Encourage clients to involve their staff at all levels to achieve safer, effective and high quality services for patients/service users.

  • Model the culture and behaviours that support improvement.

We work with healthcare organisations to establish a culture of continuous quality improvement, encourage leadership and motivation to deliver excellent quality of care, and involve staff at all levels in achieving safe services for patients.

Our values

The values of the CHKS Accreditation Unit that inform our services are:

  • Honesty, integrity, professionalism and mutual respect.

  • The goal of achieving positive change.

  • Continuous quality improvement within and outside the organisation.

  • Sharing of goals and solutions through networking.

  • Engendering support and experience.

Scope and focus of programme

Based on a standards framework that covers healthcare governance, quality of services, risk management and patient experience of services, our accreditation programmes are tailored to meet the needs of different sectors and services including NHS Trusts (including mental health services), primary healthcare teams (GP practices), independent sector hospitals, hospices care homes, short stay surgery, patient records and information management, as well as an international accreditation programme.

Products and services

ISO Certification

Accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to award the internationally recognised certificate of ISO9001:2008 Quality Management Systems for Healthcare Organisations, our programme uniquely translates the ISO clauses, making them easy to apply to any healthcare environment. 

CHKS provides a range of complementary consultancy and training services. 

Accreditation & licensing modernisation

We have unrivalled experience in developing and revising standards-based accreditation programmes for hospitals, mental health services, primary care organisations and hospices. Including standards for the organisation of health services and quality checklists for facilities and service environment, they incorporate patient experience, the patient’s journey through the healthcare system and staff competency for healthcare practitioners and administrators. 

Accreditation systems & programmes

We have been at the forefront of developing and implementing accreditation systems for health facilities for 20 years.  Accreditation uses standards that cover all aspects of healthcare provision, organisational development and support, and an assessment process which leads to external peer review and an accreditation award. 

To reflect local requirements like organisational structures, service configurations, laws, culture and practices, we customise standards and programmes to incorporate relevant features of international generic quality programs like EFQM and ISO9001:2000. 

Organisational Development

Key to success in establishing accreditation standards and protocols is ensuring that accreditation agencies have the skills and authority to measure and enforce quality standards.  We have supported the development of a number of quality improvement and accreditation organisations internationally, from drafting legislation for establishing agencies and  developing strategy and business plans, to delivering training programmes for healthcare quality improvement and the developing standards and clinical guidelines.

  • Standards for Maternity and Neonatal Special Care services - 1st edition 2011
  • Standards for Risk and Patient Safety - 1st edition 2011
  • Standards for Corporate and Leadership - 1st edition 2012
  • Standards for Patient Focused Care - 1st edition 2013
  • Standards for Hospice Services - 5th edition 2014
  • Standards for Care Homes - 5th edition 2011
  • Standards for International Hospitals - 4th edition, 2013
  • Standards for Oncology Services - 2nd edition 2013
  • Standards for Primary Health Care Organisations - 7th edition 2014
  • Standards for dementia assurance - 1st edition 2013
  • Standards for Cruise Ship Centres - 4th edition 2012
  • Standards for Addiction Treatment Centre and Psychosocial Rehabilitation - 2nd edition 2013
  • Standards for Domiciliary Care - 2nd edition 2013
  • Standards for PRIMAP - 6th Edition 2006

The website gives further details of accreditation programmes, including sample standards, the list of currently accredited organisations, training and consultancy services and contact details for more information.