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Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI)

Supporting and enabling quality improvement in imaging services.
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QSI is a developmental standard and underpins the colleges’ vision that all providers of imaging services be invested in a continuous quality improvement journey. QSI allows services to evaluate their performance and develop where needed to continually improve patient experience and outcomes.

QSI represents the judgements of panels of lay representatives, radiographers, radiologists, medical physicists, and sonographers who have overseen its creation and revision. It reflects wide consultation and valuable comments and suggestions received from professional colleagues, relevant UK government agencies and professional and regulatory bodies.

QSI sets out best practice to improve patient care and outcomes. Accreditation against the standard has been and will continue to be the hallmark of a quality imaging service. Clinical practice is a continually evolving field, and the QSI will be independently reviewed every four years.

Here are some of the benefits that QSI can bring to your service:

Recognised quality indicator for imaging services

Compliance with regulation and guidance

Networking opportunities and sharing good practice with other imaging services

Framework for delivering high quality and patient focused care

Supports building teamwork and collaboration across the whole department

High level of service user satisfaction and confidence

Improves and assures efficiency and validity of services

Independent recognition ‘badge of quality’

Enables continuous quality improvement

Offers assurance of the service – both internally and externally

Improved staff retention and recruitment

Potential market advantage.​​​​

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  • Recognised quality indicator for imaging services

  • Compliance with regulation and guidance

  • Networking opportunities and sharing good practice with other imaging services

  • Framework for delivering high quality and patient focused care

  • Supports building teamwork and collaboration across the whole department

  • High level of service user satisfaction and confidence

  • Improves and assures efficiency and validity of services

  • Independent recognition ‘badge of quality’

  • Enables continuous quality improvement

  • Offers assurance of the service – both internally and externally

  • Improved staff retention and recruitment

  • Potential market advantage.​​​​

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Accreditation

The College of Radiographers and the Royal College of Radiologists have agreed with UKAS that our agreement with them will come to an end in June 2024. It is important to note that this termination does not affect the UKAS accreditation of existing or applicant imaging providers. 

As Colleges, we are committed to delivering the best service we can to diagnostic radiology services and are taking this opportunity to develop new arrangements for services to be endorsed against the Quality Standard for Imaging. We will work closely with services to co-produce our new scheme to ensure that it reflects their needs, helps us to better understand the issues they are facing on the ground, and enables us as Colleges to continue to provide support where services need it most. We’re excited to share our plans over the coming months. We will work closely with all services to develop the new arrangements and acknowledge the significant work that colleagues have already put into quality improvement. 

We thank UKAS for working with the Colleges and look forward to a continued constructive working relationship with them as we develop the new arrangements.  

QSI accreditation FAQs

Stage 0.

Start the conversation

You want to find out more about the QSI process. Services can informally start working on the QSI

Stage 1.

Start the process

You apply for a business case for QSI staff and, if possible, accreditation costs.

Stage 2.

Gap analysis and dedicated staff

You are working through the initial stages of a gap analysis. 

Stage 3.

Service development

In the service development phase, you will create action plans, policies and procedures to meet the standard.

Stage 4.

Apply for accreditation

You apply for accreditation or have a rolling QSI quality programme.

Stage 5.

Accreditation and continuous quality improvement

 Accreditation and continuous quality improvement: You have been successfully accredited and have adopted a continuous cycle of quality improvement. 

FAQs

Helping you reach your goals – support for the QSI

The Colleges are continually developing a range of supporting resources such as guidance and best practice documents and using these documents will support services in achieving accreditation. Ongoing colleges support is available via the QIP’s and other college staff.

Quality Improvement Partner

The Quality Improvement Partners (QIP’s) are available by email, phone or to visit your department where appropriate to provide advice and to support you through the QSI process

Development and Support tool

The development and support tool has been designed to help services assess themselves against the QSI and provides examples of evidence required to meet the standard.

Online network

Further resources, advice and support are available through the FutureNHS QSI platform along with information on our regular monthly meetings and dates for training/networking days.

QSI monthly meetings

Regular QSI meetings covering a range of topics, including ultrasound QA, IR(ME)R and more

Introduction to QSI

This presentation is to provide support to services and leads who are just starting their QSI journey. It includes presentations from the QIPs and experienced QSI leads and is designed to help you identify your next steps.

If you would like more information or to join any of these sessions, please email

Alongside these resources, there is a range of templates and guides that services may find helpful and can be used as a guide:

The Quality Standards for Imaging networks

With the national direction of developing imaging networks across the UK, The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and The College of Radiographers (CoR) have been working to develop the Quality Standard for Imaging Networks (QSIN). The QSIN is written to stand alone; and emerging or nascent networks can use it to help develop their governance and quality improvement processes.

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