Our audit certification scheme
The College offers a scheme for the certification of audits in order to foster high quality clinical audit projects. The scheme is voluntary and will certify only audits that follow the audit cycle methodology and meet the standards set by the College.
Many audits, whilst being educationally valuable, do not include action plans, evidence of reaudit nor demonstrate implementation of changes. These are indicators of high quality audit. Audits that meet the standards will be awarded a certificate by the College.
The certification process will quality-assure the criteria and standards of clinical audits. The certificate issued will be acceptable in individual portfolios for continuing professional development (CPD), appraisal and revalidation/re-registration purposes. Certificates may also be included in the documentation provided for accreditation schemes, including UKAS. This would preclude the need for inspection of individual audit reports.
Who can submit an audit for certification?
The scheme is open to anyone working in pathology and the application may be completed by the author or on their behalf by an administrator. It is recommended that the person acting as the main contact be available, by email, to see the evaluation process through.
How to submit your audit
To submit your audit, complete our online application form and attach the completed audit report and any supporting evidence. If you’re submitting a reaudit to be reviewed, make sure to include a copy of the original audit report when uploading documents to the application form. This can be in any Microsoft Office file format (e.g. Word, Excel), an Adobe Acrobat pdf file and/or image file format (e.g. jpg or tiff) as long as it satisfies all the criteria set by the College.
You will receive an email message confirming your submission, and will be contacted to ensure we have all the right information from you. Your audit will then be shared with independent evaluators for review and the process – from submission to final evaluation – usually takes around 28 days.
Please note: Your application cannot be retrieved once submitted but if you feel you need to alter details of an application you have already submitted please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certification and CPD points
High quality audits that meet the required standards will be awarded 5 CPD credits for each participant. Applicants will be emailed confirming the outcome of their evaluation and the credits awarded, and will be sent their certificate. Certificates can be used as evidence in CPD portfolios and for appraisal and revalidation, and may also be included in the documentation provided for accreditation schemes, including UKAS, precluding the need for inspection of individual audit reports.
The College encourages increased openness in clinical audit. Audits entered and submitted in application for certification of high quality clinical audit are not considered to be confidential. The audits will be available to RCPath staff for review and will be subjected to an evaluation process. This requires the data to be shared with a number of individuals including two evaluators. It is the users' responsibility to ensure that all data submitted is anonymised where appropriate. The audits submitted may be disseminated, on an individual basis, to pathologists with an interest in the topic. The College may also wish to publish a small number of audits on the website or in the Bulletin. However audits will not be published without the written permission of the author.
AUDIT EVALUATION PROCESS
- STAGE 1: Two to three evaluators will be selected by the Clinical Effectiveness Department. The evaluators’ role is to check whether the criteria and standards are met appropriately for their speciality. Each evaluator is sent an email asking them to review the application objectively and independently of each other.
- STAGE 2: If two evaluators decide the audit is of an acceptable standard, an email confirming this will be sent to the applicant and all participants in the audit team.
- STAGE 3: If the evaluators’ decisions are different, a third evaluator will be selected. Further information may be sought from the applicant and clarification may be sought from the evaluators. The applicant and all participants will be informed of the outcome by email.
- STAGE 4: If two evaluators decide that the required standard has not been met the applicant will be advised of the outcome by email and will receive constructive feedback on the areas for improvement.
- STAGE 5: It may be possible to resubmit your previously unsuccessful audit in order for it to be re-evaluated and approved. To do this, you must satisfy the points raised by the evaluators and address all the deficiencies in your original audit. When you access the resubmission page, (link provided in email the Clinical Effectiveness Department send to you if your audit is unsuccessful) you should upload all relevant documents that provide evidence that you have addressed the shortcomings of your original audit. You should then indicate in the text box the changes you have made and how they meet the standards not previously met.