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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

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ECTAS Standards

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 ECTAS Standards 12th Edition



Developing evidence-based standards

The accreditation standards have been drawn from key documents including the ECT Handbook (Royal College of Psychiatrist, 2005), the NICE Appraisal of ECT (National Institute of Clinical Excellence, 2003) and the Scottish National Audit of ECT (CRAG Working Group on Mental Illness, 2000). They have been subject to extensive consultation with all professional group involved in ECT and with service users and their representatives.


What the ECTAS Standards cover

The standards are intended to provide staff with a clear and comprehensive description of best practice in the administration of ECT. They are reviewed in October every year and published in December.

The standards cover the following topics:

  • The ECT Clinic and Facilities
  • Staff and Training
  • Assessment and Preparation
  • Consent
  • Anaesthetic Practice
  • The Administration of ECT
  • Recovery, Monitoring and Follow-up
  • Special Precautions
  • Protocols


How we measure performance against standards

The full set of standards are aspirational and it is rare that any clinic meets all of them. To support their use in the accreditation process, each standard has been categorised as follows:

  • Type 1: failure to meet these standards would result in a significant threat to patient safety or dignity and/or would breach the law;
  • Type 2: standards that an accredited clinic would be expected to meet;
  • Type 3: standards that an excellent clinic should meet.

These standards relate to the process of administration of ECT for both inpatients and outpatients, and in this regard are consistent with NICE guidelines. They do not relate to clinical decisions about which patients should be given ECT.


ECTAS | 21 Prescot Street | London | E1 8BB

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