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


How the ECTAS Accreditation Works

It takes from 6 to 9 months from the time a service registers with the ECTAS programme to the point of accreditation.  Accreditation is completed in three phases:


Phase 1: Self review

During this phase, the service undertakes a series of activities, including distributing staff, referring psychiatrist and patient questionnaires, completing a review of case notes, an organisational checklist and an audit of the environment.  These enable the multi-disciplinary team to review their local procedures and practices against the standards and, if necessary, to make the changes required to achieve accreditation. The self review period is three months.  A summary report of the results from the self review forms the basis of the discussions at the peer review visit. 


Phase 2: Peer review visit by an external team

The peer review visit takes places 4 to 8 weeks after you have completed your self review.  A team, comprising of a Lead ECT Consultant Psychiatrist, a Lead ECT Anaesthetist and a Lead ECT Nurse undertakes the peer review visit, sometimes accompanied by a member of the ECTAS team.  In addition to validating your self review, the peer review provides an opportunity for discussion, sharing of ideas and for the visiting team to offer advice and support.

Phase 3: Accreditation decision

Information from the self and peer review is compiled into a summary report which is verified by the peer review team and host team before being submitted to the Accreditation Committee (AC).  The AC includes nominated representatives from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Anaesthetists, as well as service users. The Committee decides on the accreditation status.


There are 3 categories of accreditation status:

  • Accredited
  • Accreditation deferred
  • Not accredited

Services that cannot achieve accreditation at the point of peer review are deferred for a time limited period in which they must meet the necessary standards.


Accreditation is valid for up to three years, subject to satisfactory completion of an interim self review, to be completed after 18 months. After 3 years, clinics complete the full process again.


Download our accreditation process document.



Continuing Accreditation scheme

Clinics that have completed 2 or more cycles of accreditation and achieved Accredited as Excellent in their last cycle, are eligible to join the ECTAS Continuing Accreditation scheme.

Note: As accreditation as excellent is no longer offered by ECTAS, the Continuing Accreditation scheme is now being phased out. Clinics currently accredited as excellent may apply for one cycle of Continuing Accreditation and those under Continuing Accreditation may continue until the end of their cycle, but following this Continuing Accreditation will no longer be available.

  • Continuing accreditation maintains a team's 'Accredited as excellent' status for up to 3 years without completing a full self- and peer-review.
  • Continuing accreditation is at a reduced cost of £960+VAT per clinic, per year.
  • Teams are required to complete a continuing accreditation questionnaire once a year. If responses are satisfactory, the team is awarded their continuing accreditation as excellent for a further year.
  • If there are any concerns that the team is not maintaining excellent standards, they may be asked to provide further evidence, or be taken off the scheme and asked to complete the normal self- and peer-review process.

ECTAS, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB
Tel: 020 3701 2653   Fax: 020 3701 2655   Email: