About the network

ECTAS logo

New teams can join and start the accreditation process at any time. If you’d like to join the network, please follow the steps below:

  1. Email ECTAS@rcpsych.ac.uk with details of the team(s) you’d like to sign up, including the name of the team and what Trust you fall under;
  2. We’ll add you to our online data collection system ‘CARS’;
  3. You’ll then be able to create an account and sign up on ‘CARS’;
  4. We’ll then arrange together a convenient time for the team to start the review process.

How much does it cost?

The accreditation programme is funded on a subscription basis. The annual fee is £1,500 + VAT per team which includes access to all our materials and events. 

A 10% discount is available for services that purchase a three-year membership, total cost £4,050 + VAT.

If you’d like further information about joining ECTAS, please contact us.

Your ECTAS Membership Benefits

Included in your membership is:

  • The accreditation process, including all documentation for your self-review, peer-review visit, and reports which outline your achievements and suggested approaches to improvement;
  • Peer-reviewer training for staff;
  • Free places at the annual ECTAS Forum
  • At least two free special interest days or learning events annually
  • Year round support from the ECTAS Team and Accreditation Committee to support you to meet the standards;
  • Opportunities for staff to visit other ECT clinics as peer reviewers;
  • Access to ECTAS-Chat, the ECTAS email discussion group 
  • Two newsletters per year providing updates and sharing good practice
  • Certificate of ECTAS Accreditation;
  • Listing on the ECTAS website as an Accredited service

Accreditation assures patients, carers, frontline staff, commissioners, managers, and regulators that your memory service is of a good quality and that staff are committed to improving care. This formal recognition is fantastic, but ECTAS membership also brings a range of other benefits:

  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) uses ECTAS accreditation as one of the information sources it uses to direct its inspection activities in its core standards assessment of mental health services.
  • Information from the accreditation process can be used in Trust quality accounts, as recommended by the National Quality Board.
  • Achievement of accredited status may support services to reduce their financial contribution to the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA);
  • Accreditation rewards hardworking ECT clinics staff for their efforts, raises morale and the profile of the team within its wider organisation.
  • The ECTAS process helps build dialogue with referrers, partner agencies, and commissioners. 
  • The central team has considerable knowledge of the strengths of different ECTAS members and will put people in touch with each other accordingly.

There are three stages to the accreditation process (PDF). 

  1. Self-review

    The self-review stage is a 12 week period of data collection where your team will:

    • Rate your clinic against each standard, stating whether you think you meet it or not
    • Complete a brief audit of case notes
    • Each complete a staff questionnaire
    • Ask your referrers to complete a questionnaire
    • Ask patients and their carers to complete a questionnaire

    All the documents and information needed for completing the self-review will be sent to you once we have agreed a start date.

  2. Peer Review

    You’ll be given 6-8 weeks between the self- and peer-review stages so that you can look through your data and begin to implement any changes.

    A review team made up of at least 2 ECT professionals from other ECTAS member services, a service user or carer representative and a member of the central ECTAS team, will then visit your service to discuss the self-review data.

    The data collected from both the self- and peer-review will then be used to write a report. The report will highlight your achievements, and outline any changes you’ll need to make to be ‘Accredited’.

    You’ll then be given one month to make any changes before being presented to the ECTAS Accreditation Committee (AC).

  3. Accreditation
    The AC is made up of a multidisciplinary team of professionals and service user and carer representatives.

    Using your report and any further evidence you might have sent to show you’re meeting the standards, the AC will recommend an accreditation status for you. There are three categories of accreditation status:
  • ‘Accredited’ – for teams that meet:
    • 100% of Type 1 standards
    • 80% of Type 2 standards
    • 60% of Type 3 standards
  • ‘Accreditation Deferred’ – for teams that:
    • Do not meet all Type 1 standards but show they will be able to
    • Do not meet enough Type 2 or 3 standards but show they will be able to
    • Do not meet a significant number of standards in one particular area.
  • ‘Not Accredited’ – for teams that:
    • Do not meet the number of standards needed, and do not show they will be able to within a reasonable time
    • Do not submit sufficient self-review data

Your team will be given time, guidance and support to reach Accreditation.

We support your work as a commissioner by:

Assuring you, and your public, of the quality of services you commission

If we accredit a service you commission, you can be assured it’s a high-quality service with positive feedback from people who use it.

Helping your services improve quality of care

We review ECT services thoroughly against our standards. We identify areas of good practice as well as areas for improvement, and help services to work on problem areas. We use a peer review model, which means good practice is shared across the UK.

Providing free training and conferences for staff

We hold annual conferences to share good practice and encourage staff to visit other services in our network as peers. Both these opportunities, as well as other network activities, are free for our members and earn CPD points.

Helping services through CQC inspection

ECTAS is a recognised information source for the CQC, which means the CQC considers our reviews to be robust enough to use as information for their inspections. Being reviewed by us also helps services to prepare for their own inspection. 

Encouraging your services to join ECTAS

We would like to encourage you as a commissioner to speak to your local ECT teams about the programme.

Please contact us for more information.  

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