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

Community of Communities

How to join the Network

There is no deadline for joining the Community of Communities. 

We welcome applications at any point in our annual cycle of self- and peer- review.  You can apply to join the membership by either completing the joining form online (please use this form alongside the Fee Calculator which explains membership fees). For more information on the different types of membership offered by CofC can be found in the  Community of Communities Process Document.

Who should join

We offer membership to all therapeutic communities, or services who are developing a therapeutic culture, who are committed to working with the CofC service standards and engage with other members in the sharing of ideas, achievements and challenges.


Membership is at the level of the therapeutic community participating in the review cycle rather than at the parent organization or NHS Trust.


Membership options

The Community of Communities (CofC) offers a variety of different membership packages suited to the format and size of the TC:

  1. Associate Membership
  2. Developmental Membership
  3. Full Membership
  4. Accredited Membership
All Members Receive:
  • Membership of a strong network of supportive relationships and TC knowledge
  • Opportunity to demonstrate the quality of therapeutic practice using internationally agreed Service Standards
  • Access to the Service Standards for Therapeutic Communities
  • Opportunity to participate in review and revision of Service Standards
  • Opportunity for staff and service users to access training
  • National Report and Newsletters
  • Access to email discussion forum
  • Discounted rates for workshops and events
  • Support and guidance from the CofC team
  • Access to an online Resource Toolbox

Associate Membership (for overseas members)
Additional benefits of Associate Membership:

  • A self-review workbook based on the relevant Service Standards
  • A local report summarising self-review with action planning template
  • Certificate of Membership 

Developmental Membership (1 year only before upgrading to Full Membership)

Additional benefits of Developmental Membership:

  • A self-review workbook based on the Service Standards
  • A local report summarising self-review with action planning template
  • Opportunity to participate in the peer-review of another service 
  • Certificate of Membership 
  • Access to CofC training and workshops

Full Membership

Additional benefits of Full Membership:

  • A full-review workbook based on the Service Standards
  • A facilitated peer-review visit from another service  to ratify self-review and share learning
  • A detailed local report summarising self- and peer-review scores and comments and identifying areas of achievement and areas for improvement and an action planning template
  • Participation in a peer-review of another service 
  • Certificate of Membership 
  • Use of membership logo for demonstrating quality
  • Access to CofC training and workshops

Accredited Membership

Accredited membership lasts for three years. 

Additional benefits of Accredited Membership:

  • An accreditation-review workbook based on the Service Standards
  • A facilitated Accreditation peer-review visit from another service accompanied by a TC specialist
  • Submission of reports to the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Therapeutic Community Accreditation Panel (TCAP) for an Accreditation decision
  • A comprehensive report detailing performance against the standards, areas for improvement and areas of achievement as well as feedback from TCAP
  • Participation in an accreditation review visit for another service 
  • Training for two senior staff as TC specialist
  • Certificate of Accreditation  
  • Use of “Accredited TC” logo for demonstrating quality
  • Evidence of adherence to critical standards for the commissioning of services
  • Access to CofC training and workshops

What is expected?

  • Provide a link person to liaise with the CofC team
  • Involve all community members in the CofC process as far as possible
  • Ensure community members are kept up-to-date with the CofC network and encourage involvement e.g. disseminating information from the discussion, publicising reviews and events, etc.
  • Provide at least 3 community members including client members, where appropriate, to attend peer-review/accreditation visits and authorise accompanying travel costs (Full and Accreditation Members only)
  • Provide a senior person for TC specialist (Accreditation Members only)
  • Take responsibility for inviting key stakeholders from both internal and external agencies (e.g. senior managers, referrers, statutory inspectors etc.) to attend the communities’ peer-review/accreditation visit (if applicable)
  • Take responsibility for assisting CofC in disseminating important information to members e.g. tell us about policy changes, relevant articles etc.
  • Commit to returning all necessary correspondence to the CofC team in a timely manner


Annual membership fees are calculated based on the level of membership applied for, the size of your community, and the sector in which you operate. Click here to download our current fee calculator.


If you wish to sign up multiple communities, The Project Team may be able to organise bespoke packages for your team or Trust by finding the best variation on our membership options to suit your service.


Members of CCQI quality networks in the NHS who have a surplus at the end of the financial year can use this opportunity to extend their membership – either by signing up additional services or by paying in advance for multiple years of membership.


We invoice members from April of each year.


VAT is charged on membership of the network.  However, NHS Trusts are entitled to re-claim the VAT that you pay on your CofC membership fees. Trusts can ‘refund’ the VAT the team has paid to the team.  We will be happy to provide VAT receipts for those trying to reclaim VAT from their trust.

Where next...


Community of Communities, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street
London, E1 8BB    
Tel: 020 3701 2674   Email:

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