Accreditation

Accreditation is the assessment of a general practice against the requirements outlined in the Standards of General Practice written and published by the Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) 5th Edition Standards The Standards of General Practice are considered the benchmark for Australian practices. 

Please note the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care had announced the recommencement of accreditation site visits for general practices with a low risk of COVID-19 transmission from 26 October 2020.

Accredited general practices will have 12 months added to their current accreditation expiry date. Any payments received from Services Australia as part of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) will automatically continue.

Practices are therefore not required to contact Services Australia or submit revised accreditation certificates to continue receiving PIP and WIP payment(s).

 

Assistance

 

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Central and Eastern Sydney PHN offers support for general practices going through accreditation process including:

  • Providing advice and support on meeting and understanding the RACGP accreditation standards
  • Provision of templates and resources
  • Advising on key aspects of accreditation including infection control, sterilisation and cold chain management supplying resources
  • Delivering mock accreditation visits prior to a practice’s survey visit
  • Facilitating on-site training sessions for health professionals and administration staff

 

What does the Accreditation Process Involve? 

Whether your practice is seeking accreditation for the first time or more, we are able to tailor support to help you through the whole accreditation process that involves the following:

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Accreditation Agency Bodies

 

There are five accreditation bodies for general practice. 

AGPAL - Australian General Practices Accreditation Limited
Level 1, 65 Park Road (PO Box 2058) Milton QLD 4064
Ph: 1300 362 111
Fax: 1300 362 110
Email: info@qip.com.au 
Website: www.qip.com.au 

    AGPAL LOGO
    Global Mark Pty Ltd
    Suite 4.07 32 Delhi Road, North Ryde NSW 2113
    Ph: 1300 766 509/02 9886 0222
    Email: Health@Global-Mark.com.au
    Website: www.global-mark.com
    Global Mark logo
    QPA - Accreditation Plus
    95-97 Sheridan Street, Gundagai NSW 2722
    Ph: 1800 188 088
    Fax: 1800 644 807
    Email: info@gpa.net.au 
    Website: www.gpa.net.au
    Quality Practice Accreditation logo
    The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards
    5 Macarthur Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
    Ph:02 9281 9955
    Email: achs@achs.org.au
    Website: www.achs.org.au/
    ACHS Logo
    Institute for Healthy Communities Australia Certification Pty Ltd

    PO Box 5582, West End QLD 4101
    Ph:1800 035 033
    Email: ihcac@ihcac.com.au
    Website: www.ihcac.com.au    

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    Benefits of accreditation 

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    There are many benefits to accreditation, including: 

    • The framework to focus on quality care and risk management
    • Access to the Commonwealth’s financial incentives programs - Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) 
    • RACGP QI&CPD points (Category 2)
    • Increased recognition from insurance providers
    • Reduced risks in service delivery
    • Improved practice efficiency
    • Improved patient safety and health outcomes
    • Ensures the practice complies with regulatory requirements and national standards
    Practice Incentives

    The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) aims to encourage general practices to continue providing quality care, enhance capacity, and improve access and health outcomes for patients.

    To participate in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) you must meet ongoing eligibility requirements. Practices must either be accredited or become accredited within 12 months to be eligible for the PIP. Read the Practice Incentives Program guidelines for more information.

    The PIP is administered by Department of Human Services on behalf of the Department of Health. There are 8 individual incentives under 3 payment streams. Payments are made to both the practice and the individual practitioner, and are generally calculated based on practice size.

    The guidelines for each individual incentive have specific eligibility requirements. You must participate in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) before applying for individual incentives. Application to register for PIP is completed in HPOS using an individual PRODA account. Information on registering can be found on the Services Australia website.

    If your practice is eligible you can apply for these 8 individual incentives:

    After Hours Incentive

    This incentive supports general practices to provide their patients with appropriate access to after hours care.Read the After Hours Incentive guidelines, effective November 2016.

    eHealth Incentive

    This incentive encourages general practices to keep up to date with digital health and adopt new health technology.Read the eHealth Incentive guidelines, effective May 2016. For more information about ePIP eligibility Click Here.

    General Practitioner Aged Care Access

    This incentive encourages GPs to provide increased and continuing services in Australian Government funded residential aged care facilities. Read the General Practitioner Aged Care Access Incentive guidelines, effective August 2019.

    Indigenous Health Incentive

    This incentive supports practices and Indigenous health services to provide better health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.Read the Indigenous Health Incentive guidelines, effective from April 2019.

    Procedural General Practitioner Payment

    This incentive encourages GPs in rural and remote areas to maintain local access to surgical, anaesthetic and obstetric services.This payment is made in February and August each year.Read the Procedural General Practitioner Payment guidelines, effective June 2017.

    Quality Improvement Incentive

    This incentive is a payment to general practices that participate in quality improvement activities to improve patient outcomes and deliver best practice care.This includes the Guidelines, PIP Eligible Data Set Data Governance Framework, and 10 Improvement Measures.

    Click Here to access sample templates and tools for your practice to get started with as a guide.

    You can get more information about the PIP Quality Improvement Incentive on the Department of Health website.

    Rural Loading Incentive

    This incentive recognizes the difficulties of providing care, often with little professional support, in rural and remote areas. Read the Rural Loading Incentive guidelines, effective from November 2013

    Teaching Payment

    This payment encourages practices to provide teaching sessions to undergraduate and graduate medical students preparing to enter the Australian medical profession. Read the Teaching Payment guidelines, effective from August 2018.

    For more information about how to apply and what are the payments,visit Services Australia website.

    Preparing for accreditation

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    ALLOW TIME. Start planning your accreditation at least 12-18 months ahead of the current accreditation expiry date.

    1. Register for an accreditation agency pay invoice which will give you access to your accreditation agency’s online self-assessment portal to manage your accreditation.
    2. Obtain a copy of the 5th Edition standards and look through what is required
    3. Start talking to your practice about the upcoming accreditation process including this in team meetings
    4. Start preparation for accreditation including starting the self-assessment and identify gaps.
    5. Engage with your Practice Support officer for assistance in reviewing current situation and identifying gaps – PHN meeting #1
    6. Continue the self-assessment, develop a priority task list and delegate tasks amongst practice team including, clinical and non-clinical aspects.
    7. Update all documentation/processes/procedures and create any new required for new indicators. Upload to self-assessment.
    8. Review Progress with PHN meeting #2
    9. Commence a validated patient feedback activity (usually a survey) if not already done. See RACGP Patient Feedback Guide for 5th Edition standards
    10. Survey preparedness/ Mock survey (this is normally conducted at least 4 weeks before the survey date. PHN meeting #3
    11. Survey Date. The visit takes approximately four hours for small practices, and a full day for large practices. At the end of the survey visit, the practice will be provided with information about the assessment, including any areas that need to be addressed.