The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been chosen by the Department of Health to participate in the pilot of a new scheme to ensure good quality information across the health and social care sector.
The information accreditation scheme is designed to combat substantial variation in the quality of health and social care information available, and will provide a way for the public and professionals to know that the information they are using is reliable.
The scheme, which will seek to reassure the public by awarding a recognisable quality mark, will be focused at an organisation level, and will accredit the source of information rather than the information itself – through certification against a national standard.
NICE will be testing the scheme alongside other organisations from the commercial, public and voluntary sectors. Subject to achieving certification through this testing phase, NICE will become one of the first scheme members when it launches in 2009.
Ann Keen MP, the parliamentary under-secretary for health services, said: "There is so much information out there that it's hard for people, both the public and professionals, to know what can be relied upon. A scheme with a recognisable quality mark will assure them that information is from a dependable source.
"Over 120 applications were received by the Department of Health, and NICE is one of just 40 organisations to have successfully made it through the application process.
"The work of these test organisations will be invaluable in providing knowledge and insight for organisations who are considering joining the scheme in the future."
As part of the testing phase, NICE will be involved in testing the scheme standard, sharing experiences in order to support the development of case studies, and helping to develop the visual identity of the quality mark.