How to apply

The application guide contains full details of the assessment process and outcomes, so please read the guide before applying. We allocate assessment time to applications in advance, so give us at least one month's notice of your anticipated submission date.

Service accreditation scheme (pdf 0.3MB)

Guide to applying for service accreditation (pdf 0.2MB)

Guidelines for services working with children and young people (pdf 0.1MB)

Application pack

You must submit your application on the form below. Please read the terms and conditions before submitting an application.

Service accreditation application form (docx 0.1MB)

Service accreditation terms and conditions (pdf 0.1MB)

We now only require one complete electronic version of your application and supporting evidence. When you're ready to submit your paper, please email us at and we will tell you how to go about uploading them.

Assessment process and outcomes

We'll confirm by email that we've received your application. Our office team will check that you meet the eligibility criteria and have completed the application correctly. We'll contact you if we have any queries. We cannot offer pre-assessment of your application.

Once your application passes this stage, we'll send it to our professional assessors who will complete an assessment report.

The checking and assessment process can take between two and six months to complete. We’ll inform you of the outcome and tell you how to access your assessment report by email.

Your application may be:

  • Successful or Accredited
    If you successfully demonstrate that your service meets all the criteria, you'll be awarded accredited status for five years, unless indicated otherwise. We will specify your accreditation start and expiry (or renewal) date. You must abide by all the scheme terms and conditions to become and remain accredited.

  • Accreditation with recommendations
    We may award accredited status but make recommendations for you to consider. Your accreditation does not depend upon complying with these recommendations but you should respond to them as stated in your assessment report.

  • Deferred accreditation with set conditions
    We may ask you to meet certain conditions before you are awarded or retain your accredited status. The conditions and deadlines will be specified in your assessment report. You must make a resubmission which meets these requirements by the deadline, or we'll consider your application expired and refuse or withdraw your accreditation.

  • Unsuccessful
    If you don't meet the conditions by the deadline, or if your resubmission still does not meet all the criteria, your application will be considered unsuccessful. You may re-apply with a new application when you feel you can meet the criteria.


If your application is unsuccessful, you can appeal if there is clear evidence that either:

  • the assessment was not conducted according to the published procedure
  • your application was not fairly and properly assessed against the published criteria for the scheme

Disagreeing with the assessors' professional judgement is not grounds for an appeal.

You must notify us by email to that you wish to lodge an appeal. We'll confirm the submission fee and tell you what you need to do.

For full details of the appeals procedure, see:

Service accreditation appeals procedure (pdf 0.1MB)