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Independent, user-led body for assistive technology services CECOPS is building on its accreditation model by introducing a new grading system for assistive technology services throughout the UK to help drive up quality, safety, performance and user experience in the expanding sector.

CECOPS says this new grading system will help shape the future of assistive technology services by driving up standards and enabling providers to showcase the quality of their service.

The grading system applies across all assistive technology services covered by CECOPS e.g. digital health, telecare, community equipment and wheelchair services.

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Before the introduction of the new model, assistive technology providers could not distinguish themselves between the businesses that are compliant and the businesses that excel in the sector.

Now, the new grading system will enable providers to differentiate between compliant and excellent services, which will also be helpful for procurement and commissioning leads when evaluating and awarding contracts. Additionally, the new system will enable the public to see how well providers are performing.

From 2020, any provider gaining CECOPS accreditation status will be awarded one of the following grades:

  • CECOPS Standard Accreditation
  • CECOPS Silver Accreditation
  • Gold Accreditation
  • CECOPS Platinum Accreditation

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The CECOPS grading system is centred on alignment with 10 themes, each of which are indicators of quality and performance at the heart of an organisation.

Grades will be awarded based on how well a service performs against each of the following themes:

  1. Organisational Learning & Continuous Improvement
  2. Compliance with CECOPS Standards
  3. Customer Experience
  4. Leadership
  5. Governance & Risk Management
  6. Quality, Safety and Performance
  7. Staff Competence
  8. Efficiency & Effectiveness
  9. Innovation
  10. Integration (where applicable)

Alignment with the themes will be determined as part of the CECOPS accreditation assessment process. The grade will be public and will appear on an organisation’s CECOPS profile page.

Professor Mike Bewick, Chairman of CECOPS, said: “Assistive technology services are vital for the health, wellbeing and independence of many people, and it is important these services are provided as best as they possibly can be to ensure good quality outcomes. Our standards set the baseline for providers, and the grading system will help drive up quality and aspiration to aim to be the best.”

The grading system will be introduced as a staged process from January 2020, with providers currently working with CECOPS being awarded a grading when their next assessment for accreditation is due.

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