General Practice Accreditation

This guide is a resource for general practices that are undergoing accreditation.

What is General Practice Accreditation?

Around 80 per cent of General Practices in Australia undergo accreditation. The process requires practices to be assessed against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards by an independent third party at least every three years, to gain ‘accredited’ status.

Accreditation uses a peer review model where surveyors must be actively involved in General Practice (including in the areas of practice management) and where at least one of the visiting surveyors is a general practitioner.

The RACGP states that achieving accreditation shows patients that your practice is committed to providing high quality, safe and effective care as determined by the general practice profession.

Why become accredited?

There are many benefits to becoming an accredited General Practice.  Some of these include:

  • Recognition within the General Practice community that your clinic is performing in accordance to best practice standards
  • Proven framework for Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance in General Practice
  • Improving Practice efficiency and the practice environment
  • Measure how the practice is performing in relation to General Practice benchmarks 
  • The opportunity to reflect on what’s working well at a practice level and identify areas for improvement
  • Access funding from the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) and the Workforce Incentive Payment (WIP).

To learn more about the PIP funding and initiatives visit the DHS PIP webpage and the DHS WIP webpage.

The RACGP Standards for General Practice

The Standards for General Practices (5th edition) were developed after three separate consultation phases. RACGP conducted pilot testing, in-depth reviews with General Practice and considered feedback from 135 stakeholders in developing the 5th edition standards. The standards were developed with the purpose of protecting patients from harm by improving the quality and safety of health services.The 5th edition standards differ from the 4th as they move away from “process” focused to more “outcome and patient centered” focused. The standards have also been submitted to seek International Society for Quality in Healthcare accreditation.

The 5th Edition Standards were released in October 2017. Since 2018, all practices started being assessed under the 5th edition standards.

Each standard is divided into a number of criteria and each criterion has a number of related indicators, which describe what practices need to do to meet the criterion.

Flagged indicators (those marked ►) are considered mandatory. Unflagged indicators are considered discretionary.

Each criterion includes an explanation of what is required to achieve the criterion.

Visit the RACGP website for resources and information relating to accreditation.

Accreditation organisations

On 1 January 2017 the National General Practice Accreditation Standard Scheme came into effect. The scheme was developed by a collaboration of The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and the RACGP. Read about it here:

Approved Accreditation Agencies

The following agencies are approved to assess general practices to the RACGP Standards for general practices. 

AGPAL Group of Companies.
Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL) and Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP)

JPEG format AGPAL logo

Po Box 2058, Milton BC QLD 4064
Tel: 1300 362 111
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Quality Practice Accreditation Pty Ltd

QPA logo

136 Mount St, Gundagai, NSW 2722
Tel: 1800 188 088
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards

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5 MacArthur St, Ultimo, NSW 2007
Tel: 02 9281 9955
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Institute for Healthy Communities Australia Certification Pty Ltd

IHCA Logo 156pix

PO Box 5582, West End QLD 4101
Tel: 1800 035 033
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Global Mark Pty Ltd

GM Colour1

Suite 4.07, 32 Delhi Road, North Ryde NSW 2113 
Tel: 1300 766 509 or 02 9886 0222
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Tip: These organisations often allocate a support contact to practices undergoing accreditation with them. Make sure you contact your support contact so you can learn about additional resources, support services and information these organisations may offer.

Essential components of accreditation

Policy and Procedure Manual development and update

A Policy and Procedure Manual is a great resource to ensure practice processes are documented and their implementation is consistent across staff members.

A good manual is a valuable reference and training tool so it is important to ensure this is kept up to date.

There should be a formal review of the manual every three years, however, it is a good idea to revisit key policies and procedures on a yearly basis and offer staff an opportunity to offer their input.

There are organisations that can provide Policy and Procedure Manual templates, which a practice can customise to suit their needs.

Contact your accreditation provider for more information.

Templates and Practice forms

Numerous resources have been developed to support practices going through accreditation. We have included a list of the most common resources below.

Contact your accreditation provider to learn about additional templates and proformas for your practice.

Patient Feedback

Patient feedback is a great way to measure patient satisfaction with the service and health care your practice provides. Continual and ongoing feedback enables this feedback to shape improvements in the quality of services provided.

RACGP accreditation standards require practices to conduct one patient survey every three years. Practices can select from the following approved validated questionnaire providers: 

  • Insync’s Patient Satisfaction Instrument (PSI) Ph: 1800 143 733
  • CFEP Survey’s Patient Accreditation Improvement Survey (PAIS) Ph: (07) 3855 2093
  • Press Ganey Associates Ph: (07) 5560 7400

Self-assessment questionnaire and visit preparation

In order to assist a practice to prepare for the accreditation survey visit, all accreditation bodies provide self-assessments, templates, resources checklists and even web-based training.

Contact your accreditation provider to find out what support is available and what steps may be required prior to your survey visit. 

On-site visit and accreditation audit

The onsite visit will usually take place every three years. The visit length will vary depending on the size of the clinic and how many doctors/staff will need to be interviewed.

During the visit, the clinic should remain open to the public so surveyors can witness usual practice operations.

For more information on what will be involved as part of your survey visit, contact your accreditation provider. 

Top Accreditation Resources

The following are useful accreditation resources:


Visit the Office of Australian Information Commissioner on the Australian Privacy Principles.

Health Complaints Commissioner

Visit the new Health Complaints Commissioner website:

Health Complaints Commissioner

Level 26, 570 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC  3000

Tel: 1300 582 113

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Accreditation checklist from your provider

As the RACGP Standards are comprehensive, it is unlikely that all components will be reviewed during the three-yearly accreditation visit.

However, your accreditation provider will provide a checklist of areas that are considered essential that are always checked as part of the accreditation visit.

You should use this checklist to review what procedures or documentation you may still need to compile to be ready for your survey visit. You can also allocate the responsibility for certain activities to different staff in your practice.

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Contact Information

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For General Practice support, please call 1300 331 981 (option 2) or email

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