Accreditation for General Practice


UPDATE: Accreditation - Responding to circumstances arising from COVID-19 pandemic 

Accreditation in general practice was established to promote a culture of quality and safety in Australian general practices. General practices are assessed for accreditation against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practices, which are considered the benchmark for high quality care.


Benefits of Accreditation 

  • Improve patient safety and overall health outcomes
  • Reduce risk in practice
  • Improve practice efficiency
  • Build a culture of quality in the practice environment 
  • Develop staff skills and engaging the practice team in continuous quality improvement
  • Access to financial incentives for general practice – Practice Incentives Program (PIP), Service Incentive Payments (SIP) and Practice Nurse Incentive Payments (PNIP).


General Practice Accreditation Organisations in Australia

There are currently three approved organisations that general practices are able to choose from to gain accreditation again the Standards:  

AGPAL - Australian General Practice Accreditation Ltd
Phone: 1300 362 111 

QPA - Quality Practice Accreditation Pty Ltd (QP
Phone: 1800 188 088 

ACHS - The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards 
Phone: 02 9281 9955 


RACGP Standards


Patient Feedback

Practices are required to collect feedback, analyse, consider, respond to feedback and inform patients, carers and other relevant parties how they respond to feedback for quality improvement. 

The 5th edition does not specify the methods practices must use to collect patient feedback. It is strongly encouraged that practices consider which methods best suit practices and their patients. 

Practices may choose to use an RACGP-approved commercial tool, use or modify The RACGP Toolkit for developing practice specific questionnaires, or develop a practice specific feedback mechanism where the practice has sufficiently skilled staff. Please refers to RACGP Patient feedback requirements for the 5th ed requirements and options for collecting feedback.

Regardless of which method, versions or tools used, practices must meet the requirements set out in the RACGP Patient feedback guide for general practices -5th edition


Computer Security

The RACGP Computer and Information Security Standards (CISS) and accompanying workbook will provide guidance on the essential information needed to put in place effective computer and information security. The workbook, when completed by practice staff, will form part of the general practice’s policies and procedures manual. 

The following  templates are provided by the RACGP to assit general practice to meet legal obligations for information security and the requirements necessary for accreditation against the 5th ed Standards:


Privacy of Health Information

General practice has a fundamental role in ensuring the privacy of patient health information. The below signage can also be displayed to inform their patients about practice policy regarding management of their personal health information:


Contingency Plan 

The RACGP Standards require practices to have contingency plans for unusual events such as natural disasters, disease outbreak or the unexpected absence of key members of the clinical team that may disrupt patient care. 

The RACGP has developed the online Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT) to assist general practices to create their customised emergency response plan. The plan can be saved online and/or printed as a hard copy resource, by completing  a series of planning templates online. The ERPT costs $330 inclusive of GST per year.

Alternatively, practices can create their own contingency plan manually. Please contact your Practice Support Officer (PSO) for further support.


Infection Control

It is essential that GPs and practice staff  implement policies and procedures that maintain and enhance public health and safety by ensuring that the risk of the spread of infections diseases is prevented or minimised.

All practice staff, including GPs, must undertake training in Infection control based on the RACGP Infection prevention and control standards 5th Edition. Topics may cover:

  • Importance of infection control
  • How infection is spread
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Standard Precautions
  • Transmission-based Precautions (contact, droplet and airborne precautions)
  • Safe Management of Sharps
  • Waste Management
  • Management of Blood & Body fluid exposure
  • Managing the Practice Physical Environment
  • Spills kit contents

Please see the Online Learning section below for Infection Control training link.


Cold Chain Management

Practices should have a well managed Cold Chain Management system and procedures in place to ensure patients receive effective vaccinations and avoid legal implications.

All practice staff, including GPs, must undertake training in Cold Chain Management based on The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition and the Strive For 5_3rd edition. Topics may cover:

  • What is Cold Chain?
  • Receiving vaccines
  • Monitoring of vaccines and temperature recording
  • Cold Chain breach
  • Action in the event of a Cold Chain breach
  • Managing a power failure
  • How to pack your purpose built vaccine fridge
  • Packing a vaccine esky
  • Fridge maintenance

Please see the Online Learning section below for Cold Chain Management training link.


Height Adjustable Bed

Under the 5th edition of RACGP standards, practices will be required to have access to at least one height adjustable bed.

The rationale behind this measure is to ensure disabled patients have easy, safe and dignified access an examination bench and to ensure practitioners don't over exert themselves by treating patients on an examination bench that is too high.

For bed specifications please see the RACGP's Height Adjustable Bed Factsheet.  


Service Providers

The list below is provided by South Western Sydney PHN in good faith and the PHN acts as a channel only in the advertising of available providers.

South Western Sydney PHN has no direct affiliation, invested interests or dealings with any of the business on this list and is not responsible or able to validate claims of work experience or quality of their work.

South Western Sydney PHN recommends you contact the individual or organisation for further information.


Online Learning


SWSPHN Accreditation Resources


Other Resources


Practice Support Services

South Western Sydney PHN Practice Support service provides support for practices undertaking accreditation for the first time, or for those undergoing re-accreditation. This support includes:

  • Deciding on an accrediting body
  • Enabling the practice to plan and implement policies and procedures
  • Providing feedback regarding the readiness for accreditation
  • Providing templates and resources
  • Demonstrating available resources - AGPAL “Hub” and QPA Connect Plus websites.

To arrange a practice visit for accreditation support please contact your Practice Support Officer.