ACSA Standards

How were the ACSA standards selected?

The ACSA standards have been taken from the Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthetic Services. The process of selecting and organising the standards was undertaken by the RCoA Quality Management of Service Committee. A full and open consultation was then carried out and every comment that was submitted was given consideration by the Committee.

When a final draft had been agreed, the standards were allocated a priority based on the potential impact on patient safety.

  • Standards are Priority 1 if they must be achieved in order for accreditation to be awarded.
  • Priority 2 standards should be achievable by most departments; however, they may not be achievable because of resource or geography issues and may form part of ongoing action plans. 
  • As yet, there are no defined Priority 3 standards and these will be aspirational for most; however, they provide targets for the highest performing departments to display high achievement.

How are the standards reviewed?

The Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthetic Services document is reviewed annually and, in turn, any additions or amendments are reflected in the standards on an annual basis. Any changes that are made are will be marked in red text, to make it straight- forward for those engaged to identify the changes and consider their compliance.

What does the College do with the data?

The body of data that will develop, as the number of organisations engaged with ACSA increases, will be unprecedented for the specialty. Not only will it provide an opportunity for organisations to benchmark themselves against other anonymised organisations, but it will very quickly provide us with a picture of common difficulties and common achievements for departments of anaesthesia throughout the UK. This will give the College a lever to highlight issues at the highest level, promote changes and improve quality nationally. 

I am having problems with my self assessment, what do I do?

If you are having problems submitting your self assessment against the ACSA standards, you may find the FormCentral user guide can help (downloadable below). If your  problems continue, please contact the ACSA team at or by calling 020 7092 1574.

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