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The Quality Standard for Imaging

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and College of Radiographers (CoR) have developed the Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI) to support diagnostic imaging services to make continuous improvements to ensure that patients consistently receive high quality services delivered by competent staff working in safe environments.

Services meet the Standard through accreditation via an independent third party.

The Standard reflects wide consultation with professional colleagues, as well as relevant UK government agencies and regulatory bodies. It has been assessed for use in all four countries of the UK.

QSI 2019

The current Standard was first released in January 2017 and can be found here.

The Quality Imaging Standard for all diagnostic imaging services is set to undergo an external quality review.

The Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI) is a joint initiative between the RCR and the College of Radiographers. It sets national quality criteria for all diagnostic imaging provision and accreditation to the standard is recognised and recommended by NHS regulators and the Care Quality Commission to show good quality service.

The Quality Review Service has been appointed to review and update the QSI, and a broad range of imaging community stakeholders will also input into the review process. It is anticipated the revised standard will be published by mid-2021.

Questions about the standard or the revision can be sent to

Support for QSI 2019

The RCR and the CoR acknowledge that many imaging services are operating in an environment where time, money and resources are very limited. 

A staged approach to meeting the QSI Standard has been developed. 

See the video of the QSI launch which explains the staged approach and the support available to imaging services.

An updated version of the QSI staged approach.

FAQs about the staged approach can be downloaded here.

Below are a number of resources:

Email to request a visit to introduce the Standard and the support available.

For those unfamiliar with audit, SOPs and process mapping, a short ‘How To …’ has been added to support your work. 

Please let us know if you would like anything specific added in a How To, by emailing Chris Woodgate or Katherine Jakeman


The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) delivers accreditation against all elements of QSI, providing formal third-party recognition that a provider has demonstrated their organisational competence to deliver high quality imaging services.

Currently 36 services across the UK have attained accreditation and they are all happy to answer questions you may have about their experiences. You are welcome to visit their sites. Find their details here.

Accreditation to Professional Standards is supported by the Care Quality Commission, NHS England, NHS Northern Ireland, and NHS Wales.

Radiotherapy & the Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI)

When radiotherapy equipment (CT, MRI, Ultrasound) is used for diagnostic imaging purposes then there must be policies, procedures and protocols in line with statutory requirements in place. It is recommended that these are in accordance with, or duplicated from the local Diagnostic Imaging department to ensure consistency of high quality scanning. Appropriately trained Operators (diagnostic imaging staff) must be used to perform the diagnostic scanning and there should be assurance that all relevant equipment QA for imaging purposes has been performed and is up to date. Staff should participate in Image Optimisation groups.

The use of radiotherapy scanning for planning purposes is not covered by the QSI as it is not, at that point, a diagnostic imaging tool.

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