Sleep Centre accreditation

Dear Member

This document sets out the process by which the BSS plans to implement Sleep Medicine Centre (SMC) accreditation. It is broadly in accordance with directions of the European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) in which the ideal or ‘gold standard’ SMC has also been described (Pevernagie D, for Steering Committee of the European Sleep Research Society. European Guidelines for the Accreditation of Sleep Medicine Centres. J Sleep Res. 2006; 15: 231-8).

The BSS has devised a detailed ‘Standards for Accreditation’ document to guide prospective applicants. This will form the basis against which a centre is assessed by the BSS Inspection Panel. All relevant documents or references to their original sources will be available from the BSS office and will also be found on the web site from where they can be downloaded.

Applicants should understand that initially the process may take some time to implement and that it will be carried out on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis.

Applicants will be listed in a queue on receipt of satisfactorily completed application paperwork. The process of inspection and accreditation is as follows:

1. The applying Centre should complete the BSS SMC Accreditation Questionnaire and send 6 copies to the Chairman of the Accreditation Sub-Committee along with a letter of request agreeing to abide by the decision of the Inspection Panel (though with a right of appeal as set out below).

2. The BSS will charge the applying Centre £500 for the general administration of the process and £500 per day per person inspecting the Centre plus travel expenses. The £500 for general administration should be forwarded with the completed application papers and made payable to the British Sleep Society.

The other fees are payable to the BSS within one month of completion of the site visit. The travel expenses will be reimbursed to each inspector and the daily fee of £500 will be payable into a research or other similar fund of the employing Trust, but not into any individual personal accounts.

3. The elected members of the BSS Executive Committee will form the membership of the Accreditation Committee with the exception of the President to whom appeals would be directed in the event of any dispute. The EC will appoint a Chairperson for the Accreditation Committee who will usually (but not necessarily) be an EC member.

4. The Accreditation Committee will appoint an Inspection Panel of usually 3 but occasionally more members, particularly if the inspection will involve visiting 2 or more sites. The Inspection Panel will always comprise at least 2 members of the Accreditation Committee plus, if appropriate, other members of the BSS or nonmembers of the BSS from within the UK or abroad if their special expertise is required to assess the centre. At least one member of the Inspection Panel will be a sleep technologist. Each member of the Inspection Panel will sign a form declaring any potential or actual conflict of interest, financial or other involvement with the applying centre.

5. The Inspection Panel will produce a written report on the visit with recommendations about whether or not the centre should be accredited. This report will be considered by the members of the Accreditation Committee and a decision made within 2 months of completion of the site visit.

6. The Accreditation Committee will make one of the following decisions:

a. Approve the centre for accreditation
b. Approve subject to minor amendments. The Director of the Centre should provide written evidence of implementation of the minor changes recommended by the Accreditation Committee within 3 months of receipt of the decision about accreditation. No further site visit would then be required to approve the centre.
c. Accreditation subject to substantial deficiencies being corrected. A written report by the Director of the Centre addressing the deficiencies should be provided within 6 months of the decision about accreditation. A further site visit will be required, to assess whether approval is appropriate.
d. Accreditation not recommended. No further application for accreditation can be submitted within 12 months.

7. The applying Centre can appeal against a decision of the BSS Accreditation Committee. This should initially be in the form of a written submission to the President of the BSS (with a copy to the Chairman of the Accreditation Committee) setting out the grounds for the appeal. The Chairman of the Accreditation Committee will submit a written appeal response. The President may chose to convene an Appeal Hearing at which the Director of the applying sleep centre and/or a deputising representative will be invited to attend along with the Chairman of the Accreditation Committee and members of the Inspection Panel. The President’s decision will be final and binding with no right of further appeal.

8. Accreditation is valid for 3 years after the site visit. Extension of accreditation requires the sleep centre to resubmit an Accreditation Questionnaire, highlighting any changes since the previous submission. This will be reviewed by the Accreditation Committee. A further site visit will not be routinely required.

However, a BSS-accredited SMC will be expected to continue to practice to a high standard and to reconsider its own status in the event of significant service, personnel or other resource changes within each 3-year cycle.

Andrew Hall
Honorary Secretary, BSS.

Related Documents

Summary : BSS SMC Accreditation Process Summary – 1 July 2010 (this page as .PDF)

Standards: BSS SMC Accreditation Standards – 2 July 2010 (.PDF)

Questionnaire: BSS SMC Accreditation Questionnaire (.Doc)

For more information contact the Hon Secretary via the BSS Office email: