Questions and answers

Firstly, the College has separated the two quality programmes – Foundation and Cornerstone.

Foundation remains the base level of legislative, regulatory and clinical requirements that all practices must comply with  to demonstrate quality assurance .

Cornerstone is now a modular programme where practices can choose what level, and what areas they may wish to focus their quality improvement programme on, by tailoring it to their practice’s needs. The CQI and Equity modules are compulsory.

We’ve introduced different tiers to our Cornerstone programme: bronze, silver and gold. This means practices are rewarded for their continuous improvement journey with new and interesting modules to work towards.

The Cornerstone assessment process is no longer be run by the College. We will train and moderate assessors, and practices and PHOs will manage the assessment   themselves.

Cornerstone has remained largely unchanged since its inception. Practices and PHOs told us the programme needed a refresh, and the findings of our pilot helped us to develop a programme that works best for our customers.

All of the standards and associated guidance have been reviewed for the Foundation Programme, and the Cornerstone Programme modules. We’ve removed repetition and simplified the language. The Cornerstone modular system allows practices to complete quality improvement activities relevant for their patient population, allowing them to focus on what is important to them.

Practices will be assessed against the Foundation Standard to achieve certification. Cornerstone modules will be assessed to achieve accreditation.

The Core modules must be completed first before embarking on other elective modules. 

Continuous Quality Improvement importantly sets the base learning for a quality programme.

Equity is a strategic priority for entire health sector. To illustrate the Colleges commitment to equity, we have developed a mandatory Equity module. This module focuses on equity as a tangible way of improving cultural awareness and patient safety within New Zealand’s general practices. 

QA2QI has been replaced by a new IT solution. Practice assessment data from QA2QI has been made available to practices for reviewing, amending, and uploading into the Quality tool.

All practices were transitioned to the new programmes on 1 April 2020. A transition plan was provided to each PHO and practice to show requirements, timeframes, and costs. If another copy is required, please email

The College now contracts directly with practices. There is an annual license fee for Foundation Standard and a fee for each Cornerstone module purchased. Invoices are available on the finance page in the practice administration section of this website. 

This will be entirely up to each practice.

For Cornerstone Bronze tier it will be necessary to complete the two core modules.

For Cornerstone Silver, and/or Gold tiers, a combination of elective modules of your choosing can be undertaken.

Teaching practices must maintain current Foundation Standard certification and Cornerstone Bronze tier accreditation. The Cornerstone Teaching module that was previously available has been suspended for the rest of 2021 while it undergoes review. Please email if you have any questions

Foundation will continue to be a requirement in the PSAAP agreement, achieving Foundation is compulsory.The new Cornerstone programme provides quality improvement opportunities that add ongoing value to practices but is voluntary and not compulsory

Foundation will have a three-year certification period once achieved. Practices must ensure they maintain their certification. Each Cornerstone module will have a three-year life from achievement. At the end of the third year, the practice will complete a ‘refresher’ to maintain achievement of the applicable module.We’ll send practices a new Cornerstone tier certificate annually to reflect their current status.

Each practice is different depending on where they are on their current quality cycle. Each individual practice will have a transition pathway established to achieve Cornerstone Bronze and beyond, after the initial automatic transfer into the new Cornerstone. 

The College encourages GPs to consider recording learning activities towards their CPD requirements where these align with their planned learning needs.

To maintain the integrity and quality of the Foundation Standard and Cornerstone modules we are providing an online version of these documents on our Quality microsite, not a printable PDF version. Practices can print the pages directly from the website. Practices using their Smartsheet web browser can download a copy of their Smartsheet assessment containing all required indicators and criteria or print the content as required.

Login details have been sent to the primary contact of each practice. If you need a reminder, please email

The College's Quality Framework no longer uses the term 'satellite' and any benefits associated with it are now superseded. All sites will have their own Quality account based on their Ministry of Health HPI facility ID and be viewed as independent.

If a practice's Foundation certification is expiring and they have concerns about re-certifying before the expiration date, then they need to discuss this with their PHO. It is a requirement of the Primary Health Organisation Services Agreement (PSAAP) agreement that practices are Foundation certified. The College cannot grant practices an extension as the ability to do so sits with the PHO. The College recommends that you talk with your PHO and agree on how this will be managed.