Foundation and CORNERSTONE® simplification 

Latest update 

The Foundation and CORNERSTONE® standard pilot have finished and we are currently assessing our options. 

Thank you to everyone who has submitted feedback on the draft modules. We’ve collected over 600 pieces of feedback which will help us to finalise our new College Quality Standards.

We’ve created a pilot assessment process flowchart to help practices prepare for the assessment – if you have any questions, please email


The College Quality team are currently running a pilot of the Foundation Standard module and CORNERSTONE® modules.

See the module webpages for more information about the pilots:

Project background

Last year the College (in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders) reviewed its quality programme and in December the Board agreed to the following changes:
  • retiring the current Aiming for Excellence Standard and creating two new standards, Foundation and CORNERSTONE®
  • standardising the Foundation and CORNERSTONE® renewal to four years (Foundation Standard was previously three years)
  • shifting the annual assessment for both Foundation and CORNERSTONE® to an online midcycle review
  • running a six-month pilot of the new standards from April 2019
  • implementing the finalised standards nationally from October 2019

New modular approach

The new Foundation Standard will be one module that represents legal, professional and regulatory requirements that a general practice must meet as part of providing safe, effective and equitable care.   The new CORNERSTONE® standard will be modular. To achieve CORNERSTONE® accreditation, practices will need to be accredited against the Foundation Standard, the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) module and one other module of their choice. Initially, practices will have three modules to choose from. Initially, there will be three options to choose from (a General Practice module, a Minor Surgery module and a Teaching module), but further modules will be added at a later date.


If you have any questions about the project, please email