Foundation and CORNERSTONE® simplification 

Draft modules available for piloting 

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

Latest news 

We’re pleased to report that 36 practices have signed up to pilot the draft Foundation Standard module

We will shortly be sending out the draft Teaching Practice module along with an invitation to participate in a pilot.

Project updates  

Updates will be sent out regularly and added below

May 2019 update 
April 2019 update
March 2019 update 
February 2019 update 
December 2018 update 
October 2018 update 
September 2018 update
August 2018 update 
June 2018 update


Foundation Standard module pilot FAQs

How has the Foundation Standard been simplified?

We have kept the current structure so it looks familiar but removed some criteria, particularly criteria that reflect quality improvement which will be incorporated into the CORNERSTONE® CQI or GP modules. We have also removed criteria that relate to legislative compliance or running a practice where they do not directly support the purpose of the standard. 

We have also been less prescriptive about training requirements – these have only been mandated when they are considered essential. Other training options have been provided for the practice to consider when developing their training plans.

We have also reduced the volume of guidance and added in hyperlinks to current relevant reference information. 

What kind of support will be available to practices participating in the pilot?
We will be providing phone, email, website and webinar support during the pilot. Pilot practices will also receive a regular e-newsletter from the Quality team. 

Are practices expected to complete the pilot by October 2019

We believe it’s possible to complete the Foundation Standard module pilot by the end of October 2019, and we will be providing support to help practices achieve this, but it isn’t mandatory. 

Practice that don’t complete the pilot by the end of October can apply the work towards meeting the new Foundation Standard module requirements. 

If my practice completes the pilot, what level of accreditation will we recieve?

Practices who complete the pilot and enter into a new Foundation Standard contract will be accredited for four-years.

Will we use QA2QI for the pilot?

No, we will provide pilot practices a login for Smartsheet (essentially a sophisticated web-based version of excel) where you can record and track process - you can also upload supporting documentation.

If I don't participate in the pilot, is it still possible to provide feedback on the pilot modules? 

Absolutely, we would appreciate feedback from practices not directly involved in the pilot - the more feedback we get, the better the final modules will be. 

When will the CORNERSTONE® modules be ready to pilot?

The Teaching Practice module will be available in May - the CQI and General Practice modules will available in June 2019.