Foundation and CORNERSTONE® simplification 

Latest update 

The launch of these new Standards has been extended to 1 April 2020.

This delay is due to the high number of practices participating our pilot, the amount of valued feedback we are receiving, the level of sector interest in this programme, and the College’s commitment to delivering the best possible outcome.

Read the full update and FAQs


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