Webinar and FAQs about the New Quality framework

On 13 November, our Chief Executive Lynne Hayman held a webinar for those interested in learning more about our new Quality framework. You can watch the webinar below and read FAQs which help explain things like the transition process, the new modules, assessments and more. 


1. If a practice is currently Cornerstone accredited, will it have to complete the new Foundation progamme?

Each practice will receive a personalised transition plan to support their move onto the new Cornerstone programme.  As part of the transition to the new Cornerstone programme practices will need to complete the Foundation programme, Equity, and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) modules, with varying time frames for completion depending on where practices are on the existing cycle. 

2. We are mid-way through our Cornerstone cycle, do we stop or continue what we’re doing?

Practices in the Cornerstone programme should continue to work on the current standard, particularly the minimum legal and regulatory requirements. From 1 April 2020 they will transition and work to the new modular programme.

3. When will the transition information be available?

The transition information will be available in early 2020.  A personalised transition programme will be developed and shared with each practice. 

4.When can we sign up to the new Cornerstone programme?

All current Cornerstone practices will automatically be transitioned to the new programme. Transition information will be available in early 2020, with a personalised transition programme developed and shared with each practice.

More information about the new modules

5. How will the cross-crediting from non-College organisations (like Health Care Home and Southern Cross) work? 

The College’s new quality framework is designed so the College may recognise existing quality related achievements from organisations such as Southern Cross Health or Health Care Home.
The programmes, criteria, process and points have not yet been determined and this work will commence after the April go-live date. This work is designed to recognise what each practice has achieved. 

6. What do I need to do to host a registrar? 

Teaching practices will be required to complete the Foundation programme, Continuous Quality Improvement, Equity and Teaching modules.

7. Will the refresher modules have the same points value as the initial modules?

Yes. The ‘refresher assessment’ is just that – a check to confirm the practice still meets the current criteria.  Completing the ‘refresher’ will give the practice the same number of points as the original module. A practice’s status (Bronze, Silver or Gold) will only change if the practice adds additional modules or fails to keep its modules’ current. 

8. Is it possible to see the new framework and requirements for the modules?

There are two videos (one an animation of the new framework and one a presentation by the College Chief Executive) on our website that explains how the new framework will work. The finalised Foundation programme will be available on the College website in early 2020 and the new Cornerstone modules will be shared in the months following. 

We’re currently developing guidance on the new requirements to help practices make a smooth transition to the new programmes. These will be shared before the new framework goes live on 1 April 2020.

9. What are the benefits of achieving Gold status Cornerstone, as opposed to Silver or Bronze? 

With our new quality framework, practices decide what status they want to work at or towards. Because the framework is flexible, practices can tailor their participation based on their interests, capacity and the context in which they work. Practices can set their own goals and aspirations – they are in control of their own quality journey. The status level and modules practices choose can demonstrate quality improvement in areas most relevant for that practice.

10. Will the 40 Cornerstone Indicators be in the new programme?


The new Foundation programme will have fewer indicators and criteria.

The number of Cornerstone Indicators required will depend on which module(s) the practice chooses to do (bearing in mind there are two compulsory modules: Continuous Quality Improvement and Equity). The Indicators/criteria for these two Cornerstone modules will be published in early 2020.

More information about assessments


11. What do we do if we are due for a Foundation Standard reassessment soon? 

If a practice is currently completing its second cycle of Foundation, it should continue and, if its expiry date is before 31 March 2020, consider being recertified under the existing programme. 

12. When will training for assessors begin?

The College will share its assessor application process early next year, and we anticipate assessor training beginning in March 2020. 

13. Will PHOs undertake their practices’ Foundation assessments and independent assessors do Cornerstone assessments?

The College will train and endorse assessors for both the Foundation programme and the Cornerstone modules.  The College will publish a list of ‘endorsed assessors’ and make this available to DHBs, PHOs, and practices wishing to book an assessment. Some PHOs may choose to have their staff trained and endorsed as assessors, but anyone working in general practice can apply to participate in the training and become a College endorsed assessor. 

14. Will Foundation assessors be expected to have clinical knowledge?

Yes, there is an expectation that those undertaking Foundation programme assessor training will have both clinical and general practice experience. 

15. Is there a price difference between the different status levels of the new model?

There will be a fee for each module chosen. Pricing information will be available in early 2020.

16. Will the Foundation programme and Cornerstone modules have a set timeframe required for completion?

No. However, practices will want to complete and maintain the Foundation programme in order to meet their PSAAP obligations (these are required for capitation purposes). It will then be up to the practice to choose how quickly it completes each Cornerstone module. 

17. Will the College set or control the assessor fees? 

The College will not be setting a standard external assessment fee. The market (PHOs, practices and assessors) will determine what the fee structure will be.