The Information Standard is a certification scheme for health and social care information. It has been established by the Department of Health to help patients and the public make informed choices about their lifestyle, their condition, and their options for treatment and care.
About 50,000 organisations produce health and social care information for the public in England, and some people can feel overwhelmed by the volume of material and be unsure what to trust.
The Information Standard has been introduced to fulfil the need for a "quality filter" to help people decide which information is trustworthy. It provides a recognised "quality mark", which indicates that an organisation is a reliable source of health and social care information.
To gain certification, the NHS website has had to demonstrate that the systems and methods it uses to produce its material are robust and result in material that is accurate, accessible, impartial, balanced, based on evidence and well written.
The NHS website information production methods are described in the site's editorial policy.
User-generated information – including comments on services, and blogs and forums – is excluded from the scope of certification.
Read more about the scheme on The Information Standard website.
Page last reviewed: 12 September 2016
Next review due: 12 September 2019