CGRM standards

Clinical Governance and Risk Management - National Standards

About the Standards

Every person using the NHS should expect their care and services to be safe, effective and patient-focused.

The NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS) standards for clinical governance and risk management have been developed to support all NHS Boards to put in place the necessary systems and processes to ensure that safe, effective, patient-focused care and services are being delivered across Scotland.

The standards are the conclusion of a two year process of development and consultation by a multidisciplinary project group, whose members have been drawn from a range of backgrounds, reflecting the many dimensions of healthcare governance.

The scope of the standards covers all aspects of clinical governance and risk management from the perspective of patient outcomes, and incorporate the following elements:

Standard 1 - Safe and effective care and services

  • Risk management
  • Emergency and continuity planning
  • Clinical effectivess and quality improvement

Standard 2 - The health, wellbeing and care experience

  • Access, referral, treatment and discharge
  • Equality and diversity
  • Communication

Standard 3 - Assurance and accountability

  • Clinical governance and quality assurance
  • Fitness to practice
  • External communuication
  • Performance management
  • Information governance

In may 2006, NHS QIS commenced a peer review programme to assess the performance of all NHS Boards against the standards for clinical governance and risk management. Local reports will be published on the NHS QIS website between January and August 2007 and the National Overview will be published in October.


The National Standards for Clinical Governance & Risk Management were finalised following an extensive period of consultation which sought to obtain the views of a wide range of individuals and organisations with an interest in clinical governance and risk management, including patients and members of the public. Two reports outline the outcomes of the consultation and highlight how this feedback informed the finalisation of the standards document:

Contact Information

For further information on any aspect of NHS QIS clinical governance and risk management work, please contact:

Tracy Walker
Senior Project Officer
Tel: 0131 623 4391


Published Date: 01 October 2005


Healthcare Improvement Scotland took over the responsibilities of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland on 1st April 2011.