The universal GP Training website for everyone, not just Bradford.   Created in 2002 by Dr Ramesh Mehay

The Bath Audit Course

the most simple way of understanding audit

05 Setting Standards

Both the Criteria and Standards define what should be happening.  


Have a go at defining what an audit standard is.

How does it compare with this?

  • “An audit standard is a minimum level of acceptable performance for that criterion.”


  • “At least 80% of eligible women aged 25-65 should have had a cervical smear in the last 5 years.”
  • “At least 60% of asthmatics should have had a Peak Flow recorded in the past year.”
  • “100% of drugs in our doctors’ bags should be in-date.”

The standard should reflect the clinical and medico-legal importance of the criterion.

  • in the example above, 80% of women should have had a cervical smear,
  • But of those who’ve had an abnormal smear, 100% should have had action taken.

Standards may change with time:

  • 70% of patients with IHD should have a cholesterol <5.2mmol/l  – this is pertinent clinically today because the NSF says so
  • but in the future a higher standard may be expected as a result of clinical governance.


  • Some criteria are so important that they need 100% standard.
  • However, 100% standards are unusual – patients or circumstances usually conspire against perfection and the standard needs to reflect that.
  • Your literature search should give you an idea of what standards others have managed to reach.
  • Your standard needs to follow on directly from your criterion – for example,
        • “Patients on thyroxine should have had TFTs done in the last year; this should have happened in at least 90% of patients”.

The Bath Audit Course, Designed by Dr Michael Harris (Bath)

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Bradford VTS was created by Dr. Ramesh Mehay, a Programme Director for Bradford GP Training Scheme back in 2001. Over the years, it has seen many permutations.  At the time, there were very few resources for GP trainees and their trainers so Bradford decided to create one FOR EVERYONE. 

So, we see Bradford VTS as  the INDEPENDENT vocational training scheme website providing a wealth of free medical resources for GP trainees, their trainers and TPDs everywhere and anywhere.  We also welcome other health professionals – as we know the site is used by both those qualified and in training – such as Associate Physicians, ANPs, Medical & Nursing Students. 

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