How Leading Lights works

Is my service eligible?

You can apply for Leading Lights if you can meet all, or most of the following criteria. Your service:

  • has been up and running for at least a year
  • has a committed manager with sufficient time to dedicate to their own training and the accreditation process
  • has a lead working at governance or strategic level who is committed to the Leading Lights programme
  • systematically risk assess all referrals to the service
  • attends and participates in a local Marac (or is invovled in the process of establishing a Marac in the local area)
  • regularly collects data

 How the accreditation process works

SafeLives will support services to reach accreditation via:

  • SafeLives accredited training for service managers - the first course of its kind in the UK, developed by experts in the field. This course will teach you how to run a good quality service and how to meet the Leading Lights key criteria.
  • The provision of free, practical resources that support service development for meeting the Leading Lights standards.
  • A free, self assessment toolkit that allows service managers to lead their own service towards accreditation. (We ask that services managers submit their application for service accreditation within a year of attending the service manager training.)
  • An independent assessment visit from SafeLives and an externally accredited assessment process, leading to a 3 year accreditation.
  • On-going support after accreditation has been achieved.

The cost of accreditation

As services must complete accredited service managers training before undertaking Leading Lights accreditation, these are priced as two distinct elements. 

Voluntary service (income under £1 million)

  • Service Managers training - £600 (limited spaces available) 
  • Leading Lights accreditation (for services with up to 10 front line staff) - £1,500

Statutory and voluntary (income over £1 million)

  • Service Managers training - £845
  • Leading Lights accreditation (for services with up to 10 front line staff) - £3,000

The basic Leading Lights fee above is for a one day on site/remote assessment for services with up to 10 front line staff. For every additional 10 staff a further day is required and is charged at an additional £500 per day. 

Reassessment fees are charged at £250 for remote and £500 for on site (the majority can now be done remotely). 

Statutory or voluntary?
Places for those paying the voluntary fee are only available to charities with an annual income of less than £1m. Once the limited voluntary fee places are allocated, we still welcome applications from voluntary and charitable organisations at the standard fee rate.

SafeLives is a registered charity and all of our programmes are run on a not-for-profit basis.

Training only
If you are not able to commit to the Leading Lights programme but wish to learn how to make your service more effective and sustainable you can still apply for SafeLives Accredited Training for Service Managers.

Building strong commissioning relationships
We understand the complexities of commissioning and provide outcome monitoring, information, data and other support to help service providers with the commissioning process. Please see our commissioning pages for more information.

Find out more

What accreditation means to services - in their own words


Accredited services

Update as of August 2022

Please complete the below form to register your interest for Leading Lights Accreditation for your service, and we will be in touch:

Click here to register your interest

If you are an existing Leading Lights service and due for reaccreditation in 2023, or you would like to know more general information on the Leading Lights process, please email leading.lights@safelives.org.uk