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. 

Service type Service managers training Leading Lights accreditation
Voluntary £550 (limited spaces available) £1250
Statutory £795 £2500


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

Apply today

To apply or find out more, please contact leading.lights@safelives.org.uk