AXREM has picked up the award for innovation of the year award at the prestigious Trade Association Forum Awards for their innovative member accreditation scheme.

Less than a year after the AXREM Member Accreditation Scheme was launched, members of the AXREM team and membership gathered at The Brewery in London on the evening of 23rd February and celebrated along with trade association covering a wide variety of sectors for all the work done by associations. Now in its 20th year, the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Awards 2023 are supported by the Department of Business and Trade, and recognise excellence, innovation and best practice amongst Trade Associations in the UK.

Emily Wallace, Chief Executive of the Trade Association Forum and Chair of the judging panel said: “The judges loved this simple innovation which delivered real-world impact, and which is helping to save the NHS money in a really practical way”.

AXREM launched the AXREM Member Accreditation (AMA) Scheme in April 2022 and it now has over 2000 registrants, AMA is a true low cost “not for profit” accreditation scheme which reduces the cost burden within the supply chain; (costs that would otherwise inevitably find themselves reflected in the cost of products and services borne by NHS Trusts).

AXREM (the UK trade association representing suppliers of diagnostic medical imaging, radiotherapy, healthcare IT and care equipment in the UK), are aware that some NHS Trusts in England have contracted with 3rd party companies to provide a credentialing and accreditation service on their behalf.  We understand that these have been positioned as “free” services to participating NHS Trusts, though these credentialing companies levy a charge to supplier organisations on a recurring annual “per employee” basis.  Whilst offered as a free service to NHS Trusts, these schemes present additional costs within the supply chain which ultimately impacts the price the NHS pays for goods and services.

Furthermore, there are multiple scheme operators and supplier employees registered with one scheme are potentially still refused access should the NHS Trust they are visiting have contracted with an alternate scheme.

The AMA scheme is specifically aligned with NHS requirements and policies. We wanted to ensure that the scheme is open and transparent, maintaining alignment with NHS and Professional Body stakeholders. The AXREM Member Accreditation Scheme Council includes representations from The Society and College of Radiographers, Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine, The Royal College of Radiologists and The British Institute of Radiology.

Fundamentally this is an employer scheme, such that the AXREM employer organisation underwrites the credentials of employees against agreed criteria. AXREM will carry out “audits” to ensure that the correct procedures are being adhered to by the relevant companies. Scheme member employers commit to reflect NHS policies relating to DBS checking, Vaccination policy, Health & Safety, etc.

Registrants carry an AMA membership card which will display their name, their employers company name, their photo, and a unique ID number and associated QR code. The employment status of the individual can be simply checked at any time by scanning the badge on the QR code without requiring specialist equipment and enabling validation of the registrant.

The AMA scheme now has over 2000 registrants and is the most comprehensively adopted accreditation scheme in the diagnostic imaging sector.

Upon winning the award Jeevan Gunaratnam, AXREM Chair said “AXREM members employ many professionals who can now use AMA, a low cost not-for-profit accreditation scheme, to support credentialing in line with NHS policies. We are honoured and delighted to have received this award in recognition of the many years of work to develop a scheme that truly benefits the NHS and industry. It’s an incredibly proud moment for AXREM and our members will continue to support our healthcare providers, who in turn serve our community so selflessly.”

Sally Edgington, AXREM Director said “I am so pleased that the work AXREM has done on AMA has been recognised with this national award. The scheme has been growing in strength throughout the last year, and I am excited to see how we can further develop our offering and visibility of the scheme ensuring we keep NHS costs low, especially given the pressure the NHS is finding itself under. AMA is a fantastic example how industry can come together and do the right thing by ensuring patient safety whilst keeping costs to a minimum for the NHS”.