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GSF – Frequently Answered Questions

      1. What kind of organisation is GSF? 

GSF is a Community Interest Company. In addition to a Board of Directors, we have independent advisory groups, and an independent panel of experts. Our Quality Assurance and Quality Recognition processes are monitored by an independent Quality Assurance Consultant. We have over the years worked closely with all major stakeholders, e.g. the four major social care organisations, CQC, commissioners, the department of health.  All of the GSF programmes meet the Common core competencies, the NOS, DoH Quality markers for a given organisation, and NICE Guidance.

GSF training is a sustainable process where the staff within an organisation are enabled to take ownership for the changes and the ongoing sustainability. Evidence from organisations being Re-accredited 3 years on shows how they continue to develop and to take a leading role in influencing local policy. Support varies from region to region and is a local arrangement.

In addition GSF provides, support via the website, updates. We also provide updates and refreshers, depending on need in a given area. With the development of 12 Regional Training Centres it is planned that ongoing support and updates will be more localised.

Nationally our processes and standards within the Quality Hallmark Award are recognised as a marker of excellence and we work closely with the major policy groups in sharing information and in the development of examples of excellent practice. Our processes are endorsed by all major care homes associations, the RCGP, the DoH End of Life Care Strategy amongst others and our programmes have been mapped to the Skills for Care qualifications and the National Occupational Standards.

      2. What difference does implementing GSF make?

GSF enables individuals and organisations to operate in a much more co-ordinated way through advance care planning, and actively encourages cross boundary communication across care settings, regardless of time of day, service user diagnosis or location.

      3. How is it different from other end of life care training?

Many study programmes, such as Skills for Care, or study days offered by other providers, are generally around the last days of life and are focused on training for the individual person.  GSF is about organisational and systems change and for all people with long term conditions, who may be in the last year or so of life. The programme empowers carers to advocate for their service users and helps them to recognise when someone is nearing the end of life and how to plan for that event, helping prevent inappropriate hospital admissions at the end of life.  It enables care agencies to audit care that is provided to service users at end of life and what tools have been used to help allow someone to die in their preferred place of care.  GSF helps the organisation and team turn policy into practice.

      4. How do I register my organisation to complete one of the

         GSF training programmes?

To register your organisation on one of the GSF training programmes, please complete an expression of interest form on the relevant programme page of the GSF website. The form can be found on the right hand side of the relevant programme’s page.

      5. What is the cost of registering to a GSF training programme?

The cost of registering for GSF differs depending on which training programme you’d like to register yourself/your organisation on. If you’d like to know the exact cost, please complete an expression of interest form on the relevant programme page of the GSF website and make sure to include a request for costings in the additional comments section of the form. The form can be found on the right hand side of the relevant programme’s page.

      6. How do I register my organisation for Accreditation?

The first step in registering to become accredited is to undertake one of the GSF training programmes. Once the training programme is complete, and there has been some time for consolidation, you will receive an invitation to progress to Accreditation. This will involve submitting a portfolio of evidence against the XX GSF accreditation standards, which will be assessed. Subject to satisfactory completion of this stage we will then arrange an assessment visit. The findings are discussed by an independent panel where decisions are made as to whether to award Accreditation. Those who receive Accreditation are invited to attend our annual conference to be presented with their Award and celebrate their achievements. To apply for accreditation, you can do so by accessing the accreditation page for your programme on the GSF website, and sending an expression of interest for accreditation email to the relevant programme’s accreditation email address.

       7. What is the cost of Accreditation?

The cost of accreditation differs depending on which setting your organisation is in (Acute Hospitals, Primary Care), or on other factors such as how many beds your organisation has (for Care Homes). If you’d like to know the exact cost, please email

      8. What if we are registered for Accreditation but are not ready to be assessed?

If you are registered for Accreditation by feel that your organisation is not ready to complete the application, there is a self-deferral process available. This process is included in the accreditation guidance for all accreditation programmes. Please refer to you guidance document for details, or email the relevant programme coordinator if you require further assistance.

      9. Can an individual register to a GSF training programme?

Individuals can only register for the following programmes – Dementia and Clinical Skills, which are located on GSF’s Virtual Learning Zone. For all remaining programmes, they must register as part of an organisation.

      10. Are all GSF programmes available on the Virtual Learning Zone (VLZ)?

 No, only the following programmes are available on the Virtual Learning Zone:

Dementia Care, Care Homes, Primary Care, Domiciliary Care and Clinical Skills.

      11. Are the GSF programmes available to organisations outside of the UK?

There are certain aspects of the GSF programmes as well as certain tools that can be used by internationally, or adapted for local needs. If you are from organisation outside of the UK and are interested in learning more about GSF, please contact our international coordinator, and request an expression of interest GSF International Collaborating Centre form to complete.

     12. Do you have to register for a GSF programme in order

           to access the IT Solutions tool?

No, the IT Solutions can be purchased independently by an organisation. If your organisation would like to access this tool or learn more about it, please email to request further details.

       13. How do I find a list of Accredited Care Homes?

 Our Accredited Care Homes List can be found on the Care Homes Accreditation page on the GSF website.

       14. I've lost my website and or ADA username and password, what should I do?

If you are registered on one of our training programmes but have misplaced either your website or ADA username and/or password, please contact for assistance.

      15.  How long does the accreditation process take to complete?

The Accreditation process differs slightly, depending on what setting your organisation is registered within (Care Homes, Primary Care, etc.), however on average the process takes between 6 to 8 months to complete.

      16. Can an organisation train in more than one area?

Yes – at GSF we have various CCGs that have registered for our Cross Boundary Care programme, thereby including multiple settings within the training (Care Homes, Primary care Practices, Acute Hospital wards). For more information, please contact

      17. How do I starting training on the VLZ?

Firstly, you must send an expression of interest email to the relevant programme contact email e.g.  Once you have sent an email to express your interest in joining a VLZ programme, you will be sent further information together with a registration form. The registration form requires information on payment of the course. We will send an invoice and once this is paid you will be sent your log-in details for the VLZ course.

     18. Are there any useful documentation on ACP available?

  The NHS Planning your future care is a very useful document for people thinking about developing an advance care plan. Please see the link below. However the thinking ahead document is meant to be used as a template to record important   elements following an in-depth conversation, this is not a one of conversation but an ongoing discussion:


    19. Is there any documentation regarding how often someone

         identified as End of life should be regularly reviewed?

          All care for an individual who is dying, needs to be based on individual assessment and personalised

          to the person. Every person is different and will require individual assessment.

          Please refer to the document on the link below:


       20. Where I can find a copy of the GSF prognostic coding review form?

         The form can be found via the link below:

         NEW PIG 7th Edition 2022.pdf

   21. What are the benefits of GSF for us?

Many staff who have been through the programmes, whether the domiciliary care, care home, primary care or hospital programmes talk about increased staff satisfaction and confidence following the implementation of GSF, as they are enabled to deliver systematic and co-ordinated care which supports service users and their carers to make informed choices about their preferred options for care. Identifying service users earlier can lead to better advance care planning, and also reduce avoidable hospital admissions.

   22. What are the benefits for service users?

By increasing the confidence and knowledge of domiciliary carers in end of life care, when a person reaches the dying phase they can continue to care for that person at home  rather than the care being transferred to another provider ensuring continuity and familiarity for the service user and their family


Updated: 6/02/2017