reasonable assuranceA term used in the context of inspections of a UK hospital trust by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), reasonable assurance is, by definition, neither absolute nor assumed, but based on documentary evidence that can withstand internal and external challenge.
In determining what level of assurance is reasonable, trusts must recognise that the core standards are not optional and describe a level of service that is acceptable and universal. The CQC expects a trust to comply with the core standards, which will be managed through the trust's routine processes for assurance. A Trust’s boards should consider all aspects of their services when judging whether they have reasonable assurance that they are meeting the published criteria for assessment. Where healthcare organisations provide services directly, they have primary responsibility for ensuring that they meet the core standards. However, the Trust’s responsibility also extends to those services that they provide via partnerships or other forms of contractual arrangement—e.g., if human-resource functions are provided through a shared service. If such arrangements are in place, the organisation should have reasonable assurance that those services meet the requirements of the standards.