Design Audit Certificate FAQs

What is a design audit?
How do I prepare?
What happens after the visit?
Can I do anything to change my rating?
What do I need to do next?

What is a design audit?

This service independently assesses care setting design for people with dementia. A pair of trained auditors will visit the building and carry out a detailed audit of all areas used by people with dementia, using our audit tool. The tool has been specifically developed to rate the design of a building against evidence-based research on dementia-friendly design.

How do I prepare?

It is helpful to advise staff and residents that the auditors are coming and to seek permission for us to view a bedroom and associated private spaces. The auditors will need to see space and places that people with dementia journey from and to as well as communal areas. The auditors will need to meet with a member of your team on the day of the visit for about half an hour before the audit starts. They will be the designated point of contact throughout the visit and would, of course, be most welcome to accompany the auditors during the visit. The auditors will want to find out about the building and its use, and any information about plans to change how part(s) of the building may be used in the future. They will also take photographs of key features. These photographs will not include any people. All of this information will assist the quality of the assessment process and focus of the subsequent report.

It is useful for the auditors to receive drawings or fire safety plans, if available, in advance of the audit.

We recommend you self-audit the building in advance of our visit to give you an idea of the level of certification you are likely to achieve. Please note that to gain a gold, silver or bronze award you must score 100% in essential criteria.

Our audit award categories are Gold, Silver, Bronze and Highly Commended. The award of Highly Commended will be given when in the in opinion of the DSDC auditors, everything possible has been done to make your building dementia-friendly but the nature of the building itself means that it cannot meet the conditions of eligibility for an award. A judgement will be made as to whether it is reasonable to expect the building itself to be modified in some way, and the award will only be given if this is clearly impossible for reasons of historic listing, planning requirements, jeopardising the intrinsic structure of the building etc.

What happens after the visit?

Following the visit a detailed report will be provided within 6 weeks. The auditors' report will provide feedback on areas of design and how they rate against the audit tool.

The report will suggest any areas for improvement and provide a rating of the building. The report will be written to allow you to make decisions on any changes you might want to make to the building in the future.

If the building receives a rating of Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended you will receive a certificate from the University of Stirling, Dementia Services Development Centre that can be displayed for 3 years to recognise accreditation. If you wish to arrange for reaccreditation after this period please contact us.

Can I do anything to change my rating?

Yes. Changes made within 6 months of receiving the report will be taken into consideration towards a revision of your rating and certification awarded or revised to reflect these changes.

What do I need to do next?

To arrange an audit, please contact us.