Accreditation statistics and awards table

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Find out how many services across the UK are accredited, as well as the progress of individual units.

Awards table

Look up individual services to find out their progress towards becoming Baby Friendly.

2020 awards

In 2020 we awarded:

  • 12 Certificates of Commitment
  • 12 Stage 1 accreditations
  • 9 Stage 2 accreditations
  • 12 full accreditations and 32 re-accreditations
  • 16 Gold Awards and 12 Gold re-validations

Overall engagement

There are currently 93% of maternity services and 90% of health visiting services working towards Baby Friendly accreditation. In Universities there are 72% of Midwifery programmes and 28% of Health Visiting programmes working towards the award.

Overall full accreditations

In the UK the percentage of services with full Baby Friendly accreditation are:

  • 60% of maternity services
  • 73% of health visiting services
  • Universities: 44% of Midwifery courses; 17% Health visiting courses
  • We are delighted that 21 children’s centres and 15 neonatal units have also achieved full, independent accreditation.

Births taking place in fully accredited hospitals

  • England 53%
  • Northern Ireland 100%
  • Scotland 100%
  • Wales 86%

Page last updated December 2020.

Stages of accreditation

Facilities that have not contacted UNICEF UK to engage with the Baby Friendly accreditation process, or whose previous award has lapsed due to a prolonged period of inactivity.

Facilities that have registered their intention to work towards accreditation but have not yet requested any assessments. This means that UNICEF UK has no information about the standard of care they provide.

A certificate to mark the facility’s commitment to work towards Baby Friendly accreditation.  This involves writing an action plan and infant feeding policy and will usually follow an implementation visit by a Baby Friendly assessor.

The facility has created policies and procedures to support the implementation of the standards and these have been externally assessed by UNICEF UK and found to be adequate. For universities, the curriculum, lesson plans, teaching aids and materials for students are assessed.

The facility has educated their staff to implement the Baby Friendly standards and been externally assessed by UNICEF UK. This assessment involves interviewing a random sample of staff (of all grades) to assess their knowledge and skills and checking the curriculum, training records and internal audit results.

For universities, a sample of students who have undertaken the course for which accreditation is being sought are interviewed to ascertain whether they have the skills and knowledge to practice in line with Baby Friendly standards. University courses are accredited following a successful Stage 2 assessment.

The facility has implemented the Baby Friendly standards and has been externally assessed by UNICEF UK. This assessment involves interviewing mothers about the care they have received and reviewing policies, guidance and internal audits.

Accreditation lasts for 2 years after which a re-assessment of all the standards takes place. Subsequently re-assessments take place every 1-5 years depending on how well the facility is deemed to be maintaining the standards.

Suspension occurs following the re-assessment of an accredited facility where care was found to be below the standard required or where a facility has chosen to suspend their accreditation because of challenges within the organisation. This is to allow the facility to improve care prior to another re-assessment.

Suspension will currently end after 4 years (due to ongoing effects of Covid-19 pandemic) and the service will be categorised as “No current information” unless they are actively progressing towards an assessment.

A scheduled assessment has not taken place due to significant issues within the facility for example; re-organisation, re-location or serious illness of a key member of staff. Therefore we have no recent information against which to assess the standard of care provided. Facilities that are designated “Re-assessment overdue” are no longer considered to be fully accredited.

In a university this may be due to challenges with university curriculum re-validation cycles.

This also applies to any services who have not been able to have their scheduled assessment due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. This status will normally end after 2 years, however due to ongoing effects of Covid-19 pandemic it is currently extended to 4 years.


Several criteria at re-assessment of an accredited facility have not been met and a further re-assessment is required within 9 months to take place before the award can be confirmed.

Accreditations with this label are based on assessments carried out during the Covid-19 outbreak. These assessments were carried out remotely and some dispensation was given for the restrictions and working conditions imposed on services during this time.

When an accredited facility has experienced significant challenges that affect Baby Friendly care there will be additional measures put into place to support the facility to improve care and provide evidence of that improvement. During this period, the facility will not be considered to be fully accredited until a further successful re-assessment has taken place, or agreed additional evidence has been submitted.

When an accredited facility has experienced significant challenges that may have an effect on Baby Friendly care. During this time additional evidence is being sought and support provided. Accreditation is currently maintained.