Research conducted at the University of Manchester (UoM) has shaped the design of national systems of accreditation for general practice in the UK, Europe and beyond. Accreditation systems set standards that reflect key aspects of the organisational systems and processes in general practice that are needed to ensure delivery of good quality care. Accreditation systems also provide a kite mark of quality assurance and act as a platform for supporting continuous quality improvement. UoM developed indicators of quality in general practice structure and organisation and demonstrated how they could be used effectively to improve quality. Working in partnership with health professional organisations, governmental organisations and other universities, UoM used knowledge from the research to develop systems for general practice accreditation now used in the UK and across Europe.