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Individual PIF TICK launch will help more people access and recognise trusted health information

Dan Wills

The way people search for and use health information is changing. Four years ago the Patient Information Forum (PIF) launched the PIF TICK quality mark to help people identify trusted health information. Now, we have expanded the scheme to allow individual health content creators to apply.

  • Communication and administration

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Patient Information Forum (PIF) launched a new quality mark for health information. The PIF TICK makes it easier for members of the public to identify trusted health information which is evidence-based, up-to-date and meets the needs of users.

The scheme now has more than 120 accredited Trusted Information Creators including major health charities, NHS Trusts, pharmaceutical companies and private companies. Many of these are also members of National Voices. To be awarded the PIF TICK, members must undergo an independent assessment and prove they meet 10 key criteria for producing reliable health information.

A changing health information landscape

In the four years since we launched the PIF TICK the health information landscape has changed dramatically. More people are now using social media to access information and the challenges of disinformation and misinformation have only increased.

A 2022 survey of UK social media users revealed more than 4 in 10 believe TikTok is the most accessible platform for health related content. Worryingly, almost 6 in 10 of those using the platform say they have seen untrue or misleading information and 1 in 10 have taken action on advice that turned out to be inaccurate. Just last month, the Big Ambition Report revealed children were concerned about seeing harmful online content on topics like eating disorders.

Launch of the Individual PIF TICK

To reflect this changing information environment, we launched a pilot to allow individual health content creators who publish their own content to gain PIF TICK accreditation for the first time. The aim was to help more people than ever easily recognise and access trusted, evidence-based information, no matter where they were searching.

Four creators publishing on various social media platforms took part – Doctor Azmain Chowdhury, Doctor Sophie Newton GP, Doctor Liz O’Riordan and Pharmacist Virginia Chachati.

We found the PIF TICK assessment process helped creators to feel confident they are producing accessible, evidence-based content which meets the needs of users. Other benefits of assessment included:

  • Helping to tackle misinformation
  • Easing pressure on overstretched NHS services
  • Getting expert support
  • Gaining a trusted information quality mark

At the same time, organisations awarded the original PIF TICK told us expansion of the scheme helped give them a better understanding of which partners they could safely collaborate with and whether a piece of information is safe to signpost towards.

The Individual PIF TICK officially launched in March. We are now accepting applications from individual health content creators who publish their own content. Organisations can still apply for the original PIF TICK.

Find out more and apply for both schemes here.


Dan Wills is Quality Manager for the Patient Information Forum (PIF). He joined in early 2020 to launch the PIF TICK scheme and now oversees a team of assessors. Prior to joining PIF, Dan had more than a decade of experience working with charities and the NHS, including as Assessment and Development Manager at NHS England.