The Joint Accreditation Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), known as JACIE, is a nonprofit body established for the purposes of assessment and accreditation in the field of haemopoietic SCT (HSCT). The committee was established in 1999 with the aim of creating a standardized system of accreditation officially recognized across Europe and based on the accreditation standards established by the US-based Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). The major objectives of JACIE are to improve the quality of HSCT in Europe by providing a means whereby transplant centres, cell collection facilities and processing facilities can demonstrate high-quality practice. JACIE launched its official inspection programme in January 2004, and since then more than 35 centres in Europe have been inspected. The history of paediatric-specific accreditation guidelines has lagged behind the overall development but is now incorporated within the standards. There is now acknowledgement that a paediatric transplant team will be headed by a paediatric programme director, that an independent paediatric unit will perform no less than 10 allogeneic transplants in children under the age of 18 per year, be looked after by nurses and junior doctors specifically trained in paediatric practice and have access to paediatric subspecialties with an intensive care unit on site. Paediatric units will be examined by a paediatric-trained inspector. Remaining issues of difference with the guidelines relate to the numbers required for accreditation in combined units. Overall, the paediatric community in Europe has embraced the JACIE guidelines. JACIE is working more closely with other international organizations in cellular therapy to develop international standards for all aspects of SCT. The recent implementation of Directive 2004/23/EC has provided an impetus for the implementation of JACIE in European Union (EU) member states, and in particular the requirements for safety of imported tissues and cells have emphasized the need for global harmonization.
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