The National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism helps to innovate and develop good practice and provide a hub for greater collaboration. Our primary role is to be an enabler for voluntary, public and private sector organisations, building their capacity to deliver responsive, high quality services.

The Centre for Autism’s aims

We aim to:

  • raise the standard of support and services for autistic people and their families across the UK and internationally
  • deliver a range of information, advice, advocacy, assessment and diagnosis services
  • provide a hub for a networked autism community, both in the UK and internationally, so that we can all share our knowledge and better link public need to professional expertise.

Raising the standard of support and services

Autism Accreditation is the first and only nationally established quality assurance programme for autism-specific provision. It continues to set and raise standards of excellence. With guidance from expert advisers, schools and services are supported to develop their autism expertise, resulting in better outcomes for those they serve. Find out more about Autism Accreditation.

We offer a broad curriculum of high quality training, consultancy and conferences, using a variety of media. This includes training for employers, diagnosticianseducationalists and many others. Our world renowned conference programme, culminating in an annual 2-day Autism Professionals conference, enables skill development and encourages the sharing of best and emerging practice.

We work with top international researchers and autistic people to ensure autism research reflects the areas most relevant to the people it affects: autistic people and their families. The Research Autism information service ensures that autistic people, their families and professionals have the evidence-based information they need to make informed decisions about interventions in autism. We monitor and evaluate autism practice in our own schools and services and ensure that best-practice is implemented in policy, service delivery and support. Find out more about research.

Information, advice, advocacy, assessment and diagnosis services

We ensure all parts of our charity have an excellent understanding of the needs of autistic people and their families, and that they have the tools they need to deliver the very best services and support. This includes the staff in our schools and services, and the staff and volunteers who deliver our advice services and our web based information.

We support families directly at the times they need help most through our diagnostic services, our EarlyBirdteen life and healthy minds programmes, and our family seminars.

Networked autism community

With over 10,000 members in the UK and Internationally, Network Autism, our web-based community of practice for autism professionals, provides access to quality information, resources and emerging research, and a way to network and share knowledge.

We lead and develop partnership models which grow expertise within autism-related fields, including the Autism Education Trust and Autism Europe. We are actively involved in partnerships to develop expertise and knowledge in the areas of criminal justice, women and girls on the spectrum and older adults.

Last reviewed October 2017