As someone who often looks for health advice online, I know how difficult it can be to check whether the information available is accurate or not.
And I am not alone – surveys show that 75% of people find it hard to work out whether information is trustworthy or not.
So, when I first heard about The Information Standard, a certification scheme for health information providers supported by the Department of Health, I could immediately see its value.
A simple way to check that information is evidence-based is much needed.
And for organisations like World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), it is fantastic to have an independent endorsement of the information we provide.
That’s why WCRF has become a member of the scheme and we will be including The Information Standard quality mark on our educational materials, both print and online, to signify that they meet six criteria: they are accurate, impartial, balanced, evidence-based, accessible and well written.
As part of the process of becoming a member, an independent certification body had to be convinced that WCRF’s information about how people can reduce their risk of cancer meets these criteria.
Our educational materials are based on the findings of our Expert Report, which is the most comprehensive report on the subject, and the Continuous Update Project, which updates the findings of this report.
The rise of the Internet has been great in that it has given people access to a large amount of information about health in general, and cancer in particular, at the click of a mouse.
But the downside is that there is a lot of information online that is not based on reliable evidence.
As The Information Standard becomes a recognised quality mark it will help to cut through this confusion, and this is why we are proud to have become involved with it at such as early stage in its history.