Stage 1: A firm foundation

After gaining a Certificate of Commitment, Stage 1 of Baby Friendly accreditation requires facilities to develop the mechanisms to achieve the following standards.


  1. Have written policies and guidelines to support the standards
  2. Plan an education programme that will allow staff to implement the standards according to their role
  3. Have processes for implementing, auditing and evaluating the standards
  4. Ensure that there is no promotion of breastmilk substitutes, bottles, teats or dummies in any part of the facility or by any of the staff.

Once all the necessary documents have been written and the procedures for implementing the standards finalised, the Stage 1 guidance and application forms will guide you on how to apply for a Stage 1 assessment (see below for download links). Please note that in certain cases it is possible to move through this stage and enter directly into a Stage 2 assessment, particularly for neonatal units or children’s centres already working with the maternity or health visiting service.

Resources to help you meet the standards

Dedicated guidance and application forms for Stage 1 are available via the download links below. Universities should visit the dedicated section on our website.

When you decide that you are ready to be assessed for Stage 1, please contact the Baby Friendly Initiative office to discuss the preparations to be made and to schedule an assessment date.

Guidance and application forms


Health Visiting

Next steps

Guide to the Baby Friendly Standards

Read more