Objective: The objective of this study is to test the validity of an accreditation programme for memory services in the UK by investigating whether different levels of accreditation status (excellent compared with accredited) are reflected in patients' and carers' reported satisfaction. Method: A comparison of survey data from patient and carer feedback questionnaires collected from services as part of the accreditation process. Results: Five hundred and eighty-three patient questionnaires and 663 carer questionnaires were returned from 41 services. Patients and carers who attended memory services which were later ‘accredited as excellent’, were more likely than those who had visited ‘accredited’ services to have: been given written information about a variety of topics; been asked for feedback about using the memory service; and had found it easier to get to their appointments. Carers attending services accredited as excellent were more likely to have been offered an assessment of their needs. Conclusion: Patients and carers had very good experiences of memory services overall whether they had standard or excellent accreditation. However, ‘excellent’ services were consistently better on a number of factors. This provides further support that the accreditation process is an important indicator of the quality of memory services. Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.