How to Choose your Accreditation Body

February 18, 2020


Your organization is well established, perhaps even growing, and it’s time to take the next step: becoming accredited. Accreditation is an ideal process to help improve your care and patient safety, as well as ensure continuous quality improvement.

The initial challenge is choosing the organization with which to pursue accreditation. Your accreditation body should work for you and support your goals. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right program for your organization.

An Accredited Accreditation Body

ISQua stands for The International Society for Quality in Health Care. It is an international accreditation organization that promotes quality and safety in health care through cooperation and collaboration. Choosing an accredited accreditation body means your accreditation itself is of higher value because it is held at top standards in its field.

Approved by Your Governing Body or Funders

Verify that the organization providing accreditation is formally recognized by funders and governing bodies across the country and all provincial health authorities.

Award Covers Entire Organization (Not Just a Specific Program)

What is the accreditation body’s philosophy on quality improvement? Is it based on the involvement of the entire organization or a specific program? It is best if the accreditation assesses all aspects of your organization and provides an accreditation award for the entire organization.

Relevant Experience

How long has this accreditation body been in business? Ask yourself what experience they have in offering quality improvement support to all types of health and social services organizations.

Comprehensive Robust Accreditation Program

Do the standards effectively help improve the quality of care and services in a health care setting? Are they meant to be integrated into an organization’s daily activities, making quality and safety top of mind?

What type of support exist to facilitate self-assessment and survey preparation? Special education webinars and conferences could be available throughout your cycle to support your ongoing quality improvement.

Program fees should include an on-site survey by experienced peer reviewers who will share their expertise and let you know what you are doing well and where your organization has opportunities for improvement.

Introductory Program Option

Some accreditation bodies offer introductory programs designed to help organizations begin their accreditation journey. It should foster understanding of accreditation, build resources and capacity, and strengthen basic structures and processes related to quality and safety.

All Sites Eligible for Accreditation

Your accreditation body should accredit both single-site and multi-site organizations. Does their program give you overall ratings as well as location-specific ratings that allow you to pinpoint areas of strength and opportunities for improvement right down to the specific location?

Standards Development

An accreditation body’s clinical and non-clinical standards must be developed through a rigorous process that includes a comprehensive literature review, consultation with a standards working group or advisory committee comprised of experts in the field, and evaluation by client organizations and other stakeholders. Standards should also be updated regularly to ensure they stay current.

Accreditation Cycle Length

What is the duration of a full accreditation program cycle?

The Partnership Approach to Accreditation

Your accreditation body should co-create a tailored approach to accreditation to suit your organization’s specific objectives. It should also adopt a patient- and family-focused approach to quality that fosters respectful, compassionate, culturally appropriate, and competent care that is responsive to the needs, values, beliefs, and references of clients and their family members.

Accessible Tools and Resources

Your accreditation fee should include access to standards, education materials, and tools through a personalized and secure online portal.

Value for Investment

Your organization needs to make the most of its resources and manage costs. The accreditation program you choose should complement existing regulatory requirements and help you achieve quality improvement in all areas resulting in improved efficiency, thereby reducing operational costs and improving care.

Do you want to become accredited? Get in touch with us today and an accreditation specialist will help guide you along your own quality improvement journey.

You can also read more accreditation success stories on our website.