Hello Surveyors!

    Welcome to your communication hub.

    On this page you will find past and current surveyor communications, important HSO/AC updates on different initiatives, your education webinar series schedule, useful tips on being a surveyor and other valuable information to keep you in the loop.

    Click here for the list of webinars


    Surveyor Expense Claims

    All outstanding claims can continue to be mailed to the office:
    Attn: Finance
    1150 Cyrville Road
    Ottawa, ON
    K1J 7S9


    However, surveyors also have the option to submit electronically by emailing Kim Matter- Kim.Mattar@healthstandards.org.

    For any questions or concerns with regards to any outstanding payments, please email Kim.


    A message from Accreditation Canada regarding COVID-19 (Monday, March 16th 2020)

    Dear Surveyors,

    The health and safety of our staff, our surveyors and our clients remain our top priority in this evolving COVID-19 situation.

    Last week we advised you that all international surveys had been postponed and that all Canadian surveys would be scaled back due to evolving local and jurisdictional advisories. Today, Accreditation Canada has taken the additional step to postpone all on-site accreditation and education activities for the next three months.

    Our thoughts are with each you and your organizations during this challenging time and Accreditation Canada stands ready to support you in any way we can.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Surveyor Secretariat for more information. We will continue to provide regular updates as the situation develops.


    Leslee Thompson, CEO

    Coronavirus (COVID-2019) (February 28th, 2020)

    Accreditation Canada continues to monitor the status of the coronavirus outbreak on a regular basis.  International assignments and travel will be reviewed, and survey plans modified if needed and advised by client organizations, International SOS, and/or the Government of Canada.  The links below can be used to monitor the situation and receive up to date information.  Accreditation Canada has a Travel Emergency Preparation and Response Procedure that would be followed in the case of a travel concern during a survey, this procedure can be found here on the surveyor portal.  Surveyors with specific survey questions should contact survey.schedule@accreditation.ca

    International SOS COVID-2019:

    Travel Restrictions

    Travel Advice

    WHO map of confirmed cases

    We will continue to use the Surveyor Communications hub on the Accreditation Canada website to keep you informed of the timelines for new assessment standards and other important program updates. This page is the primary source for information for surveyors.

    Coronavirus (2019 -NCOV) 

    As of Thursday January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the global coronavirus outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.  Accreditation Canada is monitoring the situation closely through regular updates provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Government of Canada, International SOS, and client organizations. At this time, no survey plans have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. We encourage surveyors to follow the necessary precautions to protect themselves against viruses.

    As a preparatory measure, please review the Surveyor Accident, Medical Emergency and Safety Procedure before your next on-site survey. This procedure provides guidance should a concern such as an outbreak affect the on-site survey and includes an Incident form to be complete if an incident occurs. If you are concerned about any of your upcoming assignments, please contact surveyors@accreditation.ca and we will be happy to assist you.

    The following pages will provide surveyors with up to date information on the Coronavirus outbreak.

    Government of Canada Coronavirus Information Page

    Government of Canada Coronavirus Travel Information

    WHO Coronavirus Information Page

    Medication Management Standards Release 

    As an official Standards Development Organization (SDO) designated by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC), our affiliate, HSO, follows a rigorous standard development process.
    You will find the revised HSO standard that has gone through the Public Review process and has been approved by the relevant Technical Committee in HSO’s surveyor portal.

    The standards and supporting documents, including the ROP Handbook, and crosswalks are also  available on the  surveyor portal.  There will be a slight delay in the posting of the updated Surveyor Priority Process Protocol, we hope to make this document available by the end of March 2020. Surveyors will begin assessing client organizations against these new standards starting in 2021.

    We will continue to use the Surveyor Communications hub on the Accreditation Canada website to keep you informed of the timelines for new assessment standards and other important program updates. This page is the primary source for information for surveyors.

    New Surveyor Positions Open!

    We are currently recruiting health care professionals interested in becoming Accreditation Canada surveyors. If you have a colleague who would be an excellent candidate, we encourage you to them know of our needs. Interested candidates can consult our current surveyor openings. We are recruiting surveyors with the following expertise:

    For any questions please contact surveyors@accreditation.ca Thank you!

    Let’s Get Real: Patients Must be Partners – The HOW Edition

    If you want to know the hows of effective partnerships. Join Hélène Campbell, Leslee J. Thompson, Julie Drury and Heather Thiessen for a People Powered Health webinar as they get real with what effective engagement looks like.

    Together, Health Standards Organization (HSO), Accreditation Canada (AC) and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) are inspiring positive change. The philosophy of people-centred care is woven throughout standards criteria, Leading Practice reviews, recognition awards and accreditation services.

    The four panelists will use common “must have” people-centred care partnership philosophies to illustrate what effective partnering can look like for you, wherever you are in the world.

    Attendees will learn:

    • How to unleash the power and potential of people
    • How to prepare for and create an environment that fosters quality engagement for positive change
    • What effective engagement looks like in practice at the individual, organizational and system levels
    • Identify and understand common pitfalls, misconceptions and how to evaluate quality patient and people-centred care
    • How you can work better with patients, providers, leaders and other stakeholders for shared purpose

    For more information about the content of the webinar and how to register to view it, please click on the following link.

    CAN/HSO 1001: 2019 Governance for Health Services – Public Review 

    The public review for the revision of HSO’s Governance for Health Services standard is taking place between January 15th and March 15th, 2020.

    Public reviews are an opportunity for anyone to review and comment on draft standards before they are published. HSO incorporates applicable feedback from public reviews into the final versions of standards.

    The updated CAN/HSO 1001:2019 Governance for Health Services standard includes a change to the title of the standard (formerly Governance) to provide more clarity on the scope. The updated standard will be applicable to health and social services organizations across the continuum of care and outlines the processes by which a governing body functions and its broad range of responsibilities.

    More details about what this review entails and where to provide feedback is in the following  link.  We look forward to your feedback on the Health Services standards.

    Tell us what you think 

    We are asking those who have an interest in governance for health services, such as people who have experience with related services, service providers or others that have expertise in this area, for their views on the proposed standard.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Health Standards Organization (HSO)

    Webinar & Surveyor Certification Program Reminder

    Please note that recordings of all of this year’s webinars are available on the Surveyor Communication Hub.

    As a reminder, the 2019 surveyor certification program requires surveyors to attend or watch the recordings of a minimum of 2 webinars and all applicable mandatory webinars. We ask that surveyors watch the webinars to keep up to date on program updates and participate in order to ask questions and provide ongoing feedback. For any additional comments, questions or suggestions for future webinars please email: surveyors@accreditation.ca

    Ontario Health Teams
    Accreditation Canada understands that Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) and their populations are currently undergoing major transformation. To ensure there is continuous focus on quality, patient safety and risk mitigation strategies, we have come up with a suite of new services designed specifically towards OHTs. Please see link to briefing note for details.

    A cohort of surveyors will be recruited and trained to deliver these new offerings. If you have experience in service integration and system transformation and are interested in working with us on this initiative, please contact us at: surveyors@accreditation.ca.

    For further information as a client organization, please contact Suzanne Melnyk at Suzanne.melnyk@accreditation.ca.

    Feedback section on HSO/AC website
    Your feedback is important to us. Accreditation Canada has a feedback section on our website. To ensure your feedback is dealt with in an effective and timely manner, please submit your feedback in the contact section on the website and clearly identify if your feedback is about a ‘product’, ‘service’ or ‘other’. Your feedback may include what happened, where and when it happened, who was involved, what felt unfair and what would put things right? It could also include how a product or service is working for you or an experience you’ve had with an Accreditation Canada staff. The submission is reviewed within two business days and managed by the appropriate department depending on the feedback.

    Update contact information on portal
    A reminder to please ensure you update your contact information or any employment changes on the surveyor portal. This allows us to ensure we have the most up date information.

    Canadian Accreditation Job Posting

    Canadian Accreditation is searching for a Director, Canadian Accreditation, to join the Accreditation unit who shares our passion for achieving quality health services for all. The successful candidate will work out of Ottawa and come with an extensive background in the long-term care sector. To view job posting: LINK. Please share broadly with your contacts.

    Welcome to our new surveyors!

    We had a busy year onboarding and training new surveyors in different programs and countries.

    We had training sessions in Italy, Belgium and Quebec and successfully on-boarded and trained new certification surveyors and surveyors for our Stroke and Trauma Distinction program.

    Welcome new surveyors to the Accreditation Canada team 😊

    Corporate Traveller 

    Corporate Traveller has requested that when booking flights to please use Amy Brennan’s email: amy.brennan@corporatetraveller.ca .

    Calls are always welcome but it allows for clearer communication when booking flights.

    Follow-Up: Accreditation Canada Surveyor Portal

    We sincerely appreciate your continued patience as our team works to resolve technical issues, gradually restore functionality to the portal and enhance our cyber security systems.

    The remaining features to be restored include:

    • The ability to download or export priority process documents from AcrediRate; please use this link for a work around method.
    • Submitting expenses through the surveyor portal; please note expenses must be submitted manually. Specific survey expense forms will be provided for your surveys, as well as instructions found within the form.
    • You will receive information on how to submit your survey expenses with the pre-survey documentation package (for pre-survey teleconferences that have already occurred you will be contacted separately).
    • Every survey will have a unique expense form that identifies the Survey ID and the amount of professional fees to be paid.
    • You will be required to complete the form and return it by mail to the attention of Finance.
    • Note: on the form, you must indicate who the professional fees are being paid to (individual/corporate identity/employer)
    • Make sure to sign the form and attach all receipts
    • Surveyor Evaluations; the Surveyor Secretariat will be sending an email to those surveyors on survey to provide peer feedback.

    Once again we want to thank for your patience throughout this process, and remind you should you have any questions, please contact surveyors@accreditation.ca.

    Thank you.

    Important Message from HSO & Accreditation Canada

    On June 21, 2019, HSO and AC became aware of a potential malware incident which, despite robust security measures, impacted our IT systems. We immediately launched an extensive investigation with the assistance of external cyber security experts and took measures to contain and remove the malware that was present. Central to our investigation was to examine servers that contain personal information such as name, address, email, and in some cases, social insurance and banking information which have been provided to us as part of normal business operations.

    After a forensic investigation, there is no evidence of any attempted or actual misuse of personal information from our systems. Notwithstanding this, external experts advise that there is no such thing as a 100% guarantee that unauthorized access to personal information has not occurred. Therefore, it is recommended that additional precautionary measures be taken at individual levels.

    Accordingly, it is advisable in these situations that you regularly change your passwords, monitor your bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance number, and verify financial transaction statements for any suspicious activity. You may also wish to contact your bank, credit card company, relevant government offices and/or credit reporting bureaus to proactively advise them of the situation. Examples include:

    We are committed to the security of all information stored on our systems and regret that this incident occurred. To mitigate the risk of this happening in the future, we have applied enhanced security measures to our IT systems and are putting additional cybersecurity monitoring systems in place.

    If you have any questions, please contact our HSO team at privacy@healthstandards.org

    Legal Waivers or Disclaimers or Other Client Documentation 

    Please note that surveyors should not sign any client organizational documentation including without limitation any documentation pertaining to confidential information, privacy, intellectual property ownership and rights of use, waiver or disclaimer of liability. These topics are already each addressed in the accreditation services agreement between Accreditation Canada and the client organizations and there is no requirement nor is it appropriate for a surveyor to sign any additional documentation with the client organizations. Any concerns noted by the client organizations should be directed to Accreditation Canada.

    These terms have the possibility of conflicting with the agreement signed between AC and the surveyor (i.e. release of liability by surveyor in favor of the client, no protection for surveyor personal information disclosed, seeking information on criminal records). Please advise the client that the agreement between AC and the client provides the requisite protection and AC has terms no less restrictive in place with each of its surveyors. No separate agreement needs to be signed by the surveyor as the surveyor agreement with AC covers the risks.


    Survey Planning Checklist:

    Anticipated Outcomes: fewer errors/missed deadlines, improved coordination

    The CA team partnered with our Analytics department to standardize a survey planning checklist. Like the survey schedule tool, this template contains logic rules that will highlight items that are near or past their pre-determined deadline. This will allow AC staff to more effectively determine what items require attention and when key milestones are approaching during survey planning which will ensure surveyors receive the schedule in a timely manner.

    AccrediRate Assignments:

    Anticipated Outcomes: quicker process, less dependency

    To streamline changes to priority process assignment while on survey, surveyor team leads can now make these changes in AccrediRate. This will speed up the process and allow the team to continue their work without being dependent on AC staff.  As of February, a video is available on the surveyor portal to walk you through the steps and a Webinar was held to answer any questions. Check out the What’s New section of the Surveyor Portal.

    Spell Check for AccrediRate:

    Anticipated Outcomes: increased efficiency and quality in report writing

    To improve the comment writing process in AccrediRate, surveyors completing English language surveys are recommended to download the Grammarly app for your web browser. This free app, compatible with AccrediRate, acts as a spelling and grammar check. This will speed up the comment writing process by picking up errors which will increase efficiency and quality in report writing. This App is available for downloading now.  We are currently exploring options for French language surveys. If you know of any tools, please let us know.



    Are you wearing 2 hats?  Are you a consultant and a surveyor?  Sometimes it’s very easy to mix both roles.  Please remember what hat you are wearing especially when you are communicating with clients.  A clear delineation of roles is crucial to keeping good client relationships.


    Here is the link to our mailbox surveyors@accreditation.ca


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