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National Voluntary Accreditation for Public Health Departments

Preparing for Accreditation

CDC supports PHAB and other national partners to ensure state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are engaged in accreditation and to support accreditation readiness efforts. Other major national partners that support accreditation readiness include the American Public Health Association (APHA), Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), National Indian Health Board (NIHB), Public Health Foundation (PHF), and National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI). 

What Should Health Departments Do?

  • Learn about accreditation—Visit PHAB and other partner websites to learn about the accreditation standards and measures, the accreditation process, and supporting materials.
  • Prepare for accreditation—Determine where your health department has gaps and begin to address them. Identify individuals to work on cross-department accreditation readiness efforts. 
  • Celebrate and sustain your accomplishments—If your health department is accredited, celebrate and tout this impressive achievement! Plan for reaccreditation! If you’re not yet accredited, recognize where you’re already meeting standards and highlight those successes to build enthusiasm for the next steps. Continue to improve your performance against the PHAB standards.

Preparation Tools and Resources

State Health Department Accreditation
ASTHO provides information about accreditation preparation tools and current state activities.

Local Health Department Accreditation
NACCHO provides tools, resources, and training opportunities to help local health departments prepare for accreditation and use quality improvement processes to improve performance and meet PHAB standards. NACCHO also supports the CDC/NACCHO Accreditation Support Initiative, which provides small amounts of funding to local and territorial health departments to accelerate accreditation readiness. 

Tribal Public Health Accreditation Readiness Resources

Other tribal readiness resources, some developed with CDC support, are available on other sites:

  • Tribal Accreditation Readiness Guidebook and Roadmap [PDF-6.2MB]
    This Red Star Innovations report on the Institute for Wisconsin Health’s site contains information about tribal public health systems, benefits of accreditation, eligibility for public health accreditation, the accreditation application process, and readiness phases.

PHAB Resources
PHAB has helpful resources for health departments preparing to achieve or maintain accreditation status, including orientation training modules, the Standards and Measures, the Guide to Health Department Accreditation, and glossary. Under the “Accreditation Process” tab are tip sheets, readiness checklists, application information, and an accreditation coordinator handbook. 

PHF—Performance Management and Quality Improvement Resources
PHF’s site offers assorted tools and resources on performance management (including materials from The Turning Point Performance Management Collaborative), quality improvement, public health improvement, workforce development, and other topics.

NNPHI—Performance and Quality Improvement Resources
NNPHI and its member public institutes provide technical assistance and resources to advance accreditation, performance, and quality improvement. 

Other Resources to Learn More

  • Page last reviewed: January 6, 2016
  • Page last updated: January 6, 2016
  • Content source:
    • Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support