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Infection Control Assessment Tools

The following definitions have been developed to assist with the implementation of elements of the CDC ICAR assessment tools related to infection prevention competency, training, auditing and feedback.  

Healthcare Personnel Infection Prevention (IP) Competency: The proven ability to apply essential knowledge, skills, and abilities to prevent the transmission of pathogens during the provision of care.

Healthcare Personnel IP Competency-Based Training: The provision of job-specific education, training, and assessment to ensure that healthcare personnel possess IP competency.

Competency Assessment: The verification of IP competency through the use of knowledge-based testing and direct observation. If direct observation is not included as part of a competency assessment, an alternative method to ensure that healthcare personnel possess essential knowledge, skills, and abilities should be used.

Audit: Direct observation or monitoring of healthcare personnel adherence to job-specific IP measures.

Feedback: A summary of audit findings that is used to target performance improvement.

The basic elements of an infection prevention program are designed to prevent the spread of infection in healthcare settings. When these elements are present and practiced consistently, the risk of infection among patients and healthcare personnel is reduced.

The Infection Control Assessment Tools were developed by CDC for awardees under the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) Program to assist health departments in assessing infection prevention practices and guide quality improvement activities (e.g., by addressing identified gaps). These tools may also be used by healthcare facilities to conduct internal quality improvement audits.

Assessment tools were developed for the following healthcare settings: acute care (including hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals), outpatient, long-term care, and hemodialysis. Select the assessment tool below that is specific to your setting.

NOTE: For Outpatient settings, the previously released Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings and its companion Checklist (available at: have been revised and made consistent with the Outpatient Settings Infection Control Assessment Tool. While the same infection prevention elements are included in both the checklist and assessment tool, the facility demographics sections differ slightly. The assessment tool is intended for health department use to complete ELC activities whereas the checklist is intended primarily for healthcare facility use.