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
- NIHB’s Tribal Public Health Accreditation Resource Center
NIHB’s site provides resources addressing the development of tribal public health accreditation. NIHB also coordinates the CDC/NIHB Accreditation Support Initiative, which provides small funding awards to tribal health departments to accelerate accreditation readiness.
Other tribal readiness resources, some developed with CDC support, are available on other sites:
- Accreditation Preparation and Readiness Resource Center
Red Star Innovations’s site offers technical assistance, tribal accreditation readiness webinars, and resources about prerequisites, quality improvement, promising practices, and more.
- 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 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
- Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: Transforming Public Health Practice Through Accreditation
This 20th anniversary edition (January/Feburary 2014) highlights the emerging evidence base around public health department accreditation through research studies, commentaries, and case reports.
- The Community Guide—Public Health Accreditation Board Crosswalk
This crosswalk helps health departments identify possible connections between evidence-based interventions from The Community Guide and PHAB standards and measures.
- Page last reviewed: January 6, 2016
- Page last updated: January 6, 2016
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