What is accreditation?

Accreditation is public recognition by a health care accreditation body of the achievement of accreditation standards by a health care organisation, demonstrated through an independent external peer assessment of that organisation's level of performance in relation to the standards.

Accreditation systems are considered to comprise five key elements:

1. Governance or stewardship function
2. A standards-setting process
3. A process of external evaluation of compliance against those standards
4. A remediation or improvement process following the review
5. Promotion of continuous quality improvement.

Principles of all ACHS programs

The principles upon which all ACHS programs are developed reflect the characteristics displayed by an improving organisation. These principles can be applied to all aspects of service within an organisation. 

A consumer focus in care provision is demonstrated by:

  • Understanding the needs and expectation of present and potential consumers / patients
  • Ensuring consumers / patients are the priority
  • Evaluating the service from the consumer / patient perspective

Effective leadership demonstrates responsibility and commitment to excellence in care provision, quality improvement and performance by:

  • Providing direction for the organisation / health service
  • Pursuing the ongoing, development of strategies, systems and methods for achieving excellence
  • Inspiring and motivating the workforce and encouraging employees to contribute, develop and learn
  • Considering proposals that are innovative and creative

Continuous improvement - management and staff demonstrate how they continually strive to improve the quality of care. Continuous improvement assists the organisation / health service through:

  • Looking for ways to improve as an essential of everyday practice
  • Consistently achieving and maintaining quality care that meets consumer / patient needs
  • Monitoring outcomes in consumer / patient care and seeking opportunities to improve both the care and its results.

Evidence of outcomes - organisations depend on the measurement and analysis of performance.  Indicators of good care processes or, wherever possible, outcomes of care, demonstrate a commitment to maintaining quality and striving for ongoing improvement by:

  • Providing critical data and information about key processes, outputs and results
  • Reflecting those factors that lead to improved health and/or quality of life for consumers / patients or to better operational performance.

Striving for best practice - the organisation compares its performance with, or learns from, others and applies best-practice principles. Organisations might demonstrate their efforts through:

  • Discovering new techniques and technologies, and using them to achieve world-class performance
  • Learning from others to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of processes
  • Improving consumer / patient satisfaction and outcomes.

For further information, download ACHS's Accreditation Factsheet.

For more information, contact ACHS on (02) 9281 9955.

Last Review Date 12 January 2018

I have been involved with Accreditation and the ACHS for 19 years and have found them to be a leading accrediting agency, if not the best for health care organisations.

ACHS member response to survey