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The Accreditation Process

Accreditation is awarded upon successful completion of an on-site survey. The on-site survey is conducted by a specially trained Joint Commission surveyor or team of surveyors who assess your organization's compliance to our standards.

During the survey, surveyors select patients randomly and use their medical records as a roadmap to evaluate standards compliance. As surveyors trace a patient’s experience in a health care organization, they talk to the doctors, nurses, and other staff who interacted with the patient. Surveyors also observe doctors and nurses providing care, and often speak to the patients themselves. All regular Joint Commission accreditation surveys are unannounced.

Accreditation for most types of organizations is a three year award. The exception is laboratory accreditation, which is a two year award.

About the Joint Commission

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

The Joint Commission are the eyes and ears observing care delivery in thousands upon thousands settings each year:


Accredited and certified organizations and programs


Accreditation-related surveys conducted each year


Certification reviews conducted each year

The Impact of Accreditation

Wondering how Joint Commission accreditation can make a difference for your organization?

Hear directly from some of our valued clients:

Learn the Process

The process of accreditation can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to support you each step of the way.