to main content What is Accreditation | The Joint Commission

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

Why Achieve Accreditation

Wondering the impact achieving Joint Commission accreditation or certification can make?

Hear directly from some of our valued clients:

Learn how one Ambulatory Surgery center enhanced patient safety, strengthened referral and payor relationships, and boosted efficiencies.

Read the case study
Continuing education icon

Explore how one multi-state Behavioral Health organization maintained a standardized level of care across all services through mergers and acquisitions.

Read the case study

See how a multi-service Home Care organization boosted their competitive position and fostered continuity of care by aligning to the same quality framework as their care partners.

Read the case study
Hospital icon

Learn how Hospitals leverage accreditation to augment their on-going performance improvement initiatives and elevate the quality and safety of care they provide.

Read the case study
Certification icon

Explore how one hospital leveraged Orthopedic certification to pull together as a service line and look at the complete patient journey — from diagnosis to scheduling, surgery, through discharge and rehabilitation.

Read the case study

Learn how a Nursing Home strengthened patient transitions, enhanced emergency preparedness and reduced readmission rates.

Read the case study

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.