to main content What is Accreditation | The Joint Commission

Our Mission is Consistently Excellent Health Care

Joint Commission accreditation is the objective evaluation process that can help health care organizations measure, assess, and improve performance in order to provide safe, high quality care for their patients.
A doctor in white lab coat shakes hands with a man in business attire in a hospital lobby
A woman in business attire works with a group of health care professionals in a brainstorming session
A nurse clasps the hand of a patient in a wheelchair

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.

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: