to main content Process for Home Care Accreditation | The Joint Commission

Process Steps

Curious what your path to home care accreditation looks like? Here are some steps to guide you through the accreditation process with confidence.
Circle with numeral 1

Explore Your Options with Us

To get started, contact our team to discuss which program and survey options are the best fit for your needs, including:

  • Deemed Status Survey options for Medicare certification.
  • Community-Based Palliative Care certification option.
  • Special survey options for multi-site corporations.
Circle with numeral 2

Review the Requirements

Request free 90-day access to our online standards manual (E-dition®).

  • Review the written document checklists.
  • Identify your focus areas for preparation and potential target survey month.
Circle with numeral 3

Assess Your Readiness

When reviewing the standards, make a list to determine:

  • Requirements which apply in your case.
  • Requirements you already meet currently.
  • If and where policies/procedures might need to be changed.

If you need any help interpreting the standards or what to do to meet them, you can browse frequently asked questions about the standards and get further help from our Standards Interpretation Group.

Circle with numeral 4

Apply for Accreditation

Contact our business development team to start the application process:

  • Our team will help set up a secure account page for your organization on The Joint Commission’s internal site (extranet).
  • Access the internal site with your login name and password to complete your application.

Talk with your team to determine a realistic “ready month” for your survey anytime in the next 12 months (identify that month on the application while noting blackout dates).

Tip! Most organizations submit their completed application with a ready month at least five months prior to the date they’d like to hang an accreditation award certificate on their wall. As an applicant, you are provided access to a variety of free resources to help you prepare.
Circle with numeral 5

Review and Address Any Identified Gap Areas

Establish a timeline to implement any changes needed to comply with the standards by the time of your on-site accreditation survey.
Circle with numeral 6

Access Resources and Prepare for Your On-Site Survey

Download the Survey Activity Guide, which provides all the details of the surveyor(s) on-site agenda. You can also access multiple free resources now available to you, including:

  • Informational webinars, segment-specific guides, and other electronic preparation tools.
  • Visit the Joint Commission Resources® website to find books, formal seminars and other resources to help you prepare.
Circle with numeral 7

Participate in Your first Joint Commission Survey

On the day of your survey, you’ll meet your Joint Commission Surveyor(s) and undergo the comprehensive on-site review. A preliminary accreditation report will be made available to you at the end of the survey.
Circle with numeral 8

Complete Any Post-Survey Follow Up

  • Resolve the issues.
  • Report back to your Account Executive within the requested time period, usually about 45 - 60 days.
Circle with numeral 9

Celebrate/Publicize Your Accomplishments

When you’ve attained The Gold Seal of Approval® — let the world know! Explore our publicity kit for tips and artwork to use.
Circle with numeral 10

Maintain Survey Readiness

  • Take advantage of many resources to maintain your compliance with Joint Commission requirements.
  • Use the Focused Standards Assessment process to continuously improve your organization’s performance in the years between surveys.
  • Keep us up-to-date on any major changes in your organization on your extranet site.
  • Check the extranet site periodically for billing and new information.

Understand Your Survey

The Joint Commission’s accreditation survey helps organizations improve the safety and quality of care and services. The process begins with an on-site survey that assesses compliance with Joint Commission standards.

Joint Commission surveyors are specially trained professionals with experience in the home/community-based care industry who understand the day-to-day issues that confront providers and have the hands-on expertise to help organizations resolve them.

On-site surveys involve:

  • Tracing the patient’s experience, which involves observing services provided by various caregivers and programs within the organization, as well as hand-offs between them
  • On-site observations and interviews
  • Review of documents provided by the organization

For more information on what to expect for your on-site survey, review the resources below.

Your accreditation experience is supported by experts who will help you before, during and after your survey. Listen to a quick video by Joint Commission staff to learn the key takeaways in going through your first Joint Commission home care survey. 

Listen to First Timer's Roadmap for Home Care Accreditation Watch the video for First Timer's Roadmap for Home Care Accreditation

Ready to Move On?

Understand the Process

You're familiar with the accreditation and survey process.

Next Step

Get accreditation pricing information for your home care organization.