Your organization is not the same one it was 10 or 20 years ago (or likely even 3 years ago!). New programs/services may have been opened and staff changes have taken place. There are new requirements from payors, licensing bodies, the federal government, etc. Perhaps there has been a merger or acquisition, or new partnerships developed with other entities to ensure the continuum of care. Or, you may have directly integrated physical health care into your service delivery or begun to offer telehealth services as a result of the pandemic.
Likewise, the accrediting bodies may have changed over time:
- Standards are updated annually – do they still fit with your current program/services?
- Has there been a shift by the accrediting body to be more closely aligned with your line of business – toward behavioral health or toward child welfare, for example?
- Perhaps there has been a new approach to sales and marketing that could have affected customer service?
When you initially selected your accreditor, you likely considered such things as cost, reputation in the marketplace, and may have had a recommendation from another organization. (See our blog article on 10 Things to Consider When Selecting an Accrediting Body for more information.)
I’m sure that the intent was to do your research and find the best fit for a long-term relationship. However, relationships can change.
So, when do you know if it is time to look around? And, if you do, what questions should you ask?
If you are asking yourself these questions, might I suggest that you consider the following:
- Standards – your programs and services’ fit with the current accreditation standards
- Reputation – current feedback from other accredited organizations
- Mandates – is there a current mandate for accreditation or one on the horizon, and if so, does it specify a particular accrediting body or bodies?
- Effort – how much work will it take to switch vs. remain with your existing accreditor*
- Costs – fees always matter, but what is the true value of the accreditation process and experience and what is the cost to maintain your accreditation?
- Timing – how long have you been with your existing accreditor?
Note, I do not recommend making a change simply for the sake of change. However, it never hurts to look around and ask a few questions to make sure that your accrediting body is still the right fit for today and for the future of your organization.
*If already accredited and deciding to make a switch, it is important to focus on the similarities and differences between the two accrediting bodies’ standards and processes for the most effective use of time and resources. It is also critical to understand the different approaches and philosophies from one accrediting body to another.
To further discuss any of the above items, or if you are interested in assistance with switching from one accrediting body to another, please contact us at Info@AccreditationGuru.com / 212.209.0240. This post contains original content and was written for Accreditation Guru, Inc. Use of this copy is permitted with credit and reference within the same body of copy to Accreditation Guru, Inc.