Local public health accreditation

Resources for Massachusetts communities to pursue public health accreditation

About accreditation

A voluntary national accreditation program for public health departments measures performance against a set of recognized standards established by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Accreditation by PHAB signifies that a health department is meeting national standards for ensuring that the essential public health services are provided in the community.  To become accredited, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds PHAB standards and measures.

MDPH encourages communities to pursue accreditation and provides technical assistance to communities interested in exploring/achieving accreditation.

The 2015 PHAB annual evaluation report data indicates that accreditation helps health departments:

  • Better identify their strengths and weaknesses
  • Document their capacity to deliver the core functions and 10 Essential Public Health Services
  • Promote transparency
  • Improve their management processes
  • Stimulate quality improvement and performance management
  • Increase their accountability to community members, stakeholders, and policy makers
  • Improve their communication with the governing entity/board of health
  • Be more competitive in funding opportunities

MDPH has achieved accreditation status from the Public Health Accreditation Board. For information about MDPH accreditation activities, contact the Performance Management and Quality Improvement (PMQI) Program. The PMQI Program provides the leadership and coordination of efforts necessary to achieve accreditation and collaborates with the Office of Local and Regional Health in supporting local public health accreditation.

Two Massachusetts local health departments (Worcester and Boston) have achieved PHAB accreditation status.

Additional Resources


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