A mechanism for revising accreditation standards: a study of the process, resources required and evaluation outcomes
Greenfield, D and Civil, M and Donnison, A and Hogden, A and Hinchcliff, R and Westbrook, J and Braithwaite, J, A mechanism for revising accreditation standards: a study of the process, resources required and evaluation outcomes, BMC Health Services Research, 14, (571) pp. 1-6. ISSN 1472-6963 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Background: The study objective was to identify and describe the process, resources and expertise required for the
revision of accreditation standards, and report outcomes arising from such activities.
Methods: Secondary document analysis of materials from an accreditation standards development agency. The Royal
Australian College of General Practitionersí (RACGP) documents, minutes and reports related to the revision of the
accreditation standards were examined.
Results: The RACGP revision of the accreditation standards was conducted over a 12 month period and comprised six
phases with multiple tasks, including: review methodology planning; review of the evidence base and each standard;
new material development; constructing field trial methodology; drafting, trialling and refining new standards; and
production of new standards. Over 100 individuals participated, with an additional 30 providing periodic input and
feedback. Participants were drawn from healthcare professional associations, primary healthcare services, accreditation
agencies, government agencies and public health organisations. Their expertise spanned: project management;
standards development and writing; primary healthcare practice; quality and safety improvement methodologies;
accreditation implementation and surveying; and research. The review and development process was shaped by five
issues: project expectations; resource and time requirements; a collaborative approach; stakeholder engagement; and
the product produced. The RACGP evaluation was that participants were positive about their experience, the standards
produced and considered them relevant for the sector.
Conclusions: The revision of accreditation standards requires considerable resources and expertise, drawn from a
broad range of stakeholders. Collaborative, inclusive processes that engage key stakeholders helps promote greater
industry acceptance of the standards.
Accreditation, Healthcare, Standards, General practice, Research