Organisation accreditation is independent verification that an organisation meets the requirements of defined criteria or standards. Accreditation standards and the accreditation cycle supports organisations to establish and maintain quality improvement processes, meet minimum requirements of operations and service delivery, and provide a level assurance to service users and funders about service safety and quality.

Organisation accreditation supports the NSW Health vision that people with alcohol and other drug related harms experience person-centred, safe, high quality intervention and care.

Last updated: 20 June 2018

​Key points about organisation accreditation

  • Accreditation provides a framework for organisations to build a culture of continuous quality improvement and to guide performance improvement.
  • Accreditation cycles are generally 3-4 years and involve a continuous process of selfassessment, external review by a certifying body, and service improvement.
  • Accreditation self-assessment and external review is not about finding faults, rather, about identifying where improvements can be made to ensure safe high, quality care and services.
  • Accreditation standards may be generic and applicable to many sectors or industries, or specific to a service type such as health care; both outline minimum and good practice requirements.
  • Costs for achieving accreditation varies depending on the standards being accredited against, certifying body membership fees, size and complexity of the organisation, maturity of quality systems already in place, and how much improvement is needed to meet the standards.

Practice tips for AOD providers 

  • Select accreditation standards and the certifying body that best meets the needs of the organisation and complies with external requirements.
  • Seek advice from peer organisations, peak bodies and funding bodies about appropriate accreditation standards and certifying bodies.
  • Commit financial, time and human resources to maintain quality improvement and accreditation.
  • Identify and delegate quality improvement leaders across the organisation.
  • Define quality improvement roles and responsibilities for all staff and the governing body in position descriptions, policies and procedures, organisational development plans, and performance reviews.
  • Document and engage staff in a quality improvement action plan and provide regular updates on progress and achievements.

Approved accreditation standards for organisations funded by NSW Health to provide AOD treatment services

The approved standards support organisations to establish and maintain quality improvement processes and they address minimum standards of operations such as governance, accountability, risk management, financial management, human resources, workplace safety, client engagement and service delivery.

  • QIC Health and Community Service Standards by Quality Innovation Performance (QIP).
  • Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, Government of South Australia
  • Evaluation and Quality Improvement Program (EQuIP) by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS)
  • National Standards for Mental Health Services by the Australian Commussion on Safety and Quality in Health Care (Note: stand-along accreditation to these services is only acceptable for dedicated mental health service organisations and those recognised as mental health and AOD 'dual diagnosis' service organisations).

Further information

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Quality Innovation Performance

The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS)


Current as at: Wednesday 20 June 2018