Application Process Related
Five Steps to Accreditation
Step 1: SELF ASSESSMENT
You should familiarize yourself with the Commission’s Standards for the Accreditation of Ambulance Services. Then compare your service’s current operation to the Commission’s standards and implement any necessary changes.
Step 2: APPLICATION
When you feel that your service meets or exceeds the standards, the Accreditation Application Package can be purchased and completed. The completed application and appropriate application fee are then submitted to the Commission.
Step 3: EVALUATION
The Commission conducts an off-site review of the submitted application before scheduling an on-site review. The on-site review consisting of visitation, interviews and observation is conducted by a team of three site reviewers. The reviewers’ role is to gather information needed to verify that the service meets the standards established by the Commission.
Step 4: DELIBERATION
The actual determination of whether the service meets all requirements is made by an independent, impartial Panel of Commissioners. The Commissioners represent health care, law and business.
Step 5: ACCREDITATION
If successful, your service will be recognized for its excellence as defined by the Commission’s high standards. As an accredited ambulance service, you will be able to display the Commission’s accreditation logo with pride on your ambulance vehicles and in your advertising.
The process begins with a serious self-assessment of an EMS agency, comparing its operations to the accreditation standards. The agency then purchases an application package that guides them through the process of developing supporting documentation. The documentation is submitted to CAAS for an off-site review to determine the level of compliance of the paperwork submitted. An on-site review by a team of EMS experts, including a board certified emergency physician, spends at least two days at the agency to review all operational aspects of the service. Agencies report that this experience alone is worth far more than the costs of accreditation. The site review team then generates a report to CAAS. When all standards are successfully achieved, the agency’s report and follow-up material goes before the Panel of Commissioners, an independent, impartial group of individuals from EMS law, business, and healthcare, for accreditation determination.
The CAAS Standards Guide is an excellent resource for learning about the CAAS standards. However, please note that the CAAS Application Package provides all the documents necessary for applying for accreditation, including a copy of the CAAS Standards Guide.
All CAAS products are available at the CAAS Online Store.
There is no definable time frame for an agency to compile its accreditation materials. Some agencies have been able to complete everything for submission in about six months. Others have taken much longer. On average, it takes about one year to prepare all the paperwork, institute policies, and provide proof that policies are being met within the agency. Agencies usually appoint a CAAS Coordinator, and allow the coordinator to organize committees of individuals within the organization to contribute a portion of the overall work. Sharing the preparation ensures that everyone in an organization has an opportunity to contribute and provides buy-in for the accreditation.
Some agencies prefer to hire an outside consultant to assist with the preparation of accreditation materials. Others use peer reviewers from similarly configured accredited agencies to conduct a practice review. One of the best ways to learn about the process and how to begin, is to attend one of the CAAS accreditation seminars which are held at least twice per year at announced locations. Click here for all upcoming events.