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Public Health Accreditation

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) oversees a national, voluntary accreditation program for state, local, territorial and tribal public health departments. The goal of accreditation is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments. 

The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division (PHD) and many public health departments in Oregon are currently in the accreditation process. Oregon saw its first accredited health department, Marion County Public Health Services, in March 2014, with Deschutes County Health Services following in June 2014. The accreditation process allows Oregon's health departments to measure our performance against a set of national standards, celebrate and share our successes, and identify opportunities for improvement.

These resources are provided to assist state, local and tribal public health professionals in learning about accreditation.

On this page:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in becoming accredited?

To apply for accreditation, PHD must complete three prerequisites: a statewide community health assessment, a statewide health improvement plan, and an agency-level strategic plan. Additionally, PHD will need to provide documentation on how we meet the standards and measures listed in PHAB's 12 domains.

What is the statewide community health assessment (CHA)?

The State Health Profile and Public Health System Assessment, or CHA, helps us understand the health status of our population. By looking at the data, we can see where our state is doing well, and where we need to improve. Having consistent data allows us to effectively set health improvement priorities and identify communities, groups and resources that can help us move towards a healthier future.

What is the state health improvement plan (SHIP)?

Oregon’s state health improvement plan is designed to bring individuals, communities and organizations together in order to improve the health of all people in the state. It addresses the leading causes of death, disease, and injury in Oregon through evidence-based and measurable strategies. The plan is also designed to reduce avoidable differences in health experienced by many diverse communities in Oregon.

What is the agency strategic plan?

PHD’s strategic plan describes our efforts to promote health and prevent the leading causes of death, disease and injury in Oregon. The plan identifies the places in which our Division will come together to plan, resource and implement initiatives in addition to the great services our programs already provide to Oregonians. By pooling our talent in these key areas, we believe we will make a measurable impact in our vision of lifelong health for all people in Oregon.

Why does PHD want to be accredited?

Accreditation is a seal of approval by an objective, outside body. It is proof that an organization has adopted and consistently meets a set of stringent standards to show it is delivering the best-quality service possible. In the case of public health accreditation, it increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the public health system infrastructure, which is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of Oregonians. Quality improvement and performance management are principles and practices used to promote operational excellence and strengthen the public health system.

My county health department is going through accreditation. Is this is the same thing the state is doing?

Yes, it is the same process as outlined by the Public Health Accreditation Board. All 34 local health departments in Oregon are at some stage of the accreditation process, whether completing the initial Accreditation Readiness Checklist or submitting a completed accreditation application. Local health department pre-requisites for accreditation are accessible through the Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO) website. The goal of accreditation is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments at the tribal, local and state level.

Essential Services and Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals

Ten Essential Services - CDC

Ten Essential Services - The Community Toolbox

Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals



Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB)

PHAB Standards and Measures Version 1.5 Overview

ASTHO Accreditation and Performance Improvement Guide

National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Tribal Public Health Accreditation

CDC Site on Voluntary Accreditation

NACCHO Accreditation Preparation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Site on Accreditation

The Guide to Community Preventive Services Site on Public Health Improvement and Accreditation

The Community Guide - PHAB Crosswalk


Public Health Accreditation handout 

Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO) accreditation information


E-learning Modules Archived Webinars

Oregon Public Health Division Introduction to Accreditation
Accreditation concepts, value and process

START MODULE (approx. 15 minutes)

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NACCHO Accreditation and Quality Improvement Webinars

Webinar recordings are unedited and may contain blank sections during exercises.