Patient Care Facility Accreditation Guide

October 2023


Accreditation Survey

The Basics

All applicants must meet the basic eligibility criteria as well as become compliant with the Standards listed in this Guide. Your compliance is determined by a review of your application materials, a consultative onsite survey, and a final validation of your surveyor’s findings. The onsite survey is conducted by professionally trained and qualified surveyors.

As required by CMS, all surveys for patient care accreditation are unannounced and unscheduled and occur during your posted business hours.

By submitting your application, you declare yourself ready for an onsite survey at any time. Surveys will not be rescheduled due to emergency closure, staff unavailability or lack of readiness. If you deny the surveyor access to your facility and/or essential paperwork or if your facility is closed during posted business hours, you must resubmit an online application and include all accreditation fees and documentation.

Types of Surveys

Initial Survey (First-Time Applicants)

If you are considering accreditation for your facility, we encourage you to review this Guide and complete the Pre-Application Checklist located in the back of this Guide or on our website, to help you determine if you are eligible for ABC Accreditation. To be placed in the queue for the initial survey, you must submit a request to create an account/login and then submit a completed online application.

Reaccreditation Survey

Most accreditations are valid for up to three years. Your facility’s primary contact will receive a letter and email reminders about renewing your accreditation beginning approximately seven months prior to your expiration date. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to submit your reaccreditation application on time.

Failure to receive the courtesy reminder notifications or check emails is not a valid reason to submit a late application. Reaccreditation applications are due no later than five months prior to your expiration date. If you submit your application late or place it on hold after submission, we cannot guarantee that the onsite survey will take place before your expiration date—please refer to the section Late Applications. The reaccreditation survey will be conducted in a manner similar to your initial survey; the surveyor will also review any previous deficiencies and evaluate your corrections. In order to be assigned a reaccreditation survey, you must submit a completed renewal application as well as be current with your facility’s annual fee.


Additional surveys may be required when there are significant changes such as a location move, change of ownership or addition to your facility’s scope of services. Resurveys are also required if we are unable to conduct an initial or reaccreditation survey due to unavailability at your facility or if the surveyor is denied access. To begin the resurvey process, you must submit an online application.

Verification Survey

Verification surveys allow ABC to confirm various elements associated with your facility. Verification surveys are most often used to confirm that changes documented in your Corrective Action Plan (CAP) have been implemented. (For an explanation of the CAP process, please see Accreditation Decisions.) We will inform you in writing if we require a verification survey. You are responsible for the fees associated with a verification survey.

Quality Control Survey

We reserve the right to randomly visit any ABC accredited facility to conduct a quality control survey. We use these surveys to determine consistency among ABC accredited locations and to evaluate surveyor performance. Additionally, we reserve the right to conduct a quality control survey to determine ongoing compliance with the ABC Standards. These surveys are random and unannounced and may be initiated in response to consumer or professional complaints. We do not charge for these surveys.


Surveys are conducted by either a single surveyor or a team of surveyors. On occasion, we will send a surveyor apprentice as part of the survey team, at no additional charge to you. All surveyors and surveyor apprentices have a photo identification badge issued by ABC. Surveyors are assigned based on the programs indicated on your application. Facilities cannot request a particular surveyor to conduct their survey.

Once your facility’s survey has been picked up by a surveyor, you will receive an email with your surveyor’s name. All ABC surveyors/apprentices must disclose any potential conflict of interest with the applicant/facility to us before they are assigned to conduct the survey. If you have a conflict of interest with your assigned surveyor, please email accreditation@ with your name, facility’s contact information, and reason within five days of receiving your assigned surveyor email. Requests made after the five days will be denied. The following constitute as valid conflict of interest:

  • The surveyor has provided consulting services or accreditation guidance of any kind to your facility.
  • The surveyor has a personal relationship with owner, shareholder, or other individual working at the facility.
  • The surveyor enters into employment or contract with the facility.
  • The surveyor was employed or contracted or currently employed or contracted with a competing business in your local area.

Surveyors/apprentices with a confirmed conflict are not assigned that survey.

Your surveyor is not available to you after your onsite survey and we cannot provide you a surveyor’s personal contact information. ABC staff is available to you throughout your accreditation process for any questions you might have. Simply email us at

About Our Surveyors:


Our surveyors come from a variety of backgrounds which give them unique perspectives while conducting your survey. ABC surveyors are selected due to their extensive experience, knowledge of compliance, and commitment to ABC and our mission. They demonstrate objectivity, diplomacy and dedication to our profession.

Site Surveyor Training

Each surveyor receives formal, organized training through regular workshops as well as handson individual training with a senior surveyor. In addition, each site surveyor has access to training materials and tools specifically created to facilitate the survey process and to validate their understanding of the ABC Accreditation Standards.


ABC surveyors demonstrate experience, objectivity, diplomacy and dedication. Our surveyors understand that the survey process can be intimidating. They use this opportunity not to judge, but to assess, educate and consult with facilities on areas of compliance.