Topic Overview

Although licensing and accreditation of health professionals and facilities are established quality control practices in developed countries, many lower-middle income countries struggle to create systems to fulfill this function. Licensing and accrediting programs aim to improve the quality of a wide range of health professions and facilities from midwives and physicians to pharmaceutical vendors and producers.  

While licensing and accrediting bodies do perform similar functions they have defining characteristics:

Licensing bodies: are legislative governmental bodies which provide healthcare workers such as physicians, nurses and midwives the legal right to work, or in the case of facilities the legal right to operate.

Accrediting bodies: are non-legal bodies which provide certificates to healthcare workers or facilities which meet certain quality standards, or have undergone training and testing by the accrediting body. Providers and facilities which are unaccredited may still have the legal right to provide services, even though these services may be of low quality.

An analysis of the 29 programs working in Licensing and Accreditation profiled on CHMI in 2014 offered several key insights:

  • Profiled programs which offer licensing and accreditation typically fall into 3 categories.  13  programs license and accredit healthcare workers such as Bidan Delima of Indonesia.  5 Programs license and accredit pharmaceutical vendors, such as the Accredited Medicines Stores of Liberia, and 6 programs license and accredit health facilities, such as the Safecare Foundation.
  • Ten of the accreditation programs profiled by CHMI operate under a franchise model.
  • Five programs which offer licensing and accreditation to pharmaceutical vendors and producers focus on improving the quality of drugs, or the knowledge of pharmaceutical vendors.

Explore in depth the full list of programs working in licensing and accreditation, and blog posts related to the topic. 

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