The process by which an agency or organization evaluates and recognizes an institution or an individual as meeting standards necessary for providing a particular service. Within health services, the process of accreditation may include the issue of a license to practise or to provide services, charge fees, use certain equipment, engage staff, etc.
Accreditation may have the backing of law with sanctions that can be enforced by courts; enforcement may be put in the hands of professional bodies or government organizations. It is a common feature for the operation of health service facilities and for the practice of medicine, accountancy, midwifery, pharmacy, and certain other paramedical disciplines.
The pattern and methods of accreditation vary between countries.
A self-regulatory process by which governmental, nongovernmental, voluntary associations, or other statutory bodies grant formal recognition to educational programs or institutions that meet stated criteria of educational quality.
Educational programs or institutions are measured against certain standards by a review of written information, self-studies, site visits to the educational program, and thoughtful consideration of the findings by a review committee. Whereas programs or institutions are accredited, individual physicians are licensed or certified.