Public Health Accreditation Board

Beta Test

Beta Test


From fall 2009 through the end of 2010, 30 public health departments throughout the United States will participate in a test of the national  voluntary public health accreditation program. The goal of the public health accreditation program is to improve and protect the health of every community by advancing the quality and performance of public health departments. Learn more about the beta test at Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.


The 30 public health departments that will participate in the PHAB beta test were selected from a pool of 148 applications. To ensure that the test sites represent a diverse cross-section of health departments, PHAB carefully selected health departments that vary in size, structure, population served, governance, geographic region, and degree of preparedness for accreditation. Nineteen local, eight state and three tribal health departments are participating in the beta test.

Click here for a list of the sites participating in the beta test.


Throughout the beta test, the sites will work through the accreditation process and provide valuable feedback on the process, materials, and tools that will inform the accreditation program’s national launch in 2011.

How to Stay Involved

PHAB encourages all public health departments to start preparing for accreditation now. You can take steps to become informed about this process that will help your agency prepare for the launch of national accreditation program in 2011. You can stay involved by:

Checking this site for updates and signing up for the PHAB e-newsletter to get the latest news on accreditation activities.

Reviewing the standards and measures so you’re familiar with the criteria for accreditation.

Reviewing the assessment process and beginning to prepare.

Volunteering to be a member of a site visit team. Please send your name and contact information to Robin Wilcox at to be included on a list of volunteer potential site visit team members.

Providing your feedback and thoughts on the accreditation documents to PHAB as the beta test progresses, as all input will inform the launch of the national standards in 2011.

Starting  work on three specific documents that will be required for health departments to apply for national accreditation:

    1. A community health assessment, in which a health department assesses the health status and the public health needs in the community.
    2. A community health improvement plan, which maps out exactly what the health department is going to do as it works with partners to improve the health status of its jurisdiction.
    3. A strategic plan for the health department, which sets forth a health department’s priorities and how it plans to accomplish its strategic goals.

It’s not too early to begin to work on these documents, and it will better prepare you to apply for national accreditation when the national program launches in 2011. With some preparation, your health department could become accredited and demonstrate excellence to your community.