The Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa NPC (COHSASA), has achieved its fifth accreditation from the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), the global authority with a mission is to improve the quality and safety of healthcare worldwide.

This fifth accreditation, valid from 2018 to 2022, means that COHSASA itself, as an organisation, has been independently assessed by the most credible authority in the world in this field and has had its existing systems and operations validated. The process does not end there as the aim is to drive continuous quality improvement throughout the organisation.

COHSASA is the only health services accreditation body in sub-Saharan Africa to be accredited by this ISQua.

COHSASA has achieved accreditation from ISQua in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and now in 2018. This latest accreditation further focuses attention on this not-for-profit organisation that will be co- hosting ISQua’s 36 th International conference in Cape Town, the first time that the conference will be held on African shores.

Furthermore, the COHSASA Healthcare Facility Standards (First Edition) has also achieved ISQua accreditation for the period of 2018 to 2022.

The ISQua surveyors gave the COHSASA Healthcare Facility Standards a rating of 89% and described the result as “excellent”. This was the first survey of this suite of standards which includes: Generic Service Elements, Inpatient Care standards and Ambulatory Care standards. These standards are an amalgamation of six existing sets and they have been combined to provide consistency and reduced duplication.

Based in Cape Town, the Council was founded in 1995. In the past 23 years, it has worked with 594 healthcare institutions across 35 clients in 11 countries in Africa. Using professional standards, COHSASA identifies gaps in service provision and assists healthcare staff to meet those gaps.

The Council empowers health workers to ensure that there are systems and processes in place, underpinned by professional standards, so that patients are provided with safe, quality care.

Commenting on the latest accreditation, CEO of COHSASA, Ms Jacqui Stewart said:

“I am absolutely delighted that COHSASA has been accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) for a fifth time and has achieved accreditation for twenty consecutive years.  This accreditation is an indication of excellent team work within the organisation, high quality systems, a commitment to our mission, vision and values and most important, a commitment to our clients.

“I am pleased that our healthcare facility standards have also been accredited for four years.  We now have just two sets of standards, healthcare facility standards for inpatient care and ambulatory care.  These two flexible sets enable us to better respond to requests to accredit facilities delivering new approaches and models of health care. We are committed to maintaining high quality programmes and services for all our clients for many more years”.

Chairperson of COHSASA, Ms Sharon Slabbert said of the latest accreditation: “The Council of Health Services Accreditation of Southern Africa has for the fifth time been accredited by the ISQua following a rigorous process of evaluation. This clearly indicates that the Council is striving towards its vision of being the leading health service accreditation organisation globally. This is only possible through the total dedication and hard work of the CEO and staff. It is through absolute adherence to the principles of the highest standards of quality in the provision of healthcare that this remarkable achievement has been made possible.”

Elaine O’ Connor, ISQua Head of the International Accreditation Programme and Strategic Partnerships CC, said: “ISQua warmly thanks and congratulates all who were involved with this process and offers best wishes for the continuing success of Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa.”