• COHSASA holds a current IAP (International Accreditation Programme) award from the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) as a competent health accrediting body. This accreditation is conferred by ISQua’s External Evaluation Association (IEEA)  based in Geneva.
  • This is its fifth successive accreditation from ISQua with the current award valid until 2023. The award confers credibility through formal worldwide recognition that COHSASA meets agreed international standards; specifically developed and tested for healthcare external evaluation bodies.
  • International links and collaboration create a network-based legitimacy and expert partnerships.
  • COHSASA is a not-for-profit company – as opposed to an activist or advocacy organisation.
  • It is an impartial, independent, non-political body.
  • It has neither shareholders nor executive directors.
  • It seeks to ensure that all patients have access to safe, quality health care.


  • COHSASA has 28 years of experience in over 600 facilities in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda, eSwatini, Lesotho, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Ghana. 
  • The Council has a proven track record in both public and private healthcare facilities.
  • COHSASA has been the quality improvement and accreditation service provider of choice to MediClinic in South Africa and MediClinic has extended its contract into the future.
  • COHSASA has developed quality improvement and accreditation programmes for a variety of facilities including hospitals, clinics, hospices, sub-acute care, sedation services, day surgery centres, emergency services and General and Family Practitioners.
  • In addition to accreditation programmes, COHSASA offers training in quality improvement methodology, monitoring and evaluation and adverse event management, monitoring and reporting systems to measure impact.  
  • To ensure that hospitals sustain their standards after being accredited, COHSASA offers a standards maintenance programme. This requires hospitals to undergo a mini-survey of key and high-risk areas. 
  • COHSASA consistently monitors and evaluates its own internal performance to improve its service to clients. 
  • COHSASA also works with independent research partners to analyse data.


  • COHSASA has developed the COHSASA Quality Information System (CoQIS), a web-based information system, that enables licensed users, via a secure login, to view and query data and access objective information about levels of compliance with professional standards. This includes progress reports on healthcare facilities in the quality improvement programme.
  • A new “edition” of CoQIS, called CoQIS II has been developed and launched in recent months.
  • Ongoing access to current data enables management at all levels – from oversight governance structures down to facility level – to make informed decisions, to respond to triggers demanding immediate action and, in this way, to bring about continuous quality improvements through the ongoing monitoring of performance indicators.
  • CoQIS includes abilities to navigate between surveys and to review data and to monitor the progress of individual and/or a selection of healthcare facilities in the programme.
  • CoQIS generates queries that interrogate data – this provides comprehensive details of the status quo of managerial, administrative and clinical systems within a single hospital, across a group of hospitals or all hospitals within a region.
  • COHSASA’s web-based system is a secure on-line data warehouse and can become a valuable repository of the chronological and historical progress of facilities in the client organisation as they move towards compliance with standards.
  • Endemic weaknesses within a facility or across a region can be identified and acted upon.
  • Client organisations are able to use the CoQIS system to make informed decisions about the allocation of finances to address deficiencies according to COHSASA’s standards which are a blueprint of how to provide safe and quality care.
  • Client organisations that use CoQIS as part of the self-evaluation QI programme are able to maintain their quality programme at the highest level over time, thus avoiding excessive workloads to prepare for external surveys.


  • The Council’s standards have been based on principles that reflect the collective expertise of over 41 countries.
  • ISQua has consistently accredited COHSASA’s standards over the past decade and those currently accredited until 2022 are: COHSASA Healthcare Facility Standards (First Edition)
  • Representative professional bodies such as the Society of Surgeons, the Society of Anesthesiologists, the Democratic Nursing Association of South Africa, the Infection Control Society of South Africa, general and family practitioner associations and many others have helped to develop and refine COHSASA’s standards.


  • The programme is designed to empower staff through their own efforts.
  • COHSASA pays particular attention to improving institutional capacity – particularly management capacity.
  • Managers are trained how to manage their facilities better by making practical use of the information generated in the programme by CoQIS.
  • Managers are given quality improvement projects to complete based on actual deficiencies identified within the hospitals i.e. there are not only didactic lectures, but the development of practical skills to carry out quality improvement projects.
  • COHSASA conducts regular skills development workshops.


“Providing the highest quality of care while ensuring patient safety should be the goal of every healthcare facility. Accreditation not only establishes high quality standards but also strengthens and leads to an overall improvement of medical care. This is a strong rationale that justifies the need for quality improvement and accreditation programmes and ultimately guarantees a return on investment.”

Dr Edgar Kalimba

Senior Consultant Paediatrician/Pulmonologist and past CEO of King Faisal Hospital (2019-2021), the first facility in Rwanda to receive a four-year accreditation award from COHSASA in 2020.


“Mediclinic believes that continuous quality improvement leads to better clinical outcomes, better patient experience and cost efficiency. It also mitigates health and safety risks, medico-legal risks, and reputational risks. This is where the value lies for our hospitals: the investments we make in time and money to implement COHSASA accreditation standards adds value to each patient we care for”.

Riaan Vorster – General Manager of Mediclinic Panorama, Western Cape.