Collect and Organize Documentation

Each LHD must demonstrate compliance with PHAB standards and measures by collecting and submitting documentation. This phase of the accreditation preparation process includes the following two steps: 

1. Formation of an accreditation preparation team 

2. Collection and electronic organization of documentation. 

These two activities should begin well in advance of submitting the PHAB application. The following resources exist to assist LHDs with organizing for accreditation.

This document serves as the official standards, measures, and required documentation for PHAB national public health accreditation. It provides guidance on the meaning and purpose of a measure and the types and forms of documentation that are appropriate to demonstrate conformity with each measure. The standards are based on the ten essential public health services and focus on “what” the health department provides in services and activities, regardless of “how” they are provided or through what organizational structure.

PHAB's guide to public health accreditation provides general guidance for health departments to consider when selecting the specific documentation that will be submitted to PHAB for each documentation requirement contained in the PHAB Standards and Measures, Version 1.5.

PHAB document selection spreadsheet is a tool designed to assist Tribal, state, local, and territorial health departments manage the process of selection of documentation in the early stages of preparing for national public health department accreditation.  

This guide walks through the main steps in undertaking the process for collecting PHAB documentation including forming the accreditation preparation team, orienting staff to accreditation, gathering documentation, and identifying areas of strength and weakness.

NACCHO's Documentation Selection Tools are designed to facilitate the process of accreditation preparation in local health departments. There are several tools available that highlight connections between measures that appear across different PHAB domains, simplify the preparation of major documents required by PHAB, and drive efficiencies in assigning and organizing the documentation collection process.

These tools cover several topic areas and are recommended for use in conjunction with PHAB's tools and resources.


  • Selecting Programmatic Documentation (UPDATED for V1.5) - This tool was developed to help Accreditation Teams understand the documentation requirements from their different program areas.This tool includes a chart that lists measures and accompanying guidance that require documentation from health department program areas. This can be used to guide discussions with program staff regarding documentation assignments.
  • Programmatic Documentation Matrix (UPDATED for V1.5) - PHAB requires that programmatic documentation reflects the breadth and depth of the services available at a local health department. This tool includes a chart that lists the program-related measures and health department program areas.This is intended to track the amount of documentation coming from different program areas and thus help ensure that a wide range of programs are represented. NOTE: This tool is made available in .DOC form so that health departments can edit the chart to include the names of all their programmatic services.
  • PHAB Prerequisites (UPDATED FOR V1.5) - This tool includes charts that list the measures, required documentation, and notes on related measures for the Community Health Assessment (CHA), Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), and Strategic Plan. This tool also contains checklists for the requirements related to CHAs and CHIPs.
  • Workforce Requirements (UPDATED FOR V1.5) - This tool is a checklist of PHAB measures that specifically reference the public health workforce, including general human resource requirements, functions/responsibilities that must specifically be designated to a staff member, staff development and training requirements, and staff participation in a performance management system and quality improvement plan.*Requirements regarding staff and emergency preparedness are not included in this tool, and instead can be found in the Project Public Health Ready Overlap tool.
  • Project Public Health Ready Overlap (UPDATED FOR V1.5) - This tool is a chart that describes how documentation required by NACCHO's Project Public Health Ready (PPHR) may be used to help demonstrate conformity with related PHAB measures.
  • Miscellaneous Documentation (UPDATED for V1.5) - This tool is a list of miscellaneous topics with several references throughout the standards and measures, including diverse populations, governing entities, and public health laws.

Once an LHD has completed the PHAB documentation collection process, the possible areas for improvement may seem overwhelming. Where do you start doing QI? How do you choose QI efforts? The document below outlines five prioritization methods LHDs can use to choose among the many and narrow them down to select the few best to start. It includes descriptions of each method as well as examples of how LHDs have used the methods.

NACCHO and the CDC's Community Guide Branch would like to announce the launch of The Community Guide – Public Health Accreditation Board Crosswalk. The Community Guide – PHAB Crosswalk is a tool to assist health departments in identifying evidence-based interventions from The Community Guide whose implementation could help document conformity with PHAB domains, standards, and measures.

As a companion tool, the NACCHO Model Practices-Community Guide Crosswalk: A Resource for Implementing Effective Public Health Strategies, can inform LHDs as they consider ways to address public health concerns with effective strategies. The crosswalk identifies NACCHO Model Practices implemented by LHDs alongside related recommendations from The Community Guide to help LHDs enhance their practice-based initiatives with evidence, while simultaneously providing examples of ways LHDs can translate evidence into practice in their jurisdictions.

Several of NACCHO's webpages contain domain-specific resources and example documentation that are available for health departments working toward accreditation.

For archived webinars on these topics and others, please visit the Curriculum and Webinars page