Health departments pursuing accreditation are required to appoint one person as an Accreditation Coordinator (AC). The AC cannot be the Health Department Director as the responsibilities of these positions are too significant to be handled by one individual. Review the following guidance and resources for hiring an AC:

  1. General description of the AC role and associated skill sets.
  2. Sample job description and job posting.
  3. Potential interview questions.
  4. List of additional resources.

Accreditation Coordinator Role & Skills

The AC is responsible for coordinating the accreditation process within the health department and is the primary point of contact with PHAB. While the AC position is critical to the overall work, accreditation is a department wide initiative. It should not be expected, nor is it feasible, for the AC to complete all accreditation work independently. The AC must have the ongoing support of leadership and engagement of staff at all levels of the department.

The AC role requires strong project management, team building, and organizational skills. Other important skills include, but are not limited to:

  • Leadership
  • Analytic skills
  • Decision-making
  • Facilitation
  • Oral and written communication
  • Computer skills

As accreditation work flexes over the 5 -year accreditation cycle, the AC position is often combined with other job roles/functions such as performance improvement, community health planning, health education, and/or quality improvement. Combined roles and functions are particularly common in smaller health departments.

If hiring for a combined role, consider cross-cutting skills to emphasize in the job description and interview questions. There are materials available to help new ACs learn the technical specifics of PHAB Accreditation on the PHAB resources webpage.

Sample Job Description & Job Posting

The Region V Public Health Training Center’s Model Job Description Project includes an evidence-based sample job description and sample job posting for an AC. The description and posting can be downloaded from the Region V website using the hyperlink above and modified to meet department, human resources, and/or civil service needs and requirements.

Interview Questions

The following are sample interview questions that could be used during the screening and hiring process. These questions align with the job skills highlighted in section one. If this will be a joint/shared position that includes other job functions, additional questions may need to be added.

  • Describe your experience with project management.
  • How do you make sure projects and tasks stay on schedule?
  • What strategies do you use to juggle multiple priorities?
  • Describe a time you developed and executed a collaborative project.
  • Describe your experience assisting peers with understanding a new concept or helping others adapt to change?
  • How would you approach learning a new software program?
  • Describe your experience taking a concern to a member of a leadership team.
  • What strategies have you used to keep colleagues engaged in a long-term goal or project?
  • Discuss your experience delegating tasks to peers. What experience do you have in delegating tasks to leaders?
  • Describe a time you needed to solve a problem but didn’t have all the necessary information, what did you do?
  • What are your strengths as a facilitator?
  • What do you see as your own areas of personal growth in terms of equity and inclusion? What’s something you are working on learning?
  • In a large group how do you ensure everyone’s voice is heard?
  • In previous work, how have you approached building relationships across lines of difference and power?
  • Describe your experience with professional writing.
  • Please tell us about your familiarity with accreditation. How familiar are you with PHAB accreditation?
  • PHAB accreditation focuses on the 10 Essential Public Health Services and the Foundational Public Health Services. What knowledge do you have of these two frameworks?
  • Accreditation centers on performance improvement. How have you been involved with performance improvement in the past?

Additional Resources

Below are some additional PHAB resources that may be helpful.

  • Additional information about the role of the Accreditation Coordinator is available on the resources webpage.
  • Questions about PHAB opportunities for training a new AC should be directed to [email protected].
  • Any other questions regarding the AC role should be directed to [email protected].