We’re often asked what our medical transport accreditation process is, a question easily answered. Through our impartial ISO 9001 internal audit process, you can rest assured that you’ll have a thorough third-party evaluation of compliance to industry-recognized standards.
Rather than commissioning auditors from local medical transport and healthcare providers, NAAMTA employs professionals in the fields of aviation and healthcare to augment our auditing expertise and guarantee impartial auditing to our Alliance members. This, in addition to a panel of accreditation organizations industry experts like Dr. David R. Boyd, the “father of EMS,” demonstrates the experience readily available to our team.
As part of our ISO 9001 compliance, NAAMTA created a well-defined auditing process. This procedure does not change between organizations, which means you can expect the same experience as other emergency medical services, regardless of their experience or accreditation history.
- Step 1: Registration
- Step 2: Administrative Audit
- Step 3: Site Audit
- Step 4: Evaluation & Corrective Action
- Step 5: Award
Prior to beginning the overall accreditation process of proving compliance with each of our standards, EMS providers must first register for NAAMTA accreditation. The purpose of this is to identify whether your organization is eligible for consideration. Elements we use to consider eligibility include the following:
- Established business for a minimum of six (6) months
- Be in good standing in your service area
- Prove customer commitment
The criteria used to measure compliance is described more fully on our registration page. Upon submission, our Executive Director and Program Director will review your NAAMTA registration and then send you notice of its acceptance, whereupon you can begin work on our full accreditation application.
After successfully registering, EMS organizations are given a period of 12 months to provide all documentation and evidence requested by our standards. During this period, medical transport providers will typically review NAAMTA's Standards and create, identify, or revise processes and documentation that demonstrate compliance.
- First-time applicants: Preparation for our administrative audit will take the majority of that 12-month period.
- Renewing applicants: Preparation will take an average of six months due to the organization having already established the processes and records required for NAAMTA accreditation.
Once your application is fully completed, our in-office auditors will begin the administrative audit process. We will examine all evidence provided to determine compliance with NAAMTA Standards. Typical administrative documentation we review includes, but is not limited to:
- Employee manual
- Procedures and policies manual
- Training and certification records
Any provided documentation found to not be in full compliance with NAAMTA Standards will result in a request for corrective action.
Not all NAAMTA accreditation criteria are verifiable through the administrative audit, instead necessitating that NAAMTA send auditors in-person to visually assess your organization's compliance. As part of the site audit, we visit some of the following locations of an organization:
- Corporate office
- Maintenance facilities
- Aviation facilities
- Medical facilities
In addition to observing an organization's facilities, we also interview key staff members to better understand how the organization's standards of performance are being realized and adopted by employees, as well as to help our auditors understand the processes through which your business functions.
Any observed noncompliance will result in a request for corrective action and may possibly necessitate a return site audit.
Evaluation & Corrective Action
Upon the conclusion of both the Administrative and Site Audit, most organizations have several nonconformities to our standards. This can be as simple as a missing process or training record or as major as incorrectly labeled hazardous materials. Based on the results of our auditing, NAAMTA formulates a report that includes not only the results of our evaluation, but also a list of any corrective actions needed to achieve full compliance with our Standards Manual. Achieving NAAMTA Accreditation requires 100% compliance, a feat quite difficult to achieve.
Organizations should expect to receive NAAMTA's audit evaluation within several weeks of the Site Audit. Contained within this report, your organization will be given a list of noncomformities that include the following information:
- The standard of the observed noncomformity
- How the organization is not in compliance
- NAAMTA's recommendations on how to achieve compliance
NAAMTA's recommendations are just that: recommendations. We don't presume to know the solution best for your company and by no means are you expected to do what we suggest. As part of this report, you'll be given a deadline for when evidence should be provided that demonstrate compliance.
Once evidence of compliance is submitted, you'll be eligible for NAAMTA accreditation!
If you've passed both our administrative and site audit or corrected any discovered nonconformities, you are eligible to receive NAAMTA accreditation. At this point, you can display the NAAMTA logo on your vehicles, website, and other marketing materials to demonstrate the standard of performance your organization adheres to. NAAMTA will also provide you with a signed plaque to acknowledge your organization's compliance with our standards.
Renewal for NAAMTA accreditation takes place every three years. Congratulations on passing the test!