What should I expect of my accreditation interview?
The interview is a process to gather data, so, you want it to be done correctly. You want it to be done in as professional a manner as possible. So, the first thing is that you need to be prepared — both sides need to be prepared. The provider needs to be prepared and have people there who are familiar with what’s been written, with what’s documented, so that they’re fully understanding what’s in that self-study and what’s in the activity file. You want to be prepared so that you know to answer things appropriately.
On the other side the surveyors also need to be prepared and professional. This isn’t something that’s going to be trading old war stories or “Hi, how are you” type of thing. It’s actually getting at the program and the activities and being as forthright as you can to gather data. So, you want to get information in a professional manner.
As a provider, how should I best prepare for the interview?
We often get questions from providers asking us how to prepare for the interview and we tell them that what they need to do is make sure they’re familiar with everything they’ve written, everything they’ve submitted. The people who come in to the room who are going to discuss and present the program and the activities should be very familiar with what’s there. So, when you prepare for this, those who are going to be actively involved in the interview should know what’s there and should be prepared to answer. Oftentimes, providers will use this as an opportunity to bring in their leadership or their staff so that they can see what’s going on. Those people normally don’t participate in the interview but might sit off to the side or in the background. For instance, in the televideo survey, they might be observing. So, it’s a good chance for them to educate those people as well. But, again you need to make sure that everybody knows their role when they come in to this. And those that are speaking actually have a good understanding of what’s been written and submitted.
How do surveyors prepare for the interview?
The surveyor team prepares for this much as the providers do in the fact that they must read all the materials and go through it. A surveyor team is broken into two — we have two people. And what occurs is both surveyors review the materials independently. And then they compare notes. And when they compare the notes, they see if they’re focusing on the same things or the same issues are coming up, if there are things that are not clear. So, the survey team at that point after they’ve reviewed everything comes up with a list of questions and they say: This is what we want to ask and this is what we need to clarify. Then, they set an agenda and they talk to the provider. And they say: This is what we’re going to cover and how we’re going to do it. Again, it’s preparation, it’s making sure that you know what’s there and you know the kind of flow that you’re going to get into in the discussion and in the interview.