The Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions (CBAHI) is the official agency authorized to grant accreditation certificates to all governmental and private healthcare facilities operating today in Saudi Arabia. CBAHI has emerged from the Saudi Health Council as a non-profit organization. The principal function of CBAHI is to set the healthcare quality and patient safety standards against which all healthcare facilities are evaluated for evidence of compliance.
The foundation of CBAHI dates back to 2001 as Makkah Region Quality Program (MRQP), an initiative aimed at improving quality of healthcare delivery in the Makkah Region. In 2005, under a Ministerial Order, MRQP was developed and named as Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions (CBAHI) and its jurisdiction was expanded to the whole country.
In 2006, with the help of healthcare quality experts from the public and private sectors, CBAHI developed the first set of national standards for hospitals.
In 2012, CBAHI’s 2nd edition of national standards for hospitals was certified by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua).
Mandatory status of CBAHI accreditation
In late 2013, when a Cabinet of Ministers Decree called for changing CBAHI’s official name to the “Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions”, it also mandated the national accreditation by CBAHI on all healthcare facilities. In addition, the Ministry of Health is mandating CBAHI accreditation as a prerequisite for renewal of the operating license – a step towards encouraging more participation in this ambitious national initiative.
It is mandatory for all public and private healthcare delivery facilities (hospitals, polyclinics, blood banks and medical laboratories) in Saudi Arabia to comply with national standards set by CBAHI and obtain its accreditation through a survey process set forth by the Center.