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What does Accreditation mean?

The Mark of Quality

The Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) provides support, education, and accreditation to developing and existing freestanding birth centers and Alongside Midwifery Units.

The AABC Standards for Birth Center


CABC uses the standards of the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) for freestanding birth center accreditation.

The standards used for freestanding birth center accreditation are reviewed and revised on a regular basis. A complete and current copy of the standards is available for purchase from the American Association Birth Centers (AABC).

Select one of the seven standards, to see some examples of what the CABC reviews during accreditation.

CABC Alongside Midwifery Unit Standards and the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Criteria


The standards used for Alongside Midwifery Unit accreditation are reviewed and revised on a regular basis. A complete and current copy of the standards can be requested here.

Select one of the six standards, to see some examples of what the CABC reviews during accreditation.

Benefits of CABC Accreditation

Accreditation from the CABC will help you:

  • Demonstrate your accountability and commitment to providing high quality maternity care to:
    • Childbearing families
    • Insurance companies
    • Maternity care colleagues
    • Your community
  • Learn to develop and use a robust Continuous Quality Improvement program that will allow you to:
    • Recognize any quality issues quickly
    • Systematically work to resolve issues in order to assure that you provide the very best possible maternity care
  • Develop policies and procedures that support the midwifery model of care, enhance risk management, and allow you to provide evidence-based maternity care.
  • Strengthen your position when negotiating with insurance companies.
  • Learn from experienced experts in birth center operations who want to help your center succeed.
  • Enhance pride in your birth center among your staff, consumers, and collaborative physicians.
  • Provide support with your collaborative physicians and birth center or hospital administrators,  for your use of:
    • Evidence-based maternity care practices and
    • Avoidance of inappropriate use of technology
  • Improve your bottom line with:
    • Discounts on medical liability insurance
    • Payment from health insurance companies that require CABC accreditation for reimbursement

Dedicated to Excellence

Freestanding Birth Centers and Alongside Midwifery Units that are already accredited in our 3-year accreditation cycle also enjoy these benefits of our monthly enrollment:

  • Access to CABC accreditation experts to get questions answered while completing forms.
  • Continually improved forms and site visit experiences.
  • One site visit every 3 years.
    • Accreditation Specialist airfare, lodging and meals paid by CABC.
  • Review of two Interim Status Reports.
  • Use of a CABC Certificate of Accreditation for wall display.
  • Use of CABC's Premium Accreditation Marketing Kit (designed for CABC-accredited birth center clients, their employers, collaborating physicians & hospitals, and policymakers):
    • Clickable web badge to verify accreditation status
    • Window cling of the CABC accreditation seal
    • A set of customized  brochures about the value of CABC accreditation, featuring your birth center’s photos, logo & contact info
See the two pathways to a dedicated relationship with CABC.
See the two pathways to a dedicated relationship with CABC. (PDF)
Compare the Benefits available to birth centers moving toward a dedicated relationship
Compare the Benefits (PDF) available to birth centers moving toward a dedicated relationship with CABC.

CABC Accreditation Process

CABC accreditation involves an extensive review of all aspects of business and clinical operations of the applicant center.

  1. A detailed self-evaluation report from the center is required.
  2. A 2-day site visit is done to verify the materials in that report. The Accreditation Specialists do not make the accreditation decision, but serve to verify and clarify materials and findings from the site visit and self-evaluation report. This process includes:
    • A complete review of all birth center clinical and administrative policies and procedures
    • Assessment for good business practices to enhance birth center viability and continuity for consumers
    • Review of personnel files to confirm appropriate credentials and certifications
    • Review of risk criteria and transfer procedures
    • Evaluation of risk management and Continuous Quality Improvement programs for thoroughness and implementation
    • Detailed chart reviews
    • Review of required center clinical outcome statistics
    • Meticulous facility inspection
    • Interviews with center staff, collaborative physicians and hospital personnel.
  3. Review Panelists then review all materials and make the final decision regarding accreditation.

In addition to evaluating the quality and safety of freestanding birth centers and alongside midwifery units through the process of accreditation, the CABC works to educate professionals in developing and established birth centers as well as consumers and policymakers about the importance of adherence to carefully developed, evidence-based national standards for birth centers.

The goal of the CABC is to help centers identify and resolve any problems, and to encourage them to strive for the highest level of excellence in the care and services that they provide.

Accreditation Agreement & Dedication to Learning

Everyone knows you take accountability seriously when you become accredited. At CABC, we know that optimum accountability is rooted in a rigorous dedication to learning in the pursuit of excellence. To get started, we ask you to sign CABC's Accreditation Agreement to establish expectations and requirements for working together.

We have a posted a sample here for you to review. (When you fill out the form at the bottom of this page to begin your Initial Registration, we will send you an agreement to sign that includes your birth center's name and address.)

Contact CABC to sign our current accreditation agreement.

Download SAMPLE Freestanding Birth Center Accreditation Agreement

Initial Registration

Please plan ahead and engage with CABC accreditation at least 6 months before your desired site visit month.

  1. When you pay the 1st half of the Initial Registration, your birth center gains access to:
    • CABC training materials
    • CABC Accreditation Kit
  2. When you pay the 2nd half of the Initial Registration, your birth center can:
    • Schedule a specific date for your site visit with the CABC Office

Your Starting Point: 1-year or 3-year accreditation?

Your Initial Registration can result in either 1-yr accreditation or 3-yr accreditation. Here are the eligibility requirements for each accreditation certificate duration:

1-Yr Starting Point

1-yr Accreditation can be awarded to birth centers that:

  • Either have less than 100 total births of experience
  • Or are starting up and quite literally ready to open their doors

When a birth center achieves 1-yr accreditation:

  • Its certificate of accreditation expires one year later
  • And CABC schedules a 1-Year Review site visit one year after the initial site visit.

3-Yr Starting Point

3-yr Accreditation can be awarded to birth centers that:

  • Either have completed their 1-Year Review
  • Or have been open for more than 1 year
  • Or have 100 or more total births of experience

How Many Birth Centers?

When one business entity has more than one location, CABC has designations for three different types of locations.
When you have only one birth center facility, it is automatically designated as your Primary location.

Get Started:

Initial Registration Form

Address(Required)
What is your Starting Point?(Required)
How many Birth Center locations are part of this Initial Registration? *(Required)
Consent(Required)

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