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Six Software Challenges Faced by Accreditation Bodies (And How To Solve Them)

There was a time when Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and email marked the dawn of an efficiency revolution. Gone was the need for paper, Inter-Department Delivery folders (do you remember those?), and internal mail services.

Then was the advent of custom software, where internal staff and vendors would offer their expertise to develop a new software solution for an organization that promised to meet all of their needs. While these solutions were often game-changers at the time of implementation, they soon became neglected, inefficient, and expensive.

Nowadays, organizations tend to favor out-of-the box software products to help them manage their processes and data collection needs. These solutions are typically hosted in secure cloud environments, and are constantly being updated and enhanced to meet changing needs.

In the world of accreditation, a combination of these tools are often used, although in the last five years we have seen a push towards the use of purely out-of-the-box solutions that include integrated data collection tools, workflow management capabilities, and CRM modules that can track organizations, programs, and people. 

Organizations that conduct accreditation or certification cannot afford to rely on archaic methods for their often complex needs, at least not solely. Simply put, spreadsheets and emails are not enough to manage your accreditation activities. In an age where the volume and complexity of data is simply too large and varied for generic tools, accreditation bodies must rely on software that makes their jobs more convenient, faster, and error-proof.


Software Challenges Faced by Accreditation Bodies

An effective, secure, and flexible accreditation management software is the backbone of any accreditation body’s business. It can streamline what could otherwise be a very complex and time-consuming process. Accreditation management software allows them to conveniently store and access important data and documents, as well as design workflows to enable task delegation and track the progress of an accreditation application from initial engagement through to a decision (and reaccreditation).

Six Issues Accreditation Bodies Face

Accreditation is seen as a necessity across many industry sectors including healthcare, education, veterinary services, engineering, law enforcement, and laboratory services. It plays a significant role in holding organizations and programs accountable in upholding quality standards, and will become increasingly critical in helping to facilitate continuous quality improvement. As such, accreditation bodies should look to the latest software solutions to help them manage their processes and engagements effectively. 

Let’s take a look at some software challenges faced by accreditation bodies today:

1) Too Many Systems, I’m Confused

Because accreditation can be a complex process, some organizations rely on multiple systems to achieve their goals. This can be inconvenient and inefficient, especially when those systems involve complex manual processes. Having multiple systems can increase the likelihood of errors, data loss, security breaches, and unnecessary duplication.

2) My Dashboard Doesn’t Tell Me What I Need

Older accreditation management software often has limited dashboard views. When an accreditation leader is unable to understand the context of their operations, it is difficult for them to know what it is they need to manage. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if the data is already in a system. Accreditors need to unlock meaning in their data, so users can take action and make progress.

3) Sub-Optimal Stakeholder Experience

Accreditation’s reason d’être is to instill trust, and trust is built through positive user experiences. Naturally, if the experience of stakeholders using your software is negative, user-trust becomes an issue. Think of the site visitor who needs to complete an audit or assessment in multiple locations and settings. They crave a positive user experience in order to get their jobs done effectively.

4) Expensive and Inflexible

The danger of investing or continuing to invest in a “custom” software solution for accreditation bodies is it is difficult and expensive to scale in a way that meets new demands. This is especially true of in-house systems that require support from often over-burdened IT teams. If this is the case with your “custom” software, seeking new, more innovative software products may help you reduce costs, and stay current.

5) Inability To Handle Multiple Standards or Accreditation Types

The ability to handle multiple types of standards or accreditation types is vital for many accreditation bodies. Software that can only handle a single set of standards will not meet these needs. This should be a consideration for accreditation bodies as they re-evaluate their accreditation software requirements.

6) My Software Doesn’t Make it Easy for me to Collaborate

One of the biggest drawbacks of older accreditation management software is its inability to facilitate collaboration. For example, when multiple assessors are involved in reviewing a document, the software has to make it easy for them to see each other’s comments. In addition, a lead auditor then needs to make a final decision or recommendation. This level of collaboration may not exist in more dated or custom solutions.

What To Consider When Choosing Accreditation Management Software

Choosing the right Accreditation Management Software is critical if you want to ensure your accreditation operations are efficient and streamlined. When evaluating software solutions, it is essential to consider your accreditation needs, stakeholder needs, and the standards you are expected to assess organizations or programs against. 

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a new software solution:

  • Adaptability and flexibility of the software: Look for software that can be tailored to meet your specific business needs and requirements throughout the accreditation cycle.

  • Tracking, monitoring, and visualization of activities: Ensure the software you choose allows you to monitor progress and track activities, so you have real-time visibility into the status of accreditation tasks.

  • Range of features available: Consider the full range of features offered by the software to ensure it covers all aspects of your accreditation management needs.

  • Ease of use: Choose a software solution that is intuitive and user-friendly from the perspective of multiple user types.

  • Availability and nature of automations: The software should automate routine tasks to save you time and reduce the risk of errors.

  • Scalability, flexibility, and security: The software should be scalable and flexible to meet new demands and ensure data security.

  • Ability to facilitate task management: Look for a software solution that streamlines task delegation, facilitates collaboration among team members, and allows easy tracking of progress.

Key Benefits of Switching To Advanced Accreditation Management Software Products

As an accreditation body, relying on outdated software or inefficient manual processes can be risky, time-consuming, and potentially costly. Upgrading to an advanced accreditation management software solution can help you streamline all aspects of the accreditation process and ensure your business is covered.

Enhanced data collection capabilities and high-level dashboards provide critical insights and trend visualizations, allowing you to manage all stages of the accreditation process more effectively. Integrated communications platforms and customizable workflows enable you to manage multiple entities and individuals with ease, reducing the risk of errors, data loss, security breaches, and unnecessary duplication.

By upgrading to a more advanced accreditation management software, you can easily monitor the entire accreditation life cycle, develop and publish updated accreditation standards more efficiently, and take advantage of tailored portals that meet the specific needs of your business. The result is improved efficiency, accuracy, and overall experience of managing the accreditation processes, ultimately leading to better outcomes for all stakeholders.

ARMATURE: Setting The Highest Standards for Accreditation Management Software

In today’s business environment, accreditation bodies should seek a solution that is flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. ARMATURE Fabric is an advanced software that is tailor-made to meet the accreditation and certification management needs of organizations that manage multiple complex standards and processes. What makes ARMATURE Fabric the ideal accreditation management software product?

  • It’s Configurable: Tailorable features can adapt to meet your specific business needs across the full accreditation cycle
  • Works on Multiple Devices: ARMATURE Fabric runs on laptops, tablets, and mobile devices
  • Multi-Lingual: ARMATURE Fabric supports multiple languages
  • Works Online and Offline: Allows access to data collection tools and processes even when offline
  • Ready to Integrate: Using its API, ARMATURE Fabric seamlessly integrates with other software
  • Advanced Dashboards: Grants critical insights at a glance via configurable dashboards

Accreditation bodies require flexible and scalable software solutions to manage complex accreditation processes. ARMATURE Fabric is the leading accreditation management software product, designed to meet the diverse needs of organizations that manage multiple complex standards and processes.

ARMATURE Fabric provides a reliable and secure platform that enables organizations to manage the entire accreditation life cycle seamlessly. Its flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, support for multiple languages and devices, and the ability to integrate with other software, make it a top choice for accreditation bodies seeking to improve their processes, increase efficiency and productivity, and continuously improve their operations.

By switching to ARMATURE Fabric, accreditation bodies can take their accreditation management to the next level, improve stakeholder experience, and achieve their quality goals more effectively than ever before. And, unlike custom software solutions, you will benefit from frequent system upgrades that include a constant flow of enhancements and feature updates. 

Don’t take our word for it, discover for yourself by talking to a member of our sales team and booking a demo.

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We regularly publish articles in the fields of Accreditation, Certification, Auditing, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Integrated Risk Management (IRM).

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