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The Inspection


To download complete information on the HLAC Accreditation Inspection Agreement and Process Guide, click these links:

The inspection that is part of the HLAC Accreditation Process is extensive and includes among the review the following:


  • Textile specifications, maintenance and inventoryLaundry facility design, ventilation and chemical management


  • Contingency planning, back-up and protocols


  • Equipment, preventive maintenance, and operations


  • Personnel qualifications, hygiene and training


  • Customer policy, contact and complaint procedure


  • Quality control, assurance and monitoring


Universal precautions, handling, storage and transportation. In their visits to the healthcare laundry, inspectors are guided by the following:


  • Is the facility set up appropriately to deliver clean linens to customer?


  • Is the staff following appropriate protocol to deliver clean linens?


  • Does the laundry have policies and procedures in place that maintain requirements?


  • Is the facility clean?


  • Does the facility comply with all local, state, and federal guidelines and regulations as laid out by the appropriate professional standards bodies?


  • Are the carts, tubs, washers, dryers, conveyors, bins and trucks maintained and cleaned?


  • Is there separation at all times between soiled and clean product?


The inspection itself will take one day, and is in two parts: a physical walk-through of the entire plant, and conference time in a quiet room for review of documents. Your key managers will need to be available that day to answer questions the Inspector may have.

The Inspector will use a checklist that closely follows the HLAC Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for Use in Healthcare Facilities, 2016 Edition. Each item is essentially a statement of fact. The inspector will mark "yes," "no," or "not applicable," and add remarks as necessary.



A "must" statement is one for which compliance is required, and the directive of the statement is supported by any or all of the following resources:


1. Federal mandates, regulations (e.g., OSHA, U.S. Food and Drug  Administration [FDA], U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]) that
are law;

2. State and/or local government regulations;

3. Evidence-based, peer-reviewed best practices/recommendations for
infection prevention and laundry procedures from federal agencies (e.g.,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]) and professional
entities (e.g., Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation [AAMI], Association of periOperative Registered Nurses [AORN], Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology [APIC], Facilities Guidelines Institute [FGI], Textile Rental Services Association of America [TRSA]).

The "must" statements will be bold-faced text in the Standards and compliance will be scored by the inspectors. The expectation is that all "must" Standards are met (i.e.,100% compliance).


A "shall" statement represents a best practice based on infection prevention and laundry industry consensus and compliance is strongly recommended. Such statements are intended to assist the healthcare laundry industry as it transitions to higher standards of practice.


"Shall" statements will also be scored by the Inspectors, but will not be presented as bold-faced text. The expectation is that at a minimum 90% of these "shall" Standards are met.


"Should" and "may" statements represent suggested courses of action for which a strong industry consensus is not available for all regions of the country, or are part of emerging practices and/or technology. "Should" and "may" statements are recommended for implementation, but are not scored.

At the end of the inspection, the Inspector will brief the laundry managers, highlighting both good aspects of the operation, and those items that require improvement. The Inspector will not provide a grade, and will not approve or disapprove accreditation on the inspection day. HLAC, not the Inspector, determines whether a laundry organization qualifies for accreditation.

After the inspection, the HLAC Inspector will forward a complete report to the HLAC Sub-Committee on Accreditation, which scores the report.

HLAC will send a formal letter to the laundry organization contact person with the results of the inspection.

Possible Outcomes


  1. Approval - The laundry organization has fewer than 10% "no" statements overall, and all "must" statements are marked "yes." The laundry organization will be accredited.

  2. Remediation - The laundry organization has more than 10% "no" statements, and/or one or more "must" statements have been marked "no." The laundry organization will not be accredited yet. The total "no" statements have to be reduced below 10%, and all "must" statements have to be corrected.

  3. Accreditation Denied/Revoked – If the Laundry Organization fails to satisfactorily correct deficiencies either in remediation and/or upon re-inspection, accreditation will be denied/revoked.



The Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) Accreditation Inspection Agreement and Accreditation Inspection Process guide can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

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