The IMQ accreditation standards are designed to meet the unique needs of correctional settings by addressing administration, personnel, care and treatment, medical records, and medical/legal issues. The standards serve as a guide to health providers and administrators in developing a health care delivery system. Facilities that enroll in the accreditation program undergo an extensive review of their policies, procedures, and health records; additionally, trained surveyors conduct interviews with health care providers, custody staff personnel, and inmate/detainees. IMQ awards accreditation based upon compliance with the standards both per the written policy and the practice in the facility.
The standards are not excessive, and a system without full-time health staff can obtain accreditation. The regulations require procedures and the standards elaborate on specific areas that should be addressed. There are six "Essential" standards that exceed Title 15 minimum local detention facility regulations.