Accreditation is the evaluation process by means of which various types of organizations guarantee the formal recognition of programs or institutions of an educational or assistance type that meet the proposed criteria of quality and quality assurance.

Programs or institutions of an educational or assistance nature must meet certain standards that are determined by reviewing the written information, the studies carried out by the institutions themselves, the processes and their results, the visits made to the places where the educational and assistance programs are taught, and detailed consideration of all data by an evaluation committee.

Institutional and program accreditation – training spaces – must be external to the institutions where the activities are carried out.
Groups of peer evaluators participate in the accreditation processes. Accreditation is periodic and tends to guarantee quality of care through compliance with standards previously accepted by national and international entities.

Standards can be minimal (defining the threshold or base) or more elaborate and demanding, defining different levels of satisfaction.
Likewise, accreditation programs must contemplate the progressivity of their implementation from the minimum essential criteria up to 100% of the requirement.

It can be said that a care facility “credited” or is “accredited” when ordering and organizing its human and technological resources, activities linked to designated categorization and obtained results allow to ensure an equitable health care of adequate quality.
Programs and institutions are accredited, while medical professionals are certified.

Programs and institutions are accredited, while medical professionals are certified.

(Related terms: evaluation, standard, categorization, quality, evaluation of results, data recording).


Area of Knowledge: Acquisition of facts, data, information, ideas or principles through formal or individual study, research, observation, experience or intuition.

Area of competence or domain: integration of knowledge relevant to the various skills and abilities, attitudes and values that the doctor must know how to apply intelligently in specific situations of their professional practice, and whose teaching is carried out during the degree training of the Medicine career and the different postgraduate trainings.


Scholarship holder: Professional who develops a program of academic training in a special paid or tariff.


It is understood by categorizing care facilities to the mechanism that seeks to order the supply of health facilities in levels of complexity, according to the stratification criteria established by peers, and therefore, to define levels, concentrating activities, classify benefits according with the viability of its realization and forming networks of services. The instances of postgraduate training are also categorized by establishing according to previously established criteria, which are met and which are the quality levels reached. For example the careers of specialists, masters and doctorates can be categorized in A- B or C.

(Related terms: evaluation, standard, data record)


Certification is the process by which it is ensured that the duly registered medical professional has successfully completed an educational program and an evaluation that includes an examination of knowledge, experiences and skills for the provision of high quality medical care in a certain specialty.

In the certification of specialists, the Associations or Scientific Societies of Health Professionals intervene, which guarantee that a medical professional meets certain predetermined quality requirements.

The Professional Scientific Societies grant a specialist certificate, considered sufficient to enroll in the Registry of Medical Specialties of the Ministry of Health.

The official authorization will have a duration of 5 years and may be revalidated through accreditation of record, which during that period demonstrate continuity in the specialty and / or a competence test, according to the regulations.

(Related terms: medical specialists, specialties, postgraduate degrees, residences, competencies)


Competence is the ability of a professional to solve complex problems that arise in the field of their professional activity. It implies a dynamic and longitudinal process over time by which a person uses and integrates in a combined way the knowledge, the technical, intellectual, organizational and communicative skills, attitudes and good judgment leading to an adequate and timely performance in diverse contexts.

Competencies are characterized by being transferable to new activities and new contexts and by evolving, since they are open to permanent learning processes that are developed both through the complexity and diversification of experience, and through the acquisition of new knowledge, skills and abilities.

Thus it is affirmed that a competent professional must know the conceptual bases of the disciplines that contribute the theoretical and procedural framework to his specialty, which allows him in a certain situation, to select and apply the diagnostic strategies in the moment and in the appropriate way, to interpret the results of the studies and, through their good judgment, recommend and adopt the necessary therapeutic behaviors, communicating with the patient, their relatives and the other members of the health team in an effective manner, and take into account the organizational aspects and contexts where the practice is developed.

(Related terms: teaching, evaluation, certification, standards, revalidation)


Specialty is understood as the branch of science, art or activity whose object is a limited part of it, on which those who cultivate it possess very precise knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Who has developed a specialty has deepened in the domain of a subject or discipline area determined within a professional field or different professions.

The specialty has a clearly defined profile in terms of its generic qualification (body of doctrine or field of knowledge) and its operational activities (competences) that determine its responsibilities (professional activities they enable).

Medical specialties are classified in three levels:

Specialties of First Level or Basic:: Those that require only the title of doctor to access their training. Examples: Pediatrics, Internal Medicine.

Second Level or Post-Basic Specialties: Those that require uniform first level training to access their training and that have unique skills. The professional can stop exercising the specialty of first level when he acquires the new specialty. Examples: Proctology, requires General Surgery; Pediatric Cardiology requires Pediatrics.

Added Qualification or Special Capabilities: Those that can be accessed from different specialties of the first or second level and that, according to the previous training, can condition different competences. The professional must maintain the specialty that qualifies him for the special capacity. If you stop being certified as a specialist, the capacity is also lost.

It is essential that, in each case, the theoretical and practical training required to acquire the professional skills of the specialty be indicated.

The payroll of recognized specialties is updated periodically, with the participation of recognized universities and institutions. In this way the Ministry of Health of the Nation keeps a registry of specialists, updated permanently.

(Related terms: university postgraduate, in-service training, residencies, competences, responsibilities, certification).


It is understood as incumbency to the scope of the title and the reserved activities of each profession.

The first refers to the training received and therefore to the potential capacity of the professionals of a given specialty based on the competences acquired that the title endorses.

The second refer to the territorial border discipline, that is to say the limits of the actions of each profession.

The incumbencies grant professional responsibility and is legislated by the regulations in force.

(Related terms: university degree, profession, competences, certification).


Revalidation is understood as the process by which professionals must periodically demonstrate that they are kept up-to-date in the exercise of their specialty, through the presentation of credits, granted by assistance, teaching and research activities, the evaluation of the practical application and integration of the new learnings.

It is a process carried out by the peers through the entities recognized by the application authority, with the same criteria as for the certification.

It must be done once the term of the certification has expired.

The revalidation takes place every 5 years.

(Related terms: in-service training, competencies, responsibilities, certification).


Superior degrees express the acquisition of a set of skills for the performance of certain academic and / or investigative professional activities; they certify the received academic training and qualify for professional practice.

The scope of the title delimits the activities for which its holders have competence according to the profile of the degree and the curricular contents of the degree course.

The Law of Higher Education 24.521 / 1995 grants exclusively to the University Institutions, within the framework of their autonomy, the power to grant academic degrees and equivalent professional titles (doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc.) and the postgraduate ones of Magister and Doctor (Arts 40 and 29-f). It also grants them, only to the national universities, the attribution of revalidate foreign titles. The degrees issued by the University Institutions will require the official recognition that is granted by the Ministry of Education.

The officially recognized titles will have national validity (Art. 41).

The training of the specialties has long been granted and accredited by the Scientific Societies, which group the specialists, organize Congresses, and different training spaces, have periodical publications and constitute discussion forums on subjects of their concern.

The Scientific Societies and Medical Associations have academic prestige in front of the society, they are considered consultation bodies at the moment of forming and disseminating public information; often they are constituted in reference areas when legislating and judging. Therefore, the law contemplates that postgraduate training may also be developed in Research Centers and Institutions of Superior Professional Training of recognized level and hierarchy, which have signed agreements with the University Institutions for these purposes (Article 39 – LES).

Ministerial Resolution No. 1058 of 2002 creates the Public Registry of Research Centers and Superior Vocational Training Institutions; the institutions registered in said registry are authorized for the postgraduate course. This Registry is in charge of the National Direction of University Management dependent on the Secretariat of University Policies.

The entities in question must be Research Centers or Institutions of recognized level and hierarchy, non-profit and with legal status as civil associations or foundations. (Art. 2 ° Res. 1058/2002). This situation grants the possibility to continue forming and researching within the Scientific Societies, but the granting of degrees is exclusive of the University Institutions (Article 40-LES).

(Related terms: competences, responsibilities, certification, professional qualification).