How Long Does Credentialing Really Take and Why?


1. Average Duration for Completing the Credentialing Process

The average duration for completing the credentialing process can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of healthcare profession, the complexity of the individual’s professional history, and the efficiency of the credentialing organization. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete the entire process. During credentialing, healthcare professionals undergo a thorough evaluation to ensure they meet all necessary qualifications and standards. This includes verifying their education, training, licensure, work experience, and references. The length of time it takes to complete this process is influenced by various factors. It’s important to note that while there is an average duration for completing credentialing, individual cases may vary significantly. Some individuals may experience expedited processing if they have all required documents readily available and meet all criteria without any issues or discrepancies. Factors that can affect the length of the credentialing process include:

Factors Affecting Credentialing Duration:

1. Volume of Applications:

If there is a high volume of applications being processed by the credentialing organization, it can lead to longer wait times as resources are spread thin.

2. Completeness and Accuracy of Application:

If there are missing or incorrect information in the application, it can cause delays as additional documentation or clarification may be required.

3. Response Time from References:

The speed at which references respond to verification requests can impact how quickly the process moves forward.

2. Factors That Can Affect the Length of the Credentialing Process

2.1 Complexity of the Credentialing Requirements

The complexity of the credentialing requirements is a significant factor that impact length of the credentialing process. Different professions and industries have different sets of criteria and standards that need to be met for successful credentialing. These requirements may include educational qualifications, work experience, professional references, certifications, background checks, and more. If the credentialing requirements are extensive and involve multiple steps or documentation, it can prolong the overall process. Additionally, if there are any discrepancies or missing information in the application materials, it may further delay the completion of the credentialing process.

List of factors that contribute to complex credentialing requirements:

  • Specific educational degrees or courses required
  • Minimum years of work experience in a relevant field
  • Specialized certifications or licenses needed
  • Detailed background checks and criminal history verification
  • Verification of professional references and recommendations
  • Evidence of continuing education or professional development activities
  • Submission of comprehensive application forms and supporting documents

2.2 Volume of Applications Received by Credentialing Bodies

The volume of applications received by credentialing bodies can also influence the duration of the credentialing process. If there is a high influx of applications, it may take longer for each application to be reviewed thoroughly and processed in a timely manner. The workload on the staff responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications plays a crucial role in determining how quickly an applicant’s credentials can be verified and approved.

List of factors related to volume:

  • Increase in the number of professionals seeking credentials
  • Expansion of the profession or industry requiring more credentialing
  • Changes in regulations or policies leading to a surge in applications
  • Limited staff resources available for application processing
  • Inefficient workflow or outdated systems for handling applications
  • Seasonal variations in application submissions

It is important for individuals seeking credentials to be aware of these factors as they can significantly impact the length of the credentialing process. Being prepared, ensuring all necessary requirements are met, and submitting applications well in advance can help mitigate delays and expedite the overall process.

3. Main Steps Involved in Credentialing and Time Required for Each Step

Step 1: Application Submission

The first step in the credentialing process is submitting the application to the appropriate credentialing body or organization. This typically involves filling out a comprehensive form that includes personal information, education and training details, work history, references, and any additional documentation required. The time required for this step can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the efficiency of the credentialing body. On average, it may take around 2-4 weeks for the application to be processed.

Step 2: Verification of Credentials

Once the application is received, the credentialing body will initiate a thorough verification process to ensure that all information provided by the applicant is accurate and valid. This involves contacting educational institutions, previous employers, licensing boards, and other relevant sources to verify degrees, certifications, licenses, work experience, and any other credentials claimed by the applicant. The time required for this step can range from a few weeks to several months depending on factors such as responsiveness of external entities and complexity of verification requirements.

Step 3: Review by Credentialing Committee

After completing the verification process, the credentialing committee or board will review all the collected information to assess whether the applicant meets their established criteria for credentialing. This evaluation may involve assessing qualifications, experience level, adherence to ethical standards, competency evaluations (such as exams or assessments), and any specific requirements set by the organization. The time required for this step can vary significantly depending on factors such as committee availability and workload but generally takes around 4-8 weeks.

Step 4: Decision Notification

Once the review process is complete, applicants are notified about their credentialing decision. If approved, they will receive their official credentials along with any necessary documentation or identification. If there are any deficiencies or concerns identified during the review, the applicant may be asked to provide additional information or undergo further assessments before a final decision is made. The time required for this step can vary, but typically applicants receive their decision within 2-4 weeks after the committee’s review.

Step 5: Maintenance and Renewal

Credentialing is not a one-time process; it often requires ongoing maintenance and renewal to ensure continued competency and adherence to standards. This involves fulfilling continuing education requirements, meeting specific practice hours, participating in professional development activities, and periodically renewing the credential through a reapplication process. The time required for maintenance and renewal varies depending on the credentialing body’s regulations but generally occurs every 1-3 years. Overall, the entire credentialing process can take several months to complete due to various factors such as paperwork processing, verification timelines, committee reviews, and other administrative procedures. It is important for individuals seeking credentials to plan ahead and allocate sufficient time for each step to avoid any delays in obtaining their desired credentials.

4. Documents or Information That Can Expedite the Credentialing Timeline

1. Completed Application Form

One of the most important documents that can expedite the credentialing timeline is a completed application form. This form typically includes personal information, education and training details, work experience, references, and any certifications or licenses held. It is crucial to ensure that all sections of the application are accurately filled out and all required supporting documents are attached. By providing a comprehensive and well-documented application form, you can help streamline the credentialing process.

Key points:
– Fill out the application form completely and accurately. – Attach all necessary supporting documents. – Double-check for any missing information or errors before submitting.

2. Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Another document that can significantly expedite the credentialing timeline is an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) or resume. Your CV should include your educational background, employment history, professional affiliations, publications or research activities, certifications, honors/awards received, and any other relevant information related to your field of expertise. A well-prepared CV showcases your qualifications and accomplishments in a concise manner, allowing credentialing organizations to quickly assess your suitability for their network.

Key points:
– Keep your CV updated with recent achievements and experiences. – Highlight relevant qualifications for the specific credentialing process. – Use clear formatting and organize information logically for easy review. By ensuring that these essential documents are readily available and properly completed, you can greatly expedite the credentialing timeline and increase your chances of successfully obtaining credentials in a timely manner. Remember to carefully review all requirements provided by the credentialing organization to ensure you submit all necessary documentation promptly.


The duration of the credentialing process can vary depending on factors such as the healthcare profession, individual history, and efficiency of the organization. On average, it takes a few weeks to several months to complete. Factors like application completeness, volume of applications, reference response time, and state-specific requirements can affect the length. Being proactive and providing accurate information can help expedite the process.

For more details on these credentialing timelines and to explore how our credentialing services can streamline and expedite the process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.