Council on Accreditation • Copyright 2008
One or more organization-operated programs or activities that have a common general objective and deploy the organization's material and human resources in a planned and systematic manner. An organization that publicly promotes or identifies itself in writing as offering a service, is licensed to deliver a service, assigns personnel and/or space to a service, or allocates financial resources to a service is considered to offer that service.
A specific group of people living in the same locality and who may share a common culture, values, and norms. Communities can also be defined by race, religion, ethnicity, age, occupation, political status, tribal affiliation, interest in particular problems or outcomes, or other common bonds. The term "community" encompasses worksites, schools, tribes, residential neighborhoods, business districts, recreational areas, and health and human service sites.
The body of employees and/or volunteers that carries out the organization's tasks under the organization's administration and/or supervision. This definition does not include foster parents who are specifically referenced in relevant standards
A group or target population that the organization's services are designed to serve in accord with its mission, and which includes the organization's service recipients. An organization's service population may be defined by geographic location, specific problems or needs, religion, ethnicity, culture, or other factors.
Instruction so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient in a skill or body of knowledge.
Written instructions that outline the steps for performing a task(s) or operationalizing an administrative or service delivery process. A procedure can be written as a step-by-step set of instructions or as a narrative description of a process. A procedure tells someone how to do something not just what to do.
Unlike policies, procedures do not need to be approved or reviewed by the governing body, and need not be associated with a specific policy. For example, whereas a broad anti-discrimination policy requires grievance or other procedures in order to be operationalized within an organization, assessment procedures do not require a governing body approved assessment policy.
Note: Procedures are sometimes referred to as administrative policies.
Resource suggestions provided to consumers to address problems or needs that are beyond the scope of the organization's mission.
The individuals, groups, organizations, or communities that use, receive, or benefit from programs and services. Service recipients can include consumers, patients, family members, legal guardians, advocates, public/private organizations, employers, and purchasers. All are regarded as significant stakeholders served in a variety of agencies and practice settings.
A written statement of principles, values, or intent that provides a basis for consistent decision making and guides the actions of staff, management, and board of trustees. A policy is intentionally broad in its language and application. The following is an example of an anti-discrimination policy:
"[Organization Name] shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers, selection of vendors, and provision of services."
In contrast, a procedure is a detailed, step-by-step description of a process. It tells the reader how to do something. Generally, policies are implemented through procedures. For example, the above anti-discrimination policy would require a detailed grievance procedure in order to operationalize it within an organization.
The governing body has the fiduciary responsibility for setting organizational policy. Therefore, policies must be approved and periodically reviewed by the organization's governing body. However, the governing body typically delegates (via policy) the responsibility for policy development to management. In owner-operated for-profit companies, the owner can act as the company's governing body, depending on the company's corporate structure.
In a public agency the responsibility for setting and reviewing policies may belong to the agency's management team, elected officials, another governmental agency, or as is often the case, a combination of the above.
Service personnel are appropriately trained and supervised.
NA The organization does not provide information and referral services.
All personnel are oriented and trained prior to contact with the service population
Service personnel receive comprehensive, ongoing training on:
Service personnel are trained and supervised by personnel who understand the needs of service recipients, the resources available to meet their needs, and the legal or policy requirements governing the delivery of needed services.