One of EASNA’s original charters was to develop an accreditation process for employee assistance programs that promoted compliance with the highest national standards for quality management and service delivery. Upon completion, EASNA investigated transferring this function to an organization that could ensure the administration of a rigorous accreditation process.
In 2001 the Council on Accreditation (COA) and EASNA released the EAP Standards and Self-Study Manual, 1st Edition–a resource defining the best practice standards in the employee assistance field. EAPs accredited under this first edition were awarded “EASNA Accreditation as Administered by COA.” As the employee assistance industry has evolved, with research now challenging the understanding of best practices, and accreditation processes enhanced to ensure best practices are established within the context of service industries, COA and EASNA have worked together to offer an evidenced-based, peer review supported accreditation process that represents best practices for EAPs. COA’s 8th Edition Standards are at the core of contextual accreditation, representing appropriate best practices and a commitment to client rights and essential life and safety practices.
While EASNA no longer is a direct provider of accreditation services, EASNA continues to actively support accreditation for providers of employee assistance programs. In support of EAP accreditation, EASNA provides mentoring services to EASNA members seeking COA accreditation. For EASNA’s statement on accreditation, click here.
Why Become Accredited?
The COA accreditation process is open and facilitative and provides an organization with all the tools needed for success. To undergo the accreditation process and ultimately achieve accreditation is a unique distinction among EAP’s and attests that your organization has met the highest possible international standards for quality management and service delivery. For the EAP field as a whole, accreditation helps standardize the practices and services being delivered, reducing risk and ensuring consistent, professional, and high quality service across the industry. Accreditation also provides objective outcome data that can help guide the field towards new developments and practices.
Why Select an Accredited EAP Provider?
A COA accredited provider has invested significant time and resources to meet or exceed the requirements, so organizations selecting such a provider can be assured that accredited firm demonstrate a high level of professionalism. Accreditation demonstrates a provider’s commitment and ability to deliver consistent quality service. Here’s why.
The COA accreditation program offers participating firms its acclaimed Contextual Accreditation—a strategy to strengthen, measure and validate organizational effectiveness. Contextual Accreditation focuses on each organization’s unique mission, resources and culture, as well as the unique needs and aspirations of the people it serves.
COA’s 8th Edition Standards are at the core of Contextual Accreditation. Recognizing that human service organizations are faced with increasing pressure to document “what works” in terms of meeting the unique needs and aspirations of the people they serve, the 8th Edition Standards promote the principle that increased organizational capacity is linked to improved service delivery and that this, in turn, results in better outcomes. To view the list of EAPs currently accredited by COA, click here.
EASNA’s Professional Practices Committee serves as the primary liaison with COA. Contact a member of the Committee for more information about accreditation and the accreditation process. Periodically, the Committee will feature informative, practical articles that address pertinent issues and considerations about accreditation and the accreditation process. To see what accredited programs have to share about accreditation, or to view archived accreditation articles, click here.