Revised Rating Indicators to be in Effect Summer 2016

Launching this summer will be additional guidance for organizations and volunteers. The intent of the rating indicators is to improve inter-rater reliability and provide organizations a more objective method for self-assessment.

Early this summer COA will publish revised and updated Rating Indicators for private and Canadian organizations seeking COA accreditation.  The newly revised rating indicators will replace the current set of generic rating indicators which have not been substantially updated since their publication in July, 2006.

There were two overarching goals that guided the project:

  1. To enhance inter-rater reliability among Peer Reviewers and Accreditation Commissioners by providing a more detailed framework for assigning ratings that is now in effect.  
  2. To provide organizations a more objective method for self-assessment, including greater guidance about what is considered an acceptable level of implementation in order to receive a 2 rating. 

The development of the Rating Indicators was guided by a committee of experienced COA Peer Reviewers, Team Leaders and Commissioners.  This group provided invaluable time and expertise to the project and we greatly appreciate the time they spent reviewing the practicality and appropriateness of each indicator and helping the staff who were writing the indicators understand how they would apply in the organizational setting.  


The Rating Indicators provide a way to evaluate an organization's implementation of COA's standards. They do that by defining each of the ratings on COA's four-point rating scale, and by providing examples to help COA's Volunteer Reviewers and Accreditation Commissioners determine which of the four ratings to apply. 

Currently, there are two sets of generic Rating Indicators that apply to Private and Canadian organizations. One set for the Administration and Management (AM) and the Service Delivery Administration (SDA) Standards, and  a second set for the Service Standards.  Each includes a single set of Rating Indicators that are applied all relevant Purpose, Core Concept, and Practice Standards. For example, the Service Standard Rating Indicators apply to every standard in all 50+ sections of Service Standards that COA has published.

The New Rating Indicators

Instead of two sets of generic Rating Indicators that apply equally to all standards, the new Rating Indicators follow the model already in place for COA's Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) which are tailored to individual standards.  To summarize:

  1. COA has developed individually tailored rating indicators for every Core Concept and Practice Standard in each of the AM sections of standards (Ethical Practices, Financial Management, Human Resources, Governance, Risk Prevention and Management, For-Profit Administration and Financial Management) and the the SDA standards (Administrative and Service Environment, Behavior Support and Management, Client Rights, and Training and Supervision).
  2. For the Service Standards  we have developed eight sets of more generic rating indicators that apply at the Core Concept level only.  At this time, Practice Standard rating indicators have not been developed.  The eight Service Indicator sets include: Screening and Intake, Assessment, Service Planning and Monitoring, Service Philosophy, Case Closing, Aftercare and Follow-Up, and a Generic set that applies to all the other service core concept standards that don't fit into one of the seven other categories.  

Another major difference between the old and the new indicators is that the new Rating Indicators will be directly integrated into the standards on the website and in the MyCOA Portals.

Publication Timeline

Prior to their official launch, which is projected for July 1, 2016, the new rating indicators will be published on the website and available for review.  

Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements about this exciting project.  An orientation will be provided to all stakeholders, including organizations, volunteers and commissions before the official implementation date.  


Private Organization Accreditation

Southeastern Regional Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services is a Local Management Entity, covering the geographic areas of Bladen, Columbus, Robeson, and Scotland counties. SER ensures continuity of care to consumers through access to a quality of care system available 24/7/365 days a year through management of our network provider services.


Rochelle Haimes, ACSW

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Peer Reviewer; Standards Panel Member; Team Leader

Rochelle is a Consultant working with a variety of private organizations to become accredited. Her primary area of expertise is in facilitating the development of PQI systems and activities. Her previous experience with both small and large organizations is the cornerstone for her long-standing volunteer activities as a Peer reviewer and as a Team Leader.
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