COA accreditation is an objective and reliable verification that organizations and programs qualify for the confidence and support of their stakeholders. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization or program’s administrative functions and service delivery practices. All are measured against international standards of best practice. These standards emphasize services that are accessible, appropriate, based in the community, coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, individualized, outcomes-oriented, provided by a skilled and supported workforce, respectful of individual rights, strengths-based, supportive of partnership, child and family focused, treat all people with dignity, involve family and provider collaboration, and address child outcomes. As such, consumers, board members, funders, regulators and staff can have confidence in the credibility, integrity and achievement of the organization or program.
To achieve COA accreditation, an organization or program first provides written evidence of compliance with the applicable standards. Thereafter, a group of specially trained volunteer Site Reviewers confirms adherence to these standards during a series of on-site interviews with the organization’s trustees, staff and clients. Based on their findings, COA’s Pre-Commission Review Committee or Accreditation Commission then determines whether an organization or program has successfully met the criteria for accreditation.