Canadian Organization Accreditation

Canadian Organization Accreditation is the accreditation of social services provided by nonprofit, for-profit and public entities in Canada and involves the review of the entire organization including administrative operations and all services for which COA has an applicable standard.

For information about the meaning and value of accreditation, see the Accreditation Overview page.

Snapshot

  • Four-year accreditation
  • In-depth review of the organization’s services and administration and management functions
  • User-friendly, online process
  • Process typically takes 12-18 months
  • An Accreditation Coordinator assists the organization through the process
  • Standards and accreditation materials are free

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Canadian Edition Services

  • Child, Youth and Family Services
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Aging Services
  • Homeless Services
  • Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Residential Services
  • Nonprofit, For-profit, and Public Agencies
  • Additional Social Services

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Timeline and Process

Most organizations are able to complete the entire accreditation process in 12-18 months. It is COA’s experience that this time frame provides sufficient opportunity for the active involvement of all parties—consumers, personnel, and stakeholders—and sufficient time for the organization to undergo growth-promoting change.

For a detailed look at the steps in the accreditation process, see part IV of the Accreditation Guidelines.

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Standards for Canadian Organizations

The Standards for Canadian Organizations are divided into three parts:

  • Administration and Management Standards
  • Service Delivery Administration Standards
  • Service Standards

Organizations must demonstrate implementation of both the Administration and Management and the Service Delivery Administration Standards because they encompass aspects of operations that apply to all organizations regardless of the services provided. Additionally, organizations must demonstrate implementation of specific Service Standards that reflect the services it provides.

COA’s standards are web-based and can be accessed at any time. View the standards.

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Eligibility Criteria

COA makes a preliminary determination of eligibility after it receives a completed application from an organization.

Read COA’s Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Organizations.

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Fee Information

The cost of accreditation varies based on an organization’s size and services. Fees associated with a four-year accreditation cycle include an application fee, accreditation fee, Site Visit costs, and maintenance of accreditation fees.

An organization that is mandated by the Ministry of Children and Family Development or Community Living British Columbia will have its fees paid directly by the Ministry. 

Read the Fee Information for Canadian Organizations.

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Further Reading and Recommended Trainings

Accreditation Guidelines

For more detail regarding the accreditation process, download and review the Accreditation Guidelines.

Accreditor Comparison

Understand the differences between COA and CARF to find the best accreditor for your organization. 

Recommended Trainings

Learning Plan

For a comprehensive guide developed to assist organizations in learning the fundamentals of the accreditation process and COA standards, including links to recommended self-paced trainings and tools, download and review the COA Accreditation Learning Plan.

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Request a Digital Info Kit

Interested in learning more? Request a digital info kit.

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WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Jane Bonk, Ph.D., LCSW

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Dr. Jane Bonk is a team leader, evaluator, and commissioner who has led over 25 site visits for COA.
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