In connection with Article 3(1)(c) of the Memoranda of Agreement with COA and Colorado, the Accrediting Entities must, in coordination with the Department of State, “develop explanatory guidance to assist applicants for accreditation (temporary accreditation) and approval in achieving substantial compliance with the applicable standards.”

Explanatory Guidance and Clarifications

Certain standards may require “clarifications” to:

a) clarify the meaning of a term used within a standard;
b) provide guidance through rating indicator examples regarding levels of compliance with a standard; and
c) identify standards for which a showing of capacity would justify a rating of substantial compliance or better and guidance regarding evidence of capacity.

Explanatory guidance is provided by the Department of State in a compendium of Technical Guidance available on the Department of State website.

Tip Sheets

COA provides Tip Sheets that offer guidance for the accreditation, approval, and renewal process. Tip Sheets offer guidance on how to develop policies and procedures and how capacity is evaluated.

Tip Sheet: How to Develop a Policy
Provides guidance on how to develop an effective policy.

Tip Sheet: How to Develop a Procedure
Provides guidance on how to develop an effective procedure.

Tip Sheet: Demonstrating Capacity
This tip sheet provides a list of standards for which a showing of capacity may justify a rating of substantial compliance or better at the initial evaluation stage. Guidance is provided regarding evidence of capacity through examples of questions for evaluators to ask when assessing capacity.


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.


Mike Angstadt

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

Serving as a Team Leader for COA has been an enriching experience in many ways. Utilizing the Contextual Accreditation process to discern the means in which agencies, offering a variety of services, located throughout the US, Canada ,the Philippines and other countries provide best and most promising practices to their consumers has been particularly rewarding. read more>>

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