Private Organization Accreditation

Private Organization Accreditation is the accreditation of social services provided by nonprofit and for-profit entities 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

*Except for opioid treatment programs which are mandated to be accredited by SAMHSA for three years

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Private Edition Services

  • Child, Youth and Family Services
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Aging Services
  • Homeless Services 
  • Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Residential Services
  • 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 Private Organizations

The Standards for Private 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 a human services organization.

Read COA’s Eligibility Criteria for Private 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.

Read the Fee Information for Private 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

HeartShare assist individuals with developmental disabilities through education, day, residential and recreation programs, case management, and health services, and provides foster care/adoption services, counseling, after school and energy assistance programs, and programs for people with HIV/AIDS.
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VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Harry Hunter, MSW, MBA, Ph.D.

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Peer Reviewer for the month of January 2013, Dr. Hunter has been volunteering for COA since 2005, conducting five site reviews.
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