As part of COA's ongoing effort to add practical value to accreditation and encourage human service organizations to meet standards for efficient management and high-quality service, COA has pursued recognition of COA accreditation from entities that fund and/or license human service organizations. Recognition highlights the value of COA accreditation and serves as a benchmark for governmental entities.

Currently, COA is recognized in over three hundred instances in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and China. This number continues to grow based on state interest in the use of accreditation, and as COA increases its efforts to build relationships with state and county departments.


All of COA's recognitions are available online.

Search for Recognitions

Types of Recognitions

Deemed Status

Deemed status is when a state licensing body recognizes COA accreditation and allows COA accredited human service organizations to provide proof of accreditation in lieu of undergoing certain parts of the licensing process. Any exemptions from the licensing process are determined by the state. States may offer partial or complete deemed status to accredited organizations. This allows organizations to substitute national accreditation for:

  • department requirements for licensure; or
  • site inspections by the state.


States may mandate that certain types of human service organizations become accredited. This can apply to:

  • all licensed providers;
  • Medicaid providers; and/or
  • department contractors.

Quality Rating Systems

Quality Rating Systems (QRS), which may also be known as Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS), are used by states to distinguish child care and youth programs based on service delivery. States establish tiered ratings—such as stars, points, or levels—as a way to help consumers, government agencies, and other entities to determine the performance of a program. Each state has a unique QRS/QRIS system that sometimes employs COA accreditation as a means of increasing a program's QRS/QRIS rating, level, or tier.

A higher QRS/QRIS rating, level, or tier may allow an organization or program to:

  • receive higher reimbursement rates;
  • gain access to beneficial community resources;
  • expand opportunities for grants or additional funding; and/or
  • increase its customer base.

Tiered Reimbursement Systems

In child care, states may implement tiered reimbursement systems that allow providers who meet certain standards, including national accreditation, to receive higher payments.

Training and/or Financial Support

States and private organizations, such as foundations and grant makers, may offer training or financial support to organizations seeking accreditation.

Recognition of accreditation may extend to all of the services under a state department's purview or specific to only certain types of providers. The following is a current list of recognitions categorized by state.

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Recognitions Contact

To submit questions or comments, or to report inaccuracies or changes in any of our listed recognitions, please complete the form below which will be forwarded to COA’s Government Relations department. To speak to someone directly, please feel free to contact Devon Reichart, Public Affairs Associate, either by email or telephone at 212.797.3000, extension 226.

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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.


Holy Family Institute

Sister Linda Yankoski, President/CEO

The Council On Accreditation provides all stakeholders involved in the delivery of social services the assurance that the organization is credible, effective, and is committed to quality improvement. The COA process is an important tool for anyone involved in leading an organization to establish best practices and maintaining and updating these practices over time.
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