Private Organization Accreditation

Children's Home Society of Florida delivers a unique spectrum of social services designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment; to strengthen and stabilize families; to help young people break the cycle of abuse and neglect; and to find safe, loving homes for children.


Audrey Coleman, RN-MSN

Volunteer Roles: Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

My first experience with COA was in 1999 with what was a NC Area Program. I started as a peer reviewer in 2005, doing two to four site visits a year. I am also a team leader and have recently been approved to be a military reviewer.
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The agency supports personnel and promotes personnel competence, satisfaction, and retention by providing initial and ongoing competency-based training; a variety of personnel development opportunities; and regular, supportive supervision. 


COA’s Personnel Development and Supervision (PA-PDS) standards focus on ensuring personnel have the competencies, support, and continuous learning opportunities they need to fulfill their roles at the agency and effectively meet the needs of the individuals and families they serve. 

Personnel competence is the product of a dynamic combination of factors including experience, formal education, training, coaching, peer support, mentoring, and supportive supervision. As such, COA’s PA-PDS standards reflect a multi-faceted approach to personnel development and supervision that enhances supervisors’ abilities to respond to the individual needs of their workers while simultaneously promoting personnel competence, satisfaction, and retention across the agency.

Interpretation: The term “personnel” covers full-time and part-time employees as well as volunteers. The inclusion of volunteers is further governed by the following guidelines:?

  1. direct service, clerical, professional, or management volunteers with an ongoing role in the agency are considered to be part of an agency’s personnel and will be included in the accreditation review;
  2. COA will not consider occasional or “casual” volunteers in its evaluation of an agency’s implementation of PA-HR; and
  3. if the agency does not use volunteers in any ongoing capacity, standards that only refer to volunteers do not apply to the agency.                                            
Interpretation: Network personnel can include:
  1. employees of the network management entity, including administrative personnel and direct service providers;
  2. employees of network partner agencies who provide direct network services, if the network is a membership network;
  3. employees of subcontracting network provider agencies; and
  4. independent, individual providers.

Note: The Training and Supervision (PA-TS) standards were revised in August 2016 as part of COA’s release of new Standards for Public Agencies, and are now the Personnel Development and Supervision (PA-PDS) standards. For more information, please refer to the PDS Standards Updates Summary - Public

Note: Please see the tip sheet How to Read the Standards and Tables of Evidence - Public for further information on determining requirements according to public agency structure.

Note: Please see Volunteers, Interns, and Consultants: Applicability of COA Standards to Non-Employee Personnel – Private, Public, Canadian for additional assistance with this standard.

Note: Please see PA-PDS Reference List and Suicide Prevention Reference List for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

Personnel Development and Supervision Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
    • Describe how the agency’s personnel development and supervision activities support staff and promote staff competence.
    • Describe the agency's personnel development program including:
      1. the structure of the personnel development department and/or program;
      2. the educational methods used by the agency including activities or practices designed to support transfer of learning (See PA-PDS 4.01, PA-PDS 4.05);
      3. how the personnel development program promotes responsiveness to the history, cultures, and related needs of personnel (See PA-PDS 1.01);
      4. the agency’s leadership development program  (See PA-PDS 1.02);
      5. how the personnel development program supports effective, consistent implementation of agency-wide initiatives (See PA-PDS 1.03); 
      6. 1 to 2 examples of how the training evaluation program has evolved over time (See PA-PDS 1.04); and
      7. the process for evaluating and tracking personnel competencies individually and in the aggregate (PA-PDS 2).
    • Describe how the agency promotes a culture of continuous learning for staff at all levels (see PA-PDS 4.04). Include 2 to 3 specific examples of the agency’s efforts.
    • Provide any additional information that would increase the Peer Team's understanding of the agency's implementation of PA-PDS.
    State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
    • Describe the region’s processes for implementing and monitoring training, professional development, and supervision activities at the individual staff, team, or office level.
    • Describe how the region’s personnel development program promotes responsiveness to the history, culture, and related needs of personnel (PA-PDS 1.01).
    • Provide any additional information that would increase the Peer Team's understanding of the region's implementation of PA-PDS.
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