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What is accreditation?

ac·cred·i·ta·tion noun

The formal evaluation of an organization or program against accepted criteria or standards.

Accreditation is a process

Organizations going through the accreditation process conduct a thorough self-assessment and evaluate themselves against recognized standards of best practice. Then they can focus on areas where they can improve.

Accreditation is a status

Being accredited means that a third party (such as COA) has determined through a rigorous assessment of evidence that an organization, agency, or program meets all the most important standards… that they follow best practice and provide quality services. It is a badge of honor.

Accreditation is (usually) voluntary

Organizations mostly choose to become accredited in order to hold themselves to a higher standard and set themselves apart.

In some cases, however, regulatory agencies will require accreditation in order to become licensed or certified, to maintain funding, or to meet regulatory requirements. For example, the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) requires providers that want to receive funding as a Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) to become accredited.

Accreditation can help take your organization to the next level

Learn more about the advantages of becoming accredited and what makes COA different from other accreditors.

Accreditation is not…

Accreditation is not licensing or certification. Though some states require that organizations become accredited or certified in order to be a licensed provider, accreditation, licensing, and certification are all different processes. COA does not offer licensing or certification services. We also do not accredit individuals.