The Council on Accreditation (COA)’s Board of Directors has voted to move forward with plans to explore a merger with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.
We are very excited about this opportunity. The Alliance has always been a close partner, and is one of our founding organizations, together with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). The potential merger would allow us to harness the collective assets of COA and the Alliance to increase innovation and accelerate the power and impact of the social and human services fields.
It is important to note that the integrity of our accreditation work will remain unchanged and maintain independence. We remain as committed as ever to our standards and process refinements, which are grounded in research and informed by the field.
This page provides resources around the merger and how it will impact our accredited organizations.
Q: What does the merger mean for COA accredited organizations?
A: We look forward to continuing to work with you to support the critical work you do on behalf of the most vulnerable of populations. Our accreditation process will not be changed. The independence and integrity of our accreditation work will be maintained in the new organization. We remain as committed as ever to our standards and process refinements that are grounded in research and informed by the field.
Q: How will this impact existing mandates and recognitions that recognize the Council on Accreditation?
A: There will be no impact to existing mandates and recognitions. Our accreditation service line will remain as the Council on Accreditation.
Q: Why is COA doing this?
A: This new entity allows us to continue to advance areas of our strategic plan – adding value to accreditation and increasing impact while more strongly positioning ourselves as a thought leader. This can all be accomplished more readily and swiftly as a result of coming together.
Q: What changes will we see?
A: By combining forces, we believe we could offer more support to our current organizations and potentially expand our reach with new products that are based on our intellectual assets and implemented through vehicles readily available within the Alliance’s assets – like the learning management system and platform that supports peer-to-peer learning.
Q: Will we now have to pay membership dues?
A: No. We do not see that being part of the new organization. Coming together as equal partners offers more potential ways to better support our accredited organizations and the broader social, health, and human services fields. We envision a range of different ways that accredited organizations will be able to access add-on services and supports.
Q: Is this a last-minute decision as a result of the pandemic?
A: No. The Board’s decision to enter into a formal nonbinding letter of intent follows 15 months of extensive work by COA and the Alliance to determine the value of combining our organizations into something greater than what we could achieve on our own. This work established a solid foundation to move forward with the due-diligence necessary to explore the creation of the new entity.
Q: Who will be in charge of the new organization?
A: Jody Levison-Johnson will become the CEO of the new entity. Susan Dreyfus will stay on as an advisor to assist with a successful transition.
Q: Will our fees change?
A: We haven’t begun to discuss fees at this point, but we don’t necessarily anticipate accreditation fee changes. We do envision a potential range of enhanced offerings that would be available. We will share additional information as we work our way through the process.
Q: Will there be any changes to the site visit or accreditation process during this period?
A: We have made some pretty big changes as a result of COVID and worked on a virtual process to ensure the safety of our organizations, their staff, the communities they serve, and our volunteers. The merger will not change our approach. We want to be in a regular cadence of adapting our processes and making refinements on an ongoing basis based on field experience. We will continue to comb the field for feedback and use it to inform the evolution of our process and standards. Any changes we make would not be based on the merger but rather that our organization are informing our processes and that will happen whether we move forward or not.
Q: What if I have questions?
A: We welcome any ideas and suggestions you may have and and will be providing opportunities for you to virtually connect with Jody and other members of the team to learn more about their vision of the new organization. Additionally, COA will provide timely updates on progress here and the MyCOA and VIP portals for its accredited organizations and volunteers.
FAQs Last Updated: 11/19/2020