Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Human Resources (HR) 7: Independent Contractors

The organization:
  1. exercises due diligence when contracting with independent contractors; and
  2. routinely monitors compliance with contract requirements.
NA The organization does not use independent contractors.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

The organization’s human resources practices attract and retain a competent and qualified workforce that contributes to consumer satisfaction and positive service delivery results and supports the achievement of the organization’s mission and strategic goals.
Note: Please see Applicability of COA Standards to Contracts and Non-Contractual Service Agreements for additional guidance on this standard. 
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the HR 7 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the HR 7 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement as noted in the ratings for the HR 7 Practice standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the HR 7 Practice standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for contracting and monitoring contracts with independent contractors
  • Case record content and maintenance procedures that address contractor requirements
  • Procedures for collecting quality data from contractors
  • Procedures for maintaining independent contractor records
  • Sample contracts with independent contractors
  • Documentation of contract compliance, including evidence of competencies/requirements associated with necessary qualifications and trainings
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Relevant personnel
    2. Independent contractors
  • Review independent contractor client records
  • Review independent contractor records

Fundamental Practice

HR 7.01

Written contracts with independent contractors:
  1. are time-limited with a specified end date;
  2. define scope-of-work, expectations, and deliverables with specific timeframes;
  3. specify competencies, including necessary qualifications and trainings;
  4. describe protocols for routine communication of relevant information and data, including confidential information;
  5. include requirements for maintaining client records, documentation of services, and organization access to client records;
  6. describe expectations for contractor involvement in the organization's quality improvement process; and
  7. include under what circumstances the contract can be terminated.

Interpretation

 
Competencies for independent contractors providing direct services must include the relevant trainings and qualifications, as appropriate to their roles, listed in COA's Administration and Management, service Delivery Administration, and the applicable Service Standards. For example, if the organization is using contractors to deliver mental health services, then contracts must include the qualifications listed in the Personnel section of COA's Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services (MHSU) standards, as well as TS 2. Organizations should obtain documentation from contractors that verifies their competencies, such as degrees or trainings they have received, in order to demonstrate implementation needed to rate the standards within the appropriate sections. 
Examples: Competencies may include education, training, experience, degree requirements, certifications, licenses, and pursuit of CEUs, as applicable.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • One of the standard's elements is not fully addressed.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Two elements are not fully addressed; or
  • One of the elements is not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

HR 7.02

Written contracts with independent contractors who provide direct services include criteria for:
  1. service quality;
  2. client satisfaction; and
  3. outcomes that accord with the organization’s expectations.
NA The organization does not use independent contractors to provide direct services to clients.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • One of the standard's elements is not fully addressed.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Two elements are not fully addressed; or
  • One of the elements is not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

Fundamental Practice

HR 7.03

Prior to entering into a contract, the organization verifies in writing that each contractor:
  1. possesses the necessary qualifications;
  2. is licensed and/or has certification, where applicable;
  3. has relevant experience including experience delivering services to the service population, if providing direct services; and
  4. carries professional liability insurance, as required by law or generally accepted business practices.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • Procedures need greater clarity; or
  • One of the standard's elements is not fully addressed.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Procedures are very general and/or do not provide useful guidance; or
  • Two elements are not fully addressed; or
  • One of the elements is not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

Fundamental Practice

HR 7.04

The organization establishes procedures for how client records are maintained by independent contractors that address:
  1. ownership of records;
  2. information that must be recorded in client records;
  3. organization access to client records for internal and external quality oversight, including review by Medicaid and/or other external funders or regulators, and accrediting bodies;
  4. secure storage;
  5. destruction of records;
  6. whether copies of records may be retained by the contractor; and
  7. maintaining client confidentiality.
NA The organization does not use independent contractors to provide direct services to clients.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • Procedures need greater clarity; or
  • One of the standard's elements is not fully addressed.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Procedures are very general and/or do not provide useful guidance; or
  • Two elements are not fully addressed; or
  • One of the elements is not addressed at all.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

HR 7.05

The organization has procedures to:
  1. routinely monitor and document contractor progress toward fulfilling the terms of the contract; and
  2. review contractor performance against identified deliverables prior to contract renewal.

Interpretation

For standards that will be implemented by independent contractors (e.g., CR, BSM, and ASE), the organization must:
  1. provide contractors with a comprehensive policy and procedure manual or include copies of relevant policies and procedures in contracts with independent contractors;
  2. include contract language regarding a contractor's obligation to adhere to organization policies and procedures; and
  3. routinely monitor and document compliance with organization policies and procedures.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • Procedures need greater clarity.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Procedures are very general and/or do not provide useful guidance; or
  • Monitoring is sporadic; or
  • Documentation is incomplete or poorly maintained.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

Fundamental Practice

HR 7.06

The organization maintains a record for each independent contractor that contains:
  1. identifying and contact information;
  2. application, resume, and documentation of qualifications;
  3. IRS Form SS-8 or an internal assessment that the individual was properly classified as an independent contractor per Internal Revenue Service guidelines;
  4. a completed IRS W-9 form;
  5. documentation of reference checks;
  6. documentation of qualifications per HR 7.03;
  7. a background check per HR 2.03;
  8. a copy of the contract;
  9. a signed statement that the contractor will adhere to the organization's conflict of interest policies;
  10. a signed confidentiality agreement; and
  11. documentation of quality monitoring of contractor performance.
1
The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
  • With few exceptions, the organization complies with the standard, but a few records reviewed on newly hired contractors have not yet been completed; or
  • Documentation in a few records needs updating.
3
Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
  • Documents in several records are outdated or missing.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
  • Contractor records are consistently incomplete or missing required documentation.