Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Administrative and Service Environment (PA-ASE) 2: Service Delivery Environment

The service delivery environment promotes respect, healing, and positive behavior of the service recipient.
2020 Edition




 The agency’s administrative and service environments are respectful, safe, and accessible and contribute to agency effectiveness.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed administration and management infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • Behavior support and management policy
  • Procedures for monitoring and addressing the physical, psychological, and emotional safety needs of persons served
  • Procedures that address harassment and violence towards service recipients and personnel
  • Procedures for preventing the need for emergency interventions, including restrictive behavior management interventions
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • No Self-Study Evidence
  • Written information provided to service recipients and/or parents/legal guardians about how the organization promotes positive behavior
All Agencies
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Relevant personnel
    2. Persons served
    3. Parents/legal guardians
  • Observe facility

PA-ASE 2.01

Personnel support positive behavior by:
  1. developing positive relationships with service recipients; 
  2. being trauma-informed;
  3. building on service recipients’ strengths and reinforcing positive behavior; and 
  4. responding consistently to all incidents that challenge the safety of service recipients.


Procedures for responding to incidents must address safety measures used in emergency situations, including whether restrictive behavior management interventions may be used to protect service recipients from harming themselves or others.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ASE 2.02

The agency:
  1. monitors the service population for emerging physical, psychological, and emotional safety needs; and
  2. modifies the service environment or procedures as necessary to respond to the safety needs of the population.
NA The agency only provides Early Childhood Education (PA-ECE) or Out of School Time Services (PA-OST).
Examples: Mechanisms that can be used to respond to the safety needs of the population include, but are not limited to:
  1. monitoring interactions among service recipients and staff to ensure they remain respectful, calming, and empowering; 
  2. establishing and enforcing rules that promote a transparent and therapeutic service environment; 
  3. soliciting and responding to feedback from service recipients regarding their perceived safety in the service environment; and
  4. staggering scheduling or providing separate entrances when survivors of violence or exploitation and individuals with histories of violent behavior are served in the same facility.

PA-ASE 2.03

The agency informs service recipients and parents or legal guardians about its procedures for:
  1. maintaining a safe service environment, including procedures that address harassment and violence towards other service recipients and personnel; and 
  2. preventing the need for emergency interventions, including restrictive behavior management interventions.

Fundamental Practice

PA-ASE 2.04

The agency maintains a work environment for its personnel that is conducive to effectively providing services to individuals and families in a private and confidential manner, as needed. 
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.