Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Day Treatment Services (PA-DTX) 2: Personnel

An interdisciplinary team of clinical and direct service personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of the persons served.


Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
2020 Edition




Individuals who receive Day Treatment Services improve psychosocial, educational, vocational, and cognitive functioning, and learn to manage their symptoms.
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 service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-DTX 2.01

Clinical personnel include mental health or human service professionals qualified:
  1. by an advanced degree, clinical training, and professional experience; and/or 
  2. in accordance with the requirements of their respective disciplines and any applicable legal requirements for practice.

PA-DTX 2.02

Direct service providers have:
  1. educational and experiential backgrounds that enable them to participate in the overall treatment program and to meet the emotional and developmental needs of service recipients; and
  2. personal characteristics and temperament suitable for working with persons with special needs.

PA-DTX 2.03

A psychologist with appropriate credentials and experience is available to provide testing and psychological services, as necessary.

PA-DTX 2.04

A psychiatrist or other qualified health practitioner participates in the development and implementation of the overall treatment program, including regular case reviews, and provides medication management and other services as needed.
NA The agency provides non-psychiatric day treatment services.

Fundamental Practice

PA-DTX 2.05

A licensed physician is available on-call during hours of operation, or the agency has formal arrangements for health services with a local primary care facility.


The primary care facility may be a hospital.
NA All individuals have private physicians.

PA-DTX 2.06

Clinical personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, the latest information, theories, and proven practices related to the treatment of alcohol and other drug use disorders including: 
  1. the signs and symptoms of withdrawal;
  2. addiction as a disease;
  3. relapse prevention; and
  4. interventions that demonstrate respect for sociocultural values, personal goals, life style choices, and complex family interactions.
NA The agency does not provide substance use treatment services.

PA-DTX 2.07

The agency minimizes the number of workers assigned to the individual over the course of their contact with the agency by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.

Fundamental Practice

PA-DTX 2.08

There is at least one person certified in basic first aid and CPR on duty at each program site at any time the program is in operation.

PA-DTX 2.09

Direct service personnel workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker including the level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of persons served.