Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Employee Assistance Program Services (PA-EAP) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of individuals served and customer agencies.


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.


EAP providers must be appropriately licensed in the states where the service is being received, or as required by law or regulation.
2020 Edition




Employee Assistance Programs help agencies achieve business health and productivity goals, and support individuals working to maintain or improve their productivity, functioning, and pro-social behavior, as well as remain at or return to the workplace.
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
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-EAP 2.01

Assessment and referral, and short-term counseling personnel are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in a human service field;
  2. appropriate state licensure, certification, or registration;
  3. training and experience in substance use treatment; and
  4. EAP related experience.


This applies to services provided through all means, including face-to-face, telephone, Internet-based online services, and other electronic communication tools (i.e., smart-phone applications).


When agencies utilize interns, individuals working towards licensure, or are unable to recruit individuals with an advanced degree, they should receive appropriate training and ensure that supervision is provided by a professional with an advanced degree.
Examples: Examples of related experience can include in-house EAP training; training and experience in agency dynamics; CEAP designation; at least 2,500 hours post-master’s degree clinical experience; or two years of EAP experience in a management, consultant, and/or direct service role.

PA-EAP 2.02

Information and referral, and intake personnel are qualified by: 
  1. an associate's degree in a human services profession; and 
  2. at least one year of clinical practicum in social work, psychology, mental health, or another human services profession.

PA-EAP 2.03

The EAP senior manager or equivalent is qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in a field related to EAP services;
  2. appropriate state licensure, certification, or registration;
  3. at least two years of post-graduate experience; and
  4. competence in administering and providing EAP services.

PA-EAP 2.04

EAP counseling professionals complete annual requirements for state professional development hours (PDHs), continuing education units (CEU), or the equivalent.


Such requirements should be completed at accredited colleges/universities, other licensed institutions, or through EASNA, EAPA, or CEAP-sponsored courses.

PA-EAP 2.05

Counselors are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. EAP core technology and optional EAP services;
  2. EAP theory and practice;
  3. the application of counseling skills in a workplace setting;
  4. crisis intervention preparedness;
  5. short-term counseling models;
  6. use of health care insurance benefits;
  7. critical incident response services and/or psychological first aid;
  8. mental health and substance use conditions;
  9. work performance assessments;
  10. applicable information on privacy and security regulations; and
  11. agency development and human resource management.

PA-EAP 2.06

Non-clinical personnel, such as account managers, are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. EAP products and services;
  2. essential components of EAPs;
  3. wellness services, as applicable;
  4. risk prevention and crisis response;
  5. outreach; and
  6. consultation and training for managers, supervisors and union representatives.

PA-EAP 2.07

Personnel have access to a supervisor or other professional to provide back-up and support in managing cases that involve threats of violence, including homicidal and suicidal ideation.

PA-EAP 2.08

Personnel workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining personnel 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.

PA-EAP 2.09

The EAP has a system to analyze its capacity to meet the demand for services that addresses: 
  1. providing services in relation to risk level and urgency; and
  2. ability to manage the needs of its network.