Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Employee Assistance Program Services (PA-EAP) 3: Access to Service

Eligible participants and client agencies receive EAP services promptly and responsively.
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
  • Access procedures
  • Procedures for addressing life-threatening emergency situations
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review client records

PA-EAP 3.01

The EAP communicates to customers, individuals, and eligible participants that access to services occurs through:
  1. self-referral by individuals and eligible participants;
  2. suggestions or referrals by supervisors, union representatives, human resources, and/or medical personnel;
  3. formal referrals; and
  4. mandatory referrals.

Fundamental Practice

PA-EAP 3.02

Client or host/customer agency problems that occur during and outside of work hours are addressed as follows:
  1. life-threatening emergency situations are addressed immediately, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year;
  2. non-life threatening emergencies are addressed by the end of the next business day; and
  3. counselors with clinical backgrounds are available by telephone to respond to emergencies and able to access appropriate resources either directly or by referral.

PA-EAP 3.03

The EAP adjusts its staffing patterns and availability to accommodate the working hours of individuals at the host or customer agency, and counselors:
  1. are available within a reasonable proximity of client homes, work sites, and/or public transportation, unless the geography of the area prohibits such availability;
  2. offer appointments outside of normal business hours, such as at least one evening a week or on weekends; and
  3. provide clear directions to the counseling site.

PA-EAP 3.04

EAP direct service staff has access to a description of services, as stipulated under the terms of each contract, that is provided to clients and eligible participants.

PA-EAP 3.05

The EAP offers access to services, educational resources, and manager/leadership information through a variety of channels.
Examples: For example, services may be provided via:  
  1. in-person meetings at a private office located at the company;
  2. in-person meetings at a private office located off-site at an EAP counselor's office; 
  3. telephone;
  4. a website for information and education;
  5. e-mail exchange for services;
  6. video and audio live exchange for services; and
  7. smart-phone based technology for texting, chat, or other communication tools.