Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Employee Assistance Program Services (PA-EAP) 5: Program Implementation and Contract Management

The agency's needs and contractual obligations determine the EAP services provided and the content of service utilization reports.
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
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Implementation plan(s)
  • Contract(s) with the agency
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Parent company President/CEO or his/her designee
    2. Program director

PA-EAP 5.01

The EAP develops an implementation plan based on information gathered in collaboration with the agency to facilitate program design that identifies:
  1. tasks and responsibilities for the EAP and the agency; and 
  2. the timeline for completion.
Examples: Examples of information that may be gathered to develop an implementation plan include, as applicable:
  1. a confidential survey of individual and management representatives to identify key problem areas;
  2. employee profiles and demographics;
  3. employee absenteeism rates;
  4. employee turnover rates;
  5. accidental injuries;
  6. health insurance costs;
  7. worker’s compensation claims;
  8. previous EAP utilization information; 
  9. transition planning for continuity of care for existing high risk cases and those requiring ongoing case management;
  10. regulatory and legislative requirements applicable to the customer agency;
  11. history of disability insurance claims for mental health and/or addictions; and
  12. descriptions and utilization figures for relevant workplace programs at the customer agency, such as work-life, wellness, occupational medicine, and disease management programs, as applicable.

PA-EAP 5.02

The implementation plan includes mechanisms for promotional and employee communications.
Examples: Examples of communications include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. printed communications;
  2. company website;
  3. referral resource database;
  4. listservs, discussion groups, chat rooms, instant messenger, and other electronic communication tools;
  5. training of supervisors, key management, and union representatives;
  6. employee orientation;
  7. coordinating branding for integration of EAP with other relevant programs such as work/life and wellness (e.g., to address the use of a combined or common web portal for multiple programs); and
  8. other promotional and educational activities.

PA-EAP 5.03

Prior to initiating a contract, and at renewal, the EAP and host or agency organization address the following operational practices and definitions for reporting practices:
  1. how a case for individual services is defined (i.e., criteria for case open and case closed);
  2. how a “new” client is defined (i.e., a client is a person who can potentially have multiple case episodes of services);
  3. the amount (for example, number of hours) of clinical and account management time projected per defined period;
  4. the outcomes and metrics to be used in evaluating EAP service delivery;
  5. the evidence required to assess if service performance standards are being met;
  6. the methodology used to measure service user satisfaction and outcomes; 
  7. the measurement process for assessing outcomes for cases after using the service (i.e., level of satisfaction with the service; level of overall improvement, level of change in work performance/productivity; level of work performance in absenteeism); 
  8. how the utilization of individual services are counted and calculated (for use of services provided by the counselors);
  9. how the utilization of other non-clinical individual services are counted and calculated (for use of services provided by the EAP for financial assistance, legal assistance, work-life services, etc.);
  10. how the utilization of management consultation and other agency level services are counted and calculated (i.e., counselor meetings with supervisors alone and with groups of supervisors and workers, on-site support after a traumatic event or crisis, support for agency changes, etc.); 
  11. how the utilization of training and educational services led by EAP staff are counted and calculated (i.e., for onsite trainings on specific topics, lunch and learn sessions, health fairs, etc.);
  12. how the utilization of Internet and website EAP services are counted and calculated (i.e., for general information, for educational resources, webinars, affiliate counselor search tools, educational resources downloaded, assessment tools completed, etc.); and
  13. the format and frequency of reports.


The standard requires the EAP to designate the numerator and denominator for purposes of utilization as addressed in each of the utilization rates provided by the company (h, i, j, k, and l from above). For example: The Counselor Case Rate for h (see above) is calculated by dividing the total number of counselor cases (including both employees and family/dependents) by the population count of the total number of covered employees and then multiplying this figure by 100. Training to supervisors and other units are not acceptable factors to be addressed in utilization.

PA-EAP 5.04

The EAP abides by formal contractual agreements and stipulates in writing:
  1. a designated account manager;
  2. objectives for the contract;
  3. services to be provided and by whom;
  4. financial terms;
  5. facility, equipment, and staff resources required;
  6. projected utilization rates;
  7. mutual indemnification, when appropriate; and
  8. roles and responsibilities of the EAP and customer agency.
NA The agency is an internal EAP only.

PA-EAP 5.05

The EAP and customer agency determine the components of data reporting.
Examples: For example, the EAP may provide information such as:
  1. the number of new cases opened;
  2. types of services requested;
  3. number of sessions provided for counseling services;
  4. number of educational trainings and associated participants;
  5. website usage;
  6. the number of client and/or supervisory consultations;
  7. the number of management consultations;
  8. the number of other services to the agency (e.g., crisis response events); 
  9. the number of other administrative activities; 
  10. the standardized level of utilization for individual cases who received counseling from the EAP;
  11. the standardized level of utilization for non-clinical individual services from the EAP;
  12. the standardized level of utilization for management consultations and other agency services;
  13. the standardized level of utilization for trainings and other educational services;
  14. the standardized level of utilization for Internet and web-related services; and
  15. other utilization trends, observations, and recommendations identified.

PA-EAP 5.06

The EAP maintains up-to-date information on each host or customer agency's demographics, business, and covered EAP benefits.
Examples: Examples of information maintained may include, but are not limited to, employee locations; available health coverage, including mental health benefits; products or services provided by the customer agency; and whether it is a unionized or non-unionized setting.