Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Employee Assistance Program Services (PA-EAP) 9: Service Elements

The EAP partners with the host or customer agency to identify the needs of agencies and eligible participants, and provide services matched to client and agency goals.
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
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Follow-up procedures
  • Procedures for critical incident planning
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Resource and referral list
  • Promotional materials and/or educational newsletters or articles
  • Training curricula
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review client records


PA-EAP 9.01

The EAP service is designed to:
  1. help agencies develop and maintain a healthy and productive workplace for their employees;
  2. help individuals address the personal and work-related issues that interfere with being present and productive at work;
  3. help clients with relationship, family, addiction, legal, financial, emotional, stress, work-life balance, and other personal problems;
  4. make referrals to appropriate services as needed; and
  5. provide preventive strategies to stimulate individual awareness and education and encourage early intervention.
Examples: The term “addiction” can address alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual, internet, and other chemical and behavioral addictions or addictive behaviors.


PA-EAP 9.02

The EAP has the capability to provide the following core EAP services to the agency and individuals:
  1. information and referral to support services;
  2. assessment and referral;
  3. employee education on personal, psychosocial, and workplace performance issues;
  4. training on the EAP for supervisors, managers, and human resource and union representatives;
  5. critical incident advance planning and training, and post-incident response services;
  6. development of referral options for needed services not provided under the contract or not available at the EAP; and
  7. capability for follow-up with more severe cases as appropriate.


PA-EAP 9.03

The EAP maintains up-to-date information for services available in the community and demonstrates a rapid and effective response in linking clients with appropriate EAP resources and supportive interventions.


PA-EAP 9.04

The EAP makes a referral when:
  1. it cannot promptly provide services;
  2. the client requires services beyond the stated or contractual mandate of the EAP; or
  3. specialized resources are not available through the EAP.
Examples: For example, in the case of a short-term counseling model, it may be appropriate to refer the client for alcohol or drug rehabilitation or psychiatric care.


PA-EAP 9.05

When making referrals, the EAP informs clients that they will be responsible for the cost of services beyond those provided by the EAP, and/or of any liabilities that may be incurred.


PA-EAP 9.06

The EAP emphasizes the importance of prevention in its activities and offers client agencies:
  1. promotional materials or educational newsletters or articles; and
  2. at least one relevant prevention activity quarterly based on the needs and feedback of the host or customer agency and its employees.


PA-EAP 9.07

The EAP, at the discretion of the host or customer agency, offers training which includes, but is not limited to:
  1. the philosophy of the EAP;
  2. confidentiality procedures and protections;
  3. the range of services provided;
  4. contact and accessibility information; and
  5. roles and responsibilities of management, supervisors, and union representatives, as applicable.


PA-EAP 9.08

The EAP offers appropriate education to individuals and management at the client agency on the following, as appropriate:
  1. crisis intervention;
  2. managing change;
  3. workplace violence prevention and response;
  4. tobacco, alcohol, and other drug related issues;
  5. availability and appropriate use of benefits and services; and
  6. supporting employees’ reintegration into the workplace when they return to work from disability claims for mental health disorders, addiction, and other cases with behavioral health comorbidities.


PA-EAP 9.09

The EAP has the capability to provide training for supervisors and union representatives on:
  1. the use of the EAP as a management tool;
  2. how to recognize signs of deteriorating job performance and the proper means of documenting this in the personnel record; and
  3. how to make referrals to the EAP for individual job performance and behavioral problems.


PA-EAP 9.10

The EAP arranges for follow-up contacts to determine if the individual:
  1. is adhering to the action plan;
  2. is improving work performance; and
  3. needs a referral for additional services.
NA The EAP does not provide high risk case management services.
Examples: Follow-up may occur for a variety of reasons depending on the nature of the case. Reasons can include, but are not limited to, contractual mandates, clinical necessity, assisting the person in obtaining the requested services or materials, and/or determining client satisfaction with services.