Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (PA-PSR) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of 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




Adults with serious and persistent mental illness who participate in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency and recovery through gains in personal empowerment, hopefulness, and competency. 
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-PSR 2.01

Direct service personnel are qualified by: 
  1. a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field;
  2. an associate’s degree in a health-related field and minimum one year of experience;
  3. 30 hours, or their equivalent, of college credit toward a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field and one year of experience; or
  4. two years of work experience in a supervised mental health setting.

PA-PSR 2.02

Supervisors are qualified by one or more of the following:
  1. an advanced degree in social work;
  2. an advanced degree from a program in psychosocial rehabilitation or rehabilitation counseling;
  3. an advanced degree in a comparable human service field, with supervised post-graduate experience in providing case management and other services to persons with serious and persistent mental illness;
  4. substantial experience in the psychosocial rehabilitation field which, based on the agency's decision, substitutes for specific educational requirements; and/or
  5. national or state certification, licensing, or registration requirements in the psychosocial or psychiatric rehabilitation field.

PA-PSR 2.03

Direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in: 
  1. psychosocial rehabilitation;
  2. substance use conditions;
  3. special populations, including individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming;
  4. vocational issues;
  5. crisis intervention;
  6. the characteristics and treatment of mental illness; and
  7. recognizing the early signs of decompensation and risk factors that increase vulnerability to relapse.
Examples: Training on psychosocial rehabilitation can include evidence based practices, recovery, the psychiatric rehabilitation process, the consumer movement, and cultural issues.

PA-PSR 2.04

The agency maintains service continuity for persons served by:
  1. assigning a worker early in the contact, when appropriate; and
  2. minimizing the number of workers assigned to an individual over the course of their contact with the agency.

PA-PSR 2.05

Employee 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.