Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Risk Prevention and Management (PA-RPM) 1: Legal and Regulatory Compliance

The agency has a process for annually reviewing compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations including those related to:
  1. facilities and licensure;
  2. accessibility;
  3. health and safety;
  4. finances; and
  5. human resources.


In regards to element (a), agencies that rent facilities should obtain relevant documentation from their landlord. If the agency cannot obtain access to the required documentation from their landlord or from relevant public or private health and safety authorities, the agency may also solicit a recognized expert to verify compliance with applicable laws and safety codes. 


When necessary, the agency should consult legal counsel to obtain comprehensive guidance regarding legal and regulatory compliance.
NA State-administered regional office
2020 Edition




Proactive, comprehensive, and systematic risk prevention and management practices sustain the agency’s ability to positively impact the communities and people it serves by reducing its risk, loss, and liability exposure.
Examples: In regards to element (a), examples of relevant regulations and codes can include:
  1. certification of occupancy requirements; 
  2. zoning and building codes; 
  3. occupational safety and health administration codes; 
  4. health, sanitation, and fire codes; and
  5. elevator inspections.
In regards to element (c), relevant requirements can include: universal precautions for minimizing exposure to contagious and infectious disease; and storage, cleaning, and disposal of medical waste.

In regards to element (e), it is recommended practice to conduct an annual review of human resource practices to verify compliance with applicable employment and labor laws, civil service rules and regulations, and union contracts. The Human Resource Management field refers to this annual review as an annual "audit." Examples of human resource laws and regulations include: 
  1. use of independent contractors;
  2. use of contingent workers such as temporary employees, volunteers, and leased workers;
  3. laws governing fair employment practices, including non-discrimination and harassment; 
  4. compensation and benefits;
  5. maintenance of personnel records; 
  6. retention of hiring records;
  7. background checks; and
  8. collective bargaining.
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 administration and management infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • A letter signed by the agency head:
    1. Certifying the agency is presently in compliance with applicable laws, codes, and regulations
    2. Summarizing the agency's current status/progress towards compliance with consent decrees
  • Progress reports or other evidence of the work being done to comply with consent decrees
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • Evaluated at the Central Office only
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • Reports from licensing/regulatory review, as applicable
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • Evaluated at the Central Office only
County/Municipality Administered Agency, State Administered Agency (Central Office), or other Public Entity
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Agency leadership
    2. In-house counsel
State Administered Agency (Regional Office)
  • Evaluated at the Central Office only