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Home > Consultation and Training > National Center for Field Consultation > Areas of Consultation


Accreditation Support Services

As one of the two founding members of the Council on Accreditation of Family and Children Services (COA), the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) works with hundreds of agencies each year as they pursue accreditation. Through its consultation division, the National Center for Field Consultation (NCFC), CWLA provides technical assistance, consultation and training regarding compliance with Council on Accreditation standards. CWLA may become involved at any point in the accreditation process, and can assist organizations to sustain and incorporate the quality improvement aspects of accreditation into the cultural of the organization. CWLA provides consultation and support to the agency regarding those organizational and/or programmatic changes that may be needed to achieve compliance with accreditation standards. In addition, the CWLA can assist in the development of policies and procedures that meet the test of best practice. Organizations can purchase accreditation support services; CWLA member organizations that are either Provisional or Full Members can apply their member benefit time, or any combination of member benefit time and purchase of services can be arranged.

The CWLA also provides consultation, support and technical assistance regarding Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) using many of the same procedures outlined below.

While there is a suggested sequence of accreditation related services, the reality is that organizations will customize our services to meet their needs. The goal of NCFC is to help organizations access the package of accreditation consultation that will best meet their needs and provide them with assistance that will be helpful to their accreditation efforts. Any of the accreditation support services offered by NCFC can be customized to individual organizational needs and budgets. The following are examples of our most widely used accreditation support services.

Introduction to Accreditation

This activity primarily focuses on the broad issue of accreditation, in general, the benefits of accreditation, key aspects of most national accrediting organizations, with an emphasis on the Council on Accreditation process, and critical issues to be considered by organizations considering accreditation. The presentation also includes accreditation-related support and consultation services offered by CWLA, in general, and the NCFC, in particular. It can be presented either as a conference workshop, an individual organization presentation or a presentation for a group of organizations.

Assessment of Organizational Readiness to Proceed with the Accreditation Process

This consultation focuses on the review and assessment of specific key Generic Administrative and Generic Service Delivery standards, as well as the organization's current management of the accreditation process. This consultation also includes a review of a small sample of case records for all of the services delivered by the organization, and a matching of services delivered by the organization to the appropriate Council on Accreditation Service Section.

Accreditation Orientation, Work Plan and Work Group Development

This consultation focuses on a comprehensive orientation to the accreditation process, including a review of the organization, format and value base of the Council on Accreditation standards, and a review of the COA Weighting System. The activity also includes assistance matching the organization's service delivery system with the most appropriate Service Section; assistance with the development and implementation of the organization's accreditation action plan; and assistance with the organization of internal work groups necessary to address the different aspects of accreditation. Optimally, this consultation should be delivered before the submission of an application to Council on Accreditation.

Accreditation Readiness Assessment

This consultation focuses on a standard-by-standard review and assessment of any or all of the Generic and/or Service Sections that are applicable to the organization, and a detailed report including specific recommendations for change.

Ongoing Consultation Related to Accreditation

We anticipate that organizations that decide to engage the NCFC in delivering any or all of the accreditation support services will do so before their formal application to the Council on Accreditation. Our consultation and technical assistance will provide the organization with information related to their readiness to proceed with accreditation and/or with information related to an assessment of all of the standards applicable to their accreditation process. Once this information has been assessed and analyzed, organizations may decide to contract with NCFC for ongoing assessment, development, implementation, and/or redesign of any system, or related focus areas, that may be necessary for accreditation compliance. For example, areas of effort could include continuous quality improvement, outcomes and measures, management information systems, Board governance, human resources, service planning, design of service delivery systems, and case recordkeeping practices and content.

Two examples of NCFC activities that focus on compliance with Council on Accreditation standards and provide for a transfer of knowledge and skill could be designed as follows:
  1. Internal Case Record Review and Internal Reviewer Training
    This consultation focuses on a review of a random sample of case records across all services to assess the degree to which the organization meets accreditation standards and to establish a baseline for improvement. Also included would be the training of a small group of organization staff to enable them to act as internal peer reviewers for the purpose of assessing organizational compliance and improvement regarding accreditation standards relating to case assessment, service planning, service implementation, aftercare planning, and case recording. In conjunction with the training, would be the conducting of one or more case record reviews.

  2. Consultation Regarding the Organization's Self-Study
    This activity would provide periodic review and written comment on the agency-generated self-study material, including on-going teleconsultation regarding the development of the self-study, the implementation of the accreditation work plan, the application of specific Council on Accreditation standards and the identification of specific areas of compliance and noncompliance. This activity could be enhanced if the organization wanted the NCFC to act as the coordinator of their accreditation efforts.
The duration, staffing, and costs of any on-going technical assistance would depend on the scope of the focus area and the complexity of the organization.

To learn more about accreditation support and other consultation services that are available through NCFC, contact the NCFC Intake and Project Development Manager at 978/365-5068 or e-mail
  Private Agency Accreditation Support Services
  Public Agency Accreditation Support Services

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