Accreditation is a process that evaluates whether an organization or program meets a set of quality standards in the provision of specific services. An independent group carries out the assessment process. It usually involves both self-assessment and peer review. From the assessment and review, a work plan is implemented to ensure that the organization or program meet established quality standards and best practices. Progress on the work plan is reviewed regularly.
Why Get accredited?
- Provides clients with the assurance that they are receiving the best quality care;
- Demonstrates accountability and professionalism; and
- Highlights an organization’s commitment to excellence.
How to Get Accredited
The following organizations provide voluntary accreditation for substance use treatment programs at the national level:
- Accreditation Canada
- Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Canada
- Council on Accreditation (COA)
The Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) provides mentorship to organizations obtaining accreditation for Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) through the COA.
In Quebec, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux established a voluntary standards and certification framework. It is for organizations providing substance use treatment and lodging. All public institutions providing health and social services must be accredited by either Accreditation Canada or the Conseil québécois d’agrément (CQA) every three years.
Certification gives professionals in the substance use workforce an opportunity to develop and maintain skills. Certification helps them provide the highest quality service to their clients. It focuses on standards at the individual level. Continuing education, membership fees, ethics codes and periodic reviews are a common part of this process.
Why Get Certified?
- Gives professionals regular access to the latest developments in the field;
- Provides targeted training opportunities;
- Demonstrates expertise and serves to promote professionalism; and
- Can lead to increased compensation and expanded career opportunities.
How to Get Certified
Seven Canadian organizations offer certification to substance use and allied professionals. They aim to provide protection to their clientele and recognition for the practitioner.
- Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
- Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA)
- Canadian Council of Professional Certification (CCPC)
- Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
- Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM)
- Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA)
- First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board (FNWACCB)