How to Become Accredited

Service providers are accredited through one of two approved accrediting bodies.

The Accreditation Process

Step 1: Choose the accrediting body that covers the services you offer. If both cover the services you offer, choose one by considering which fits best:

  • COA accredits the entire agency, including all of its programs
  • CARF accredits specific programs within the agency (all programs funded by the ministry or CLBC must be included)

You may also wish to talk to agencies that deliver services similar to your own who are accredited or are going through accreditation.

Step 2: Contact the appropriate accrediting body to:

  • Make sure the accreditation standards are a good fit for your organization and the programs you offer
  • Start the self-study process

Step 3: Prepare for accreditation and your first site survey. You will need about 18 to 24 months to prepare.

Step 4: Contact the ministry accreditation analyst to arrange a mock site survey – it's like a dress rehearsal for the formal site survey.

Step 5: Set a date for the formal site survey with the accrediting body.

Step 6: Complete the formal survey and receive the results.

What to Expect

Accreditation is a rigorous process requiring a commitment of resources – financial and personnel – and a willingness to review all aspects of an organization's governance, management and service delivery.

Once accredited, your organization will be expected to take steps to maintain your accredited status.

Failure to achieve or maintain accreditation: The decision to cancel a contract due to the failure to achieve or maintain accreditation would be on an individual basis and only after reasonable attempts have been made to resolve the situation.

The Ministry's Accreditation Team offers extra support, training, mentoring resources, and mock surveys to help organizations prepare for accreditation. The accrediting bodies also provide extra assistance to ensure successful completion of the process.

Service provider organizations consistently failing to earn or maintain accreditation are likely to have their contracts terminated. Terminating a contract will be the last step in a process of working with an organization to support them to achieve a successful accreditation outcome.