Agencies going into the accreditation process can benefit from the knowledge, skills and experience of mentors (service providers who have already completed accreditation). Sharing their expertise and ideas can make the accreditation process faster and easier.
All accreditation candidates must complete a mock survey with a mentor before scheduling a formal site visit or survey with COA or CARF.
How to Find a Mentor
Email the Ministry Accreditation Team to request a mentor – they will connect you with one.
Before you submit a request, be sure to review the relevant standards manual and begin comparing your own operations to the standards. Be clear about what you need the mentor to help with.
How a Mentor Can Help
Mentors are colleagues interested in providing suggestions and information to help others through accreditation – they can:
- Meet with staff, board members or other stakeholders to discuss accreditation benefits, disadvantages, and processes
- Provide information on the interpretation of accreditation standards
- Consult on ways an organization is attempting to meet the standards, including reviewing draft policies or discussing procedures
- Conduct a "mock" accreditation site survey/visit
- Provide consultation regarding areas that need attention before the actual site survey or visit
- Provide suggestions about how an agency might address deficiencies and thereby meet the standards
Note: Mentors do not act on behalf of the accrediting body or MCFD – it's not their job to give detailed instructions on how to begin preparations or convince you that accreditation is worthwhile.
How to Work With Your Mentor
The role of mentors is to provide information and guidance – not do the work for you. Expect to:
Take time to prepare. Before you meet with your mentor, take the time to review the standards and start identifying where your organization might need work. Make the most of your time with a mentor and have your questions ready.
Be open-minded. Resist dismissing a mentor's suggestions because it means doing something a new way.
Engage and do the work. There will be many appropriate ways to meet the standards and even with the guidance of a mentor, every organization will need to take time to think things through and determine its own path.
After a mock survey, mentors are requested to provide the ministry with a mock survey summary report on the readiness of the organization to proceed with their formal site survey or visit. This includes disclosure of any concerns around health and safety, and indications of administrative impropriety.
Information for Mentors
Are you a ministry- or Community Living BC-funded contracted service provider who has completed the accreditation process and has an interest in assisting your colleagues in other organizations with accreditation?
Most of the orientation process is completed via teleconference and emails – the cost of travel expenses for mock surveys is covered by the ministry.
Before becoming a mentor, check with your employer to determine the amount of time you can give to mentoring.
Once you're a mentor, the ministry accreditation analyst(s) will connect you with organizations or individuals requiring mentoring. When this happens:
- Check with the Ministry Accreditation Team for pre-approval before traveling for a mock survey (you will be given a travel authorization package)
- Submit all travel reimbursement forms to the Ministry Accreditation Team for processing
A few tips: The role of the mentors is to provide suggestions and information. As a mentor, you are not acting on behalf of the accrediting body or the ministry but are simply providing the assistance that any skilled colleague could provide.
As a mentor, avoid:
- Rushing in with advice, which would prevent the mentoree from coming up with their own solutions
- Criticizing the way an organization operates
- Thinking that you have all the solutions and that your way of doing things is the only right way