Recently, we had our Accreditation with CARF (Commission on Rehabilitation Facilities). Every three years, surveyors come to evaluate our facilities and services for our clients as part of Accreditation. They then write up a report on their evaluation for a list of areas. Each area is rated with one of three ratings: exemplary, conformance or non-comformance. An exemplary rating is rare as this rating signifies that this is a standard or area you are qualified to make a presentation on at a conference. A conformance rating is a very well-received rating as well, as this means you’ve met and surpassed the basic criteria for that category. Non-conformance means you have yet to reach their standards and you will receive comments on why you didn’t meet those expectations and you must then rectify the situation within a given amount of time to make it satisfactory, otherwise you will not be granted official accreditation for that area. Even if you do get a conformance rating, you may still get recommendations. The recommendations are not mandatory in this case, but are nice ‘to-haves.’ The purpose of Accreditation is to make sure we are indeed performing to international standards, and that we are not overlooking anything that will jeopardize the well-being of any of our clients.
DDA received their accreditation results with resounding success! We received, not one, not two, but three exemplaries! We were told by the surveyors/accreditators that it is extremely rare to even get one exemplary, so to get three is pretty much unheard of. Not only did we receive three exemplaries, but we only received four recommendations (the average number of recommendations is 20+).
Quoted from the accreditation report:
“In the following areas Developmental Disabilities Association demonstrates exemplary conformance to the standards.
- DDA values and actively promotes exemplary calibre training and ongoing professional development at all staff levels. The organization is congratulated for the strides it has taken, commending in November 2007, to enhance professional training and development opportunities for its staff members by being the first society in Canada to partner with the web-based College of Direct Support (CDS).
- DDA is commended for its innovative and exmplary application of touch-screen computer software in residential services to orient and train staff members regarding the individual support requirements of resients with unique challenges, thus enhancing their overall quality of life. This same software is also used for augmentative communication purposes for the same residents with remarkable success.
- DDA maintains an exmplary degree of visibility locally, provincially, and nationally in lobbying for increased funding; advocating aggressively in the interest of the children, adults and families it supports; and building innovative community partnerships. At the end of May, the executive director will lead the Canadian Developmental Disabilities and Psychiatric Services delegation to the People’s Republic of China. DDA has recently established the community development committee, the purpose of which is to broaden social oppotunities for all persons with developmental disabilities in Vancouver and Richmond by developing DDA’s internal community and external communities, including neighbourhoods, businesses, parks, and recreation centres, and an enhanced presence and involvement in Vancouver and Richmond’s many ethnic communities.”
Lastly, if interested, here is the letter that proves we have successfully received accreditation through CARF. Please view the CARF Survey Letter 2009 here.