CARF’s (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) on-site survey was conducted May 16-18, 2018 and identified the Association’s strengths and conformance to international standards of practice. Based on an intensive three-day survey conducted by three CARF surveyors, DDA was awarded its fifth three-year certification, the highest level of accreditation awarded for excellence in service.
For those unfamiliar with CARF, it is an independent, non-profit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative process. It is an ongoing process that signals to the public that DDA is committed to continuous performance improvement, responsive to feedback, and accountable to the community and its stakeholders.
Quality assurance is an ongoing part of improving DDA’s services. We’re guided by provincial legislation, external licensing standards, and internal policies and procedures; however, DDA raises the standards of our own accountability through a variety of mechanisms such as surveys, informal listening, direct observation, collecting information, and client groups. Generally, the more ways we use to listen to clients, the better.
How does DDA do this? Throughout the year, senior management, program staff, clients, family members and guardians provide input and feedback to help examine practices and set goals for the future. These goals, objectives and action items are documented in several planning tools and continuously evaluated and updated.
As the lead surveyor, Alan Schilling stated during the exit summary: “An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors, through on-site visits, its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.”
Surveyors thoroughly examined and evaluated all aspects of the Association including: DDA’s management system, employment, residential, day programs, children’s programs, policies and procedures, funding sources, and administrative organization to assess its compliance with CARF’s international standards of performance.
Surveyors also interviewed DDA board members, staff, parents and guardians, clients, employers and business associates regarding DDA’s services.
Of the 1,200 program service standards assessed, they had only six recommendations to make. In their final report, surveyors complimented DDA for its outstanding leadership, as well as its advocacy, innovation, strategic planning, and its ability to manage funds and maintain a stable financial position.
CARF noted that “the staff members are DDA’s greatest asset. The staff members are spirited, motivated, and person-centred and have the clients’ needs at the forefront of their services …Team work and cooperation are evident throughout DDA.”
“The community can be assured of DDA’s accountability and high-level performance,” said Executive Director, Alanna Hendren. “We are proud of the services we offer and congratulate our hard-working team members for their efforts in carrying out DDA’s important mission so professionally and effectively.”
“DDA has achieved significant benchmarks, service innovation, person-centred outcomes, and sustainability plans that culminate into quality services, increased access to services, and better lives overall,” says Terry Schenkel, accreditation coordinator at DDA.
“The clients, staff, families and other stakeholders are to be congratulated on these accomplishments and being recognized by CARF as an outstanding service provider in the province of British Columbia.”