COA: Looking ahead

August 27, 2019

Watch a special message from Jody Levison-Johnson, COA’s new President & CEO, and then read on below to hear more about her thoughts on what’s next for COA.


Hi.  I’m Jody Levison-Johnson, the new president and CEO of the Council on Accreditation, or as some in the field like to call us, “COA (Kō-Ah).”  I wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself and share a bit about the future of COA.

My background includes work in direct service organizations, oversight and funding entities, and national policy and advocacy arenas. Leading COA is the realization of my lifelong dream to shape the human services field and profoundly impact the lives of the people in need. 

And the timing of my arrival here could not have been better.

This is truly an exciting time at COA. We are changing the field by helping organizations offer services of the highest possible quality to their clients and their communities.

For a long time and for many people, accreditation has just been another box to check, a means to an end to ensure eligibility for funding streams or to meet regulatory requirements. But it is so much more than that. 

We hope to elevate–both within COA and among our accredited organizations–the true value of accreditation. That value is to the end user, the consumers—the children, youth, families and adults–who rely on the services that our organizations provide.

Our mission is simple: To help organizations improve the quality and effectiveness of their services by aligning with the best practices established in our standards.

Throughout our more than forty-year history, COA has regularly evolved both our standards and processes to meet the changing needs of the field.  This evolution will continue as we move towards 2020. Look for more details on that in the coming months—we have some exciting updates just around the corner.

While we continue to evolve as an organization, one thing remains constant: COA’s unwavering dedication to supporting you so that you can best support your community and those that you serve.

Thanks to each and every one of you. We are so grateful for the work that you do every day on behalf of COA and the communities that you serve.  Here’s to continued collaboration and success.

Notes from Jody

As I approach the six month mark at COA, I can confidently say that my excitement for our work has never been greater. I tease it a little in this video but want to encourage you again to keep an eye out for messages from us in the coming months—there is a lot to share, and I truly believe it will be valuable for you and your organizations.

Engagement with the broader human services community is the foundation of COA, from the critical input we get on our standards, to our peer-based review system, to the important partnerships with our sponsoring and supporting organizations, funders, and regulators. I have spent the last few months visiting with some of the COA community to learn how we can better support you and your important work. These meetings have provided me with an opportunity to hear about the profound impact COA is making on the field, and ultimately on those being served by our accredited organizations. Each meeting has also provided food for thought on areas for development–things COA can consider doing to continue to increase the value of our work.

That is our goal with the coming updates: to continue to make accreditation as valuable for our organizations and impactful for our communities as it can be. As always, we want to provide you with a framework that serves you so that you can best serve your communities. Because community is such an important part of COA, it is my hope that you will continue to work with us through this process, giving us feedback so that together, we can drive the field forward.

A big thank you to those who have met with me already and shared your thoughts–it has been invaluable. I hope to continue to keep in touch and look forward to meeting more of you in the future.

I am grateful to lead an organization with such a dynamic, diverse, and passionate staff, a robust team of talented and dedicated volunteers, and a versatile array of accredited organizations – all of whose commitment to quality is unwavering.

Here’s to what’s next.


About COA

Founded in 1977, the Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit organization that accredits human and social service providers. Our mission is to partner with human and social service organizations to strengthen their ability to improve the lives of the people they serve.