Launch of 2020 Edition Standards

January 15, 2020

The Council on Accreditation (COA) is proud to announce the publication of our 2020 Edition Standards!

The new standards will affect private, public, and Canadian organizations seeking accreditation. When browsing the standards here on our site, look for the green 2020 Edition tag.

The COA 2020 Edition comes on the heels of valuable feedback from our volunteers, organizations, and partners. All of the work was done with a single goal in mind: to increase the value of accreditation by focusing on those practices and activities that will have the greatest impact on the people and communities COA-accredited organizations work with. 

The 2020 Edition focuses on the standards that promote the development of effective, mission-driven organizations that are equipped to meet the needs of their clients. In service of that, we have refocused the standards to 1) give organizations more time to devote to those practices that have a more direct impact on clients, and 2) allow organizations to spend less time compiling evidence and more time improving practice. This means a:

  • 31% Reduction in the amount of Administration and Management/Service Delivery Administration (AM/SDA) self-study evidence
  • 30% Reduction in the number of AM/SDA standards
  • 20% Reduction in the amount of Service section self-study evidence
  • 17% Reduction in the number of Service standards

A PDF summary of the standards changes can be found here.

View the new standards online here.

If you have questions about the standards, please remember to join us in our webinar this Thursday, January 16, at 2 PM EST for a deep dive into the changes in the 2020 Edition. Register for that webinar here. A recorded version will be available for accredited and in-process organizations in their MyCOA portal after January 16.

Note: The 2020 standards will not impact organizations that are currently in-process; however, organizations can choose to opt into the 2020 standards dependent on their accreditation timeline and other factors. If you are in-process organization and have questions about the 2020 standards, please contact your Accreditation Coordinator.


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.