COA Accreditation

Reviewer System

We strongly believe in grounding the COA Accreditation process in our human and social services community. That is why we conduct our site visits and finalize accreditation decisions, not with our staff, but with volunteer peer reviewers. Our volunteers are seasoned and skilled professionals who generously donate their time and talent to supporting COA Accreditation.

Our unpaid volunteer peer reviewers are:

  • A diverse and talented group of more than 400 professionals from 43 states and four countries that has hundreds of years of experience in the field
  • Well versed in COA Accreditation, with all of them coming from COA accredited organizations and many having served as the accreditation lead
  • Commonly still in the field, making them knowledgeable about the latest theory and practice
  • Passionate about helping to ensure the delivery of quality services and supports
  • Thoroughly vetted and trained to give organizations an objective, high-caliber review

The reviewers that make up the Accreditation Commission, which looks at the evidence presented by an organization to make an approval decision, are our most experienced volunteers, dedicated to ensuring that organizations consistently strive to improve the quality and effectiveness of their services to support better outcomes.

Becoming a Volunteer Peer Reviewer

Serving as a volunteer peer reviewer can be very exciting and rewarding. Our volunteers find value in:

  • Doing their part to encourage best practice and advance the human and social services field
  • Learning from other professionals and peer organizations
  • Traveling to conduct site visits with expenses paid by COA Accreditation

We pride ourselves on the caliber of our volunteers and have stringent eligibility criteria. Specific requirements vary depending on the type of COA Accreditation, but generally include:

  • Current or past employment with a COA-accredited organization
  • Demonstrated experience in an accreditation, military, or governmental evaluation process geared toward improving human or social services
  • Previous experience with standards evaluation
  • A graduate degree in a human service discipline or a non-human services degree and service management experience
  • At least five years of management and supervisory experience
  • Expertise in at least five COA Accreditation service areas with a current résumé supporting the areas of expertise
  • Recommendation letter from an active COA Accreditation volunteer, accreditation commissioner, or representative from one of Social Current’s Network Champions

Training includes three self-paced modules, two days of face-to-face training, and by regular updates throughout a reviewer’s tenure to ensure they remain informed and equipped to conduct quality site visits.

COA Accreditation accepts application submissions on a rolling basis. You must meet the general criteria as well as the specified eligibility criteria for each role to apply. Review the criteria here before applying.

Please note, this form is only an application request. If you meet the general criteria, a full application will be sent to you in approximately five to 10 business days.

If you are currently an active COA Accreditation volunteer, log in to the Volunteer Information Portal (VIP) and make a request for an additional role.

Once trained, volunteer peer reviewers are expected to adhere to COA Accreditation policies and procedures and:

  • Agree to COA Accreditation’s confidentiality agreement
  • Agree to COA Accreditation’s code of conduct
  • Commit to a site visit within 90 days of training date
  • Agree to conduct at least two (2) site visits per calendar year
  • Agree to submit an updated bio and resume on an annual basis
  • Participate in other training requirements, as they become available

Indicate the role(s) for which you are interested in applying and answer yes/no regarding each of the applicable qualifications.