2022 Edition

Employee Assistance Program Services (CA-EAP) 3: Access to Service

Eligible participants and client organizations receive EAP services promptly and responsively.




Employee Assistance Programs help organizations achieve business health and productivity goals, and support individuals working to maintain or improve their productivity, functioning, and pro-social behaviour, as well as remain at or return to the workplace.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Access procedures
  • Procedures for addressing life-threatening emergency situations
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review client records


CA-EAP 3.01

The EAP communicates to customers, individuals, and eligible participants that access to services occurs through:
  1. self-referral by individuals and eligible participants;
  2. suggestions or referrals by supervisors, union representatives, human resources, and/or medical personnel;
  3. formal referrals; and
  4. mandatory referrals.

Fundamental Practice

CA-EAP 3.02

Client or host/customer organization problems that occur during and outside of work hours are addressed as follows:
  1. life-threatening emergency situations are addressed immediately, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year;
  2. non-life threatening emergencies are addressed by the end of the next business day; and
  3. counsellors with clinical backgrounds are available by telephone to respond to emergencies and able to access appropriate resources either directly or by referral.


CA-EAP 3.03

The EAP adjusts its staffing patterns and availability to accommodate the working hours of individuals at the host or customer organization, and counsellors:
  1. are available within a reasonable proximity of client homes, work sites, and/or public transportation, unless the geography of the area prohibits such availability;
  2. offer appointments outside of normal business hours, such as at least one evening a week or on weekends; and
  3. provide clear directions to the counselling site.


CA-EAP 3.04

EAP direct service staff has access to a description of services, as stipulated under the terms of each contract, that is provided to clients and eligible participants.


CA-EAP 3.05

The EAP offers access to services, educational resources, and manager/leadership information through a variety of channels.
Examples: For example, services may be provided via:  
  1. in-person meetings at a private office located at the company;
  2. in-person meetings at a private office located off-site at an EAP counsellor's office; 
  3. telephone;
  4. a website for information and education;
  5. e-mail exchange for services;
  6. video and audio live exchange for services; and
  7. smart-phone based technology for texting, chat, or other communication tools.