Accreditation with FOCUS is about more than doing better - it’s about being the best your organization can be to serve your community.
Accrediting with FOCUS gives you access to current standards, tools and developmental activities you need to succeed in delivering first class service to your community and meeting the goals of your organizational stakeholders.
Our Quality Improvement and Accreditation Program is customized to fit your organization’s individual needs. We are an unbiased third party accreditation organization with a collaborative, inclusive and innovative approach to the accreditation process.
Fundamentally, accreditation helps your organization provide quality services for the people you serve. At FOCUS, we help you map out a direction for optimal organizational health and for ensuring you provide quality services. By the end of the accreditation process, you’ll have strong internal alignment, a roadmap to organizational success, increased accountability to stakeholders and funders, receive an accreditation award that recognizes your accreditation status and most importantly, you’ll enhance your quality of service, and the quality of life for the people you serve.
“Having gone through the accreditation process reinforced that we are doing many great things for the people we support. It also pointed out to us that there are some areas where there could be further improvement and other areas where we need to modify our approach. Having FOCUS Accreditation visit our agency led to a complete review of what we do, how we do it and why. It has also led to robust discussions and critical thinking as an organization.”
Quality Assurance Coordinator, New Visions Toronto
“The team at FOCUS displayed consistent professionalism, guidance and insight throughout the entire process. They did not waiver in their roles and we clearly experienced a very high standard of accountability from the initial registration to the accreditation announcement.”
Executive Director, Bernadette McCann House for Women
Introduction and Orientation – Upon request, we will spend time with your organization when you are researching accrediting bodies at an Initial FOCUS Information Session. This session will allow you to ask questions based on your research and FOCUS will provide you with a presentation on our Quality Improvement and Accreditation Program. Once you agree to working with FOCUS, we begin our partnership with you, with an one-on-one webinar to introduce you to the accreditation process and to learn about the goals and values important to your organization. We then follow up with an in-person orientation session at your home location to discuss quality management, accreditation standards and the validation process.
Current FOCUS Standards – Once registered, you will receive a full copy version of our most recent standards. These are the standards that will become your road map for the next three years.
Evidence Guide – Once your organization is registered, you’ll also receive an Evidence Guide which identifies ways to demonstrate that you are meeting standards and outlines the types of evidence our validators will look for during the onsite validation process.
GAP Analysis – Completing the GAP Analysis is the first step you’ll take to determine your current state in relation to meeting FOCUS standards. It identifies where you’ll need to focus in order to earn accreditation and will help you create a workplan for your preparatory process.
Start the path to becoming a higher quality organization. Contact us to start the accreditation process.
Comprehensive Desktop Review and Readiness Assessment – We review your material submission in detail and work with you to ensure you have all the materials that are required for a comprehensive onsite validation. We will then conduct a readiness assessment interview with you to ensure you’ve well-invested your resources before we come onsite to your organization. A materials checklist will be provided to you five months in advance of your onsite validation as a guide to FOCUS submission requirements.
Online Community of Practice Webinars – Your organization will have the opportunity to join FOCUS-led webinars that will help your organization understand and meet the accreditation standards, as well as covering topics topics which encourage best practices in the human services sector. In addition, guest speakers will speak about varying topics such as leadership, risk management, legislation, organizational trends, etc.
Toll-Free Phone and Email Support – Throughout the process, FOCUS provides toll-free telephone support and quick response emails to clarify information, offer suggestions and guide you to helpful resources.
FOCUS on Quality Network – An ongoing listserv for FOCUS registered organizations to share resources and provide support to one another.
Final Onsite Validation – When you’re ready, we’ll schedule your onsite validation. This involves an initial orientation meeting and comprehensive data collection, including interviews with a large selection of key stakeholders and site visits. Finally, we’ll provide a wrap-up meeting and submit a written report of our findings.
Within 45 days of completing the final onsite validation, the Accreditation Committee will make the accreditation decision and the FOCUS Executive Director will inform your organization of the outcome.
FOCUS PR Media Kit and Widespread Recognition of Success – Once you’re successful in achieving an accreditation status, we’ll send you a comprehensive media kit to share your success. The media kit includes a press release template, FOCUS letter of accreditation to funding bodies, community partners, etc. as requested by the organization; accreditation logos, accreditation certificate, inclusion on FOCUS’ website list of accredited organizations, as well as notification on our social media sites.
Peer Validator Cohort Membership – A member of your organization may be eligible to receive peer validator training, giving them valuable insight into how other organizations meet the FOCUS standards and demonstrate organizational excellence. FOCUS will work with your team member throughout the evaluation and learning process to help prepare them as a Peer Validator for the final onsite validation.
Annual Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) – The annual QIP formalizes the organization’s commitment to quality improvement, and provide accountability for the duration of the accreditation term. By identifying and explaining how organizations are going to address recommendations in the accreditation report, and achieve longer-term improvement goals, organizations are able to effectively focus their quality improvement efforts on those key areas that will truly improve services for the people they serve and other key stakeholders.
Accreditation typically takes between 24-36 months, from initial discovery to final onsite validation. We’ll work with you every step of the way to help you succeed and improve.
FOCUS works with organizations of all sizes, and the fee for our Quality Improvement and Accreditation Program is based on your organization’s annual fixed budget.
Your FOCUS Accreditation award lasts for four years – and over 98% of organizations return for re-accreditation with FOCUS when their accreditation expires! During that four year period, you’ll have access to our monthly Community of Practice webinar to stay up-to-date with the latest standards and industry practices, as well as an invitation to our Annual Learning Event held in various parts of the province.
We work with you every step of the way to ensure you have the support you need to make meaningful changes in order to meet the FOCUS Accreditation standards – and we’re open and honest about what those standards are from the very first step of the process. However, sometimes despite an organization’s best efforts, they don’t meet 75% in each domain. When this happens, we offer a deferred accreditation. This means you have up to twelve months to meet specific conditions, as determined by the Accreditation Committee. Once you’re successful, you’ll be awarded your four year accreditation.