Accreditation Readiness Self-Assessment

Is Your PRSS Program Accreditation Ready?

Accreditation is an intense and intensive process that looks at seven areas (called domains):

  1. Recovery Principles, Culture and Climate
  2. Ethical Framework for Service Delivery
  3. Peer Leader Development
  4. Peer Supervisor Development
  5. Governance and Program Oversight
  6. Management Systems
  7. Peer Support Capacity: Core Competencies

This short self-assessment will help you to determine whether your program is accreditation ready.  It focuses on key criteria for each of the accreditation domains and standards.  

Each section starts with a description of the domain.  Multiple choice questions that relate to the domain follow, in which you can check as many answers as apply.

For the assessment to be useful, it is important that you be searchingly and thoroughly honest in your answers to the questions.  For each, think about whether the statement truly applies to your program and if so, what evidence you would use to demonstrate that it does apply.

At the end of the survey, you will receive feedback on each topic with suggestions for next steps.

This survey is anonymous in that there is no information collected that would identify your organization to CAPRSS.  

A note on privacy
This survey is not anonymous.

The record of your survey responses can be used to follow up with you to offer any assistance.  Should the organization move forward with accreditation, this survey can be added to the organization’s profile.

  • Recovery Principles, Culture, and Climate

    Recovery principles are what differentiate peer recovery support services (PRSS) from treatment and from other types of recovery services. A program’s principles—its basic assumptions and ways of working—and values—those things of worth, meaning, or importance—serve as the core from which practices (patterns of actions), services, and everything else emanate. The principles of a trauma informed community are reflected in recovery principles which foster safety (both physical and emotional), trust, mutual respect, as well as promote choice, empowerment, and collaboration. Culture includes deeply held values, beliefs and assumptions, symbols, heroes, and rituals. An organization’s culture is the mixture of qualities that gives the group its identity. It is comprised of many tangible elements—such as dress “code” or language— and intangible ones —such as underlying values. Climate consists of the recurring patterns of behavior, attitudes and feelings that characterize life in the organization. Climate is akin to the weather within an organization—how warm or cool it is. Like the weather, organizational climate is the sum of “prevailing conditions,” including accessibility, openness, inclusivity, and diversity. An organization with a good climate attracts new people to its efforts; one with a negative climate is characterized by high turn-over, low participation, high levels of mistrust, and lack of momentum. The climate and culture of recovery community organizations and programs providing PRSS directly relate to the effectiveness of recovery support. The program’s climate and culture set the context in which personal recovery can occur. The questions in this section ask you to consider the policies and processes that you have in place that document and put into practice recovery principles, and support a positive recovery culture and climate.
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  • Ethical Framework for Service Delivery

    Peer recovery support services (PRSS) programs require an ethical framework for service delivery--an essential supporting structure that helps to guide interactions in the peer setting. This structure includes a code of ethics or code of conduct, training, and ongoing dialogue. In most cases, simply “importing” a professional code of ethics and training is not effective. There is a difference between the professional-client relationship and the relationship of the peer leader and the peer being served that warrants an ethical framework specifically tailored to PRSS.
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  • Peer Leader Development

    Peer recovery support service (PRSS) programs are engaging a new cadre of personnel in the recovery workforce: peer leaders. Peer leaders are people who use their lived experience and expertise on how to achieve and sustain recovery to help those with less recovery experience. They provide this help through coaching individuals; facilitating support and educational groups; providing a connection to resources that support recovery; and creating a community of people in and seeking recovery where all feel welcome. A quality peer leader development system that starts with the strengths and experiences of the recovery community and builds the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver quality peer-to-peer services.
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  • Peer Supervisor Development

    Peer programs engage a diverse—and often sizeable—cadre of peer leaders. An effective program uses a strengths-based approach to supporting their work, designed to enhance motivation, autonomy, self-awareness, and skills. This support role falls to peer supervisors who mentor, facilitate, and manage the work of peer leaders. It is important to note that supervision in a PRSS setting is not clinical supervision. Rather, it is more akin to coaching, where the peer supervisors provide the space and opportunity for peer leaders to learn from their own experiences —and to explore and learn directly from the wisdom and experience of other peer leaders. Given the above, the support and development of peer supervisors is important. Peer supervisors need to have a good understanding of their role, and have the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to do well.
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  • Governance and Program Oversight

    Peer recovery support programs can be developed and operated in many different organizational contexts. Recovery community organizations (RCOs) are one such context. An RCO is defined as an organization that is primarily composed of and led by people with lived experience of addiction and recovery. Many other PRSS programs are housed in host organizations, such a treatment providers, AIDS service organizations, or veterans organizations. These are organizations that provide addiction peer support as part of a larger mission that is recovery-oriented or is focused on another agenda of which recovery is an important part. Regardless of context, effective governance (on the part of the board of directors) and program oversight (on the part of representatives of the recovery community) is key, in order to create an organization in which peer supports can flourish.
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  • Management Systems

    Management systems provide a structure for doing things efficiently and effectively. The management systems for PRSS programs are much the same as those for any other organization--human resources, financial management, quality assurance. And yet, each system also has unique characteristics in the peer setting. The standards in this domain are used to examine how organizations balance the need for infrastructure and control (both for efficiency and as required by law) with the openness, transparency, and participation that are hallmarks of peer-led, peer-driven programs.
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  • Peer Support Capacity: Core Competencies

    In order to effectively serve individuals in and seeking recovery, peer recovery support programs must have the capacity to offer/deliver needed peer supports in their communities. There are specific core competencies for well-run peer programs that differ from other types of programs, including the capacity to engage in continuing community strengths-and-needs assessments and capacities related to program design, implementation, management, and evaluation.
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    CAPRSS holds monthly Learning communities and has a newsletter that goes out monthly to keep the community informed and up to date.

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