We're Accredited. What does that mean?

The Support Network is an accredited organization. Without understanding what accreditation is, the fact that we are accredited may mean little to you. Have a quick read forward to find out why accreditation is important.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation allows a program, service or organization to receive certification of competency or credibility, based on an established set of minimum and recognized standards in that field and it ensures the service provider is accountable for maintaining these minimum standards.

Why does it matter to me?

When people reach out for help, whether it is for medical reasons, legal advice, emotional support etc., most often they want to receive the best help or information there is. Accessing an accredited service is one way to ensure that you are receiving the best care.

For example, medical doctors are required by their profession to have a minimum amount of education and practical experience. They are expected to follow standardized procedures in order to be recognized, and to practice, as a medical doctor. And when you visit a doctor that displays their degrees in their office, you know that at the very least that they have met the minimum amount of education and practical experience needed to be a doctor.

This can offer you, as the consumer or client, more peace of mind when looking for a credible source for help. Choosing an accredited service provider assures you that the service meets or exceeds an externally recognized set of minimum standards of service. Most people feel more confident seeking help from accredited programs or services. 

Why aren’t all programs and services accredited?

The process of becoming accredited can be costly and time-consuming for the program or service provider.  There are certainly some credible and experienced service providers who have not yet become accredited.  It takes a significant commitment of time and resources to become accredited, and then a long-term commitment to maintain the accreditation status.

While many service providers initially pursue accreditation to increase credibility, most find the accreditation process itself to be an excellent learning and growth opportunity. The process supports them to identify competencies and strengths, as well as specific areas they can or must improve upon.  Once a program becomes accredited, it must continue to regularly review its practices, procedures and service standards to maintain that accreditation status. Many accredited programs also share ideas and best practices with each other, allowing for continued growth and improvement of service standards. 

What do you think? Does accreditation – having it or not – affect your choice in accessing community services?

To learn more about The Support Network's accreditation, visit our website here: http://www.thesupportnetwork.com/about-us/training-accreditations/
 Additional Support Network crisis services can be accessed through www.thesupportnetwork.com.