Development Process

The creation of standards and the revision of existing standards is a continuous process, impacted and influenced by:

  • On-going consultation with stakeholders
  • Feedback from persons served
  • Research into effective practice
  • Changes in legislation and government policy
  • Demands for greater accountability

Continuing Standards Development

A new edition of standards is developed and released every 4 years with amendments released annually to ensure the validity and on-going relevance of the standards. Necessary amendments are posted on the website as well as being directly communicated to organizations annually. Organizations are expected to fully implement the changes identified by the accompanying timeline. CAC provides as much notice as possible, though the implementation period for legislative changes can be much shorter.

The standards are developed and reviewed in consultation with a number of groups and individuals, including:

  • Service providers
  • Government representatives
  • Persons served
  • Representatives of Aboriginal and cultural communities
  • Domain experts
  • Community members

The development process is conducted over 4 years and involves a number of milestones.

Year One: Release
Year One in the standards development process begins with the release of the new set of standards. The implementation of the standards release is detailed below.


The selection of a date for release

Providing on-going information about the upcoming standards and release through appropriate communication methods, which may include targeted emails, the CAC newsletter, and blog posts on the website

Developing an updated Application and Agreement to be used as soon as the standards have been released to the public


During Release

Providing organizations with information about and training on the new standards, including important changes that have been made

Permitting an application overlap – immediately following the release, organizations are provided with 3 months in which they may apply either under the previous standards edition or the new edition; after 3 months, only applications under the new edition of standards will be accepted

Providing training to CAC volunteers – including reviewers, team leads, and committee members – on the new standards, including important changes that have been made



Providing increased support to organizations undergoing the new process in order to ensure they are successful

Year Two: Review
Year Two in the standards development process reviews the implementation of the new edition of standards, which includes:

  • Conducting targeted surveys about the new processes and standards
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of any new processes introduced
  • Making corrections in any necessary areas
Year Three: Update
Year Three involves the start of the development of the new edition of standards, using the information learned from the evaluation of the current standards, and includes:

  • Reprinting the current edition of standards with the amendments of the past 2 years
  • Recruiting experts and stakeholders in areas of interest of standards development
  • Conducting literature reviews in the area of effective practice models
  • Establishing working committees to prepare the new edition of standards
  • Determination, through stakeholder feedback and environmental scanning, if major changes will be required in the next edition of standards and if they will need to be piloted
Year Four: Complete
Year Four is the completion of the new edition of standards, which includes:

  • Incorporating all gathered feedback from communities, organizations, and individuals, as well as any changes in legislation and government policy into the new draft of the standards
  • Adding corresponding indicators to the standards
  • Developing a new edition of the standards to distribute as a draft version for review by stakeholders
  • Reworking and recirculating draft standards for final comments
  • Creating client tools (self-study guide, etc.)
  • Piloting the new standards with a select group of organizations under a specialized contract if deemed necessary during the environmental scanning phase
  • Submitting the final comments to the Process Review Committee for any additional recommendations
  • Ratification of the new standards by the Board of Directors
  • Releasing the new standards to stakeholders
Annual Activities
A number of activities are also conducted on an annual basis, including:

  • Monitoring changes to legislation and government policy
  • Surveying organizations about the current version of standards with a request for any additional feedback
  • Analyzing feedback from communities, organizations, and individuals
  • Providing the most recent feedback to the Process Review Committee for the development of amendments
  • Ratification of amendments by the Board of Directors
  • Releasing amendments to stakeholders
  • Listing the amended standards on the Annual Plan for Compliance and ensuring all organizations have implemented the changes to the amended standards