CAC Standards

Our current version of the standards has evolved from a rich history of more than 40 years in partnership with individuals, groups of like-minded programs, and health and human services organizations. Since the release of the first version of standards, they have been developed, revisited, revised and are continually evolving in order to provide the most current best practice.

There have been many changes since the standards were initially developed, such as the broadening of the Program Standards to include a wider range of programs, reflective of our evolution from focusing solely on accrediting programs supporting children, youth, and families to a wider focus that includes adult and health programs. The Enhanced Designations were also created to allow programs to be recognized in their areas of specialty.

We also understand that different program types and communities have very different needs. To allow organizations to demonstrate the uniqueness of their programs, we have worked with many different stakeholders to develop standards that reflect their individual needs.

Community Involvement

It is extremely important that the standards are developed in partnership with our stakeholders. After all, we want to ensure that our standards are serving the needs of those who are using them.

Supporting the Community

We recognize that organizations range in size and complexity. Some organizations offer single programs and other offer multiple programs, some of which use the same staff, contractors and volunteers to provide services in more than one program area. We also know that people seeking services may choose to access only one service or program or may access several programs within a single organization or multiple organizations. To ensure that our standards address all of these organizational structures, our stakeholders are engaged at multiple levels in the community, including means as simple as surveys to having a number of committees with a wide variety of representatives, all of which impacts our standards. Our standards remain a living document, able to adapt to the changes that are an ongoing part of the sector.