The role of a Peer Reviewer entails a responsibility to all the stakeholders who work with and/or require services from the organizations that COA accredits. A Peer Reviewer’s role is to facilitate the use of Contextual Accreditation™ by ensuring that the focus during the site visit is about that specific organization and its mission, history, leadership, culture, environment, resources, capacity, and, most importantly, the unique needs and aspirations of the people being served. Peer Reviewers conduct site visits for COA's Private, Public, and Canadian reviews.
The success of the COA’s site visit is highly dependent on the management skills of COA’s Team Leaders. It is the role of the Team Leader to collaborate with the organization and fellow team members to coordinate all site visit activities. The Team Leader is ultimately responsible for the team’s performance and assures that the team functions in accordance to the Peer Reviewer Code of Conduct. Team Leaders conduct site visits for COA's Private, Public, and Canadian reviews.
COA prides itself on the caliber of its volunteer corps. These volunteers are an essential component of the COA accreditation process. COA’s Child & Youth Development (CYD) program accreditation Endorsers make an extraordinary commitment to guarantee quality site visits. CYD Endorsers may be qualified to review one or more of the following types of programs: Early Childhood Education, After School and Youth Development programs. COA Endorsers are recruited and trained based on their experience in any one or more of these specific fields, education, and commitment to promoting quality. In addition to the interviews, record reviews, and observations they conduct on site, volunteers spend time becoming familiar with a program through a review of its Self-Study prior to a site visit. Endorsers may participate in site visits either on-site or as a Remote Endorser, where travel is not necessary.
When a team of Endorsers is sent to conduct a site visit, the team is headed by a Lead Endorser. The Lead Endorsers are senior reviewers who have extensive experience with accreditation and the site visit process, and have demonstrated a true commitment to the purpose and goals of COA Child & Youth Development program accreditation. The success of the site visit process is very much dependent on the Lead Endorser’s skills, professionalism and ability to collaborate with the program, as well as communicate with fellow team members and the program contact. Lead Endorsers are also qualified to conduct solo site visits for smaller programs.
The role of Hague Evaluators is to ensure that adoption service providers are provided with an objective and professional review of their programs and services based on the Hague Accreditation/Approval process, the Hague Treaty, Intercountry Adoption Act, the Hague Standards, and COA's Hague Accreditation/Approval policies and procedures.
The Lead Evaluator is an experienced Evaluator who leads the evaluator team through the Hague Accreditation Site Review Process and acts as the liaison between the team members, the agency, and COA.
Military and Family Readiness Reviewer
Military and Family Readiness (M&FR) reviewers are recruited, trained, and assigned to site visits whose family programming correlates to their specific experience and education. M&FR sites may include one or more of the seven types of family readiness services for which COA has standards. Each Review Team includes at least one Volunteer Reviewer that has military experience and familiarity. The Review Team is knowledgeable about the unique needs of the customers being served, while being mindful of military culture and the differences among service branches. In addition to the on-site interviews, record reviews, and observations conducted on site, the team becomes familiar with the family program through a review of the self-study prior to the site visit.
Military and Family Readiness Lead Reviewer
When the Volunteer Review Team is sent to conduct a site visit, the team is headed by a Lead M&FR Reviewer. A Lead Reviewer acts as the liaison between the Review Team, the Family Readiness program, and COA. The Lead Reviewers are senior volunteers who have extensive experience with the site visit process, are knowledgeable of the Standards for Military and Family Readiness (M&FR) programs, and have demonstrated a true commitment to the purpose and goals of M&FR program accreditation.
Child Care Reviewer
In partnership with the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Military Community and Family Policy, Office of Children and Youth, the Council on Accreditation (COA) conducts on-site peer reviews of child care centers in the private sector. The Child Care Reviewers evaluate the centers to determine if they meet the Department of Defense’s standards for health, safety, and quality.
Volunteer Advisory Committee
The purpose of the Volunteer Advisory Committee is to provide information, guidance, advice, and support to COA in order to develop, coordinate and enhance the site visit experience for all. The advice of this committee will not necessarily lead to policy change and/or decisions however it can serve to improve current and future COA policies.
Senior Fellows comprise some of COA’s most experienced volunteers, commission members, and present and former leaders from accredited organizations who are able to be “on call” to execute diverse accreditation-related tasks, which include but not limited to: training; technical assistance; mentoring and support of team leaders and volunteers; and being available for last-minute site reviews.
Accreditation Commissioners are a diverse group of qualified individuals with professional backgrounds that enable thoughtful and skillful participation in the accreditation decision making process. Commissioners review an organization’s response to site visit findings and COA recommendations to assess implementation of the standards and determine the appropriate accreditation decision. Each Commission Group is led by a Commission Chair who is nominated by their fellow Commissioners. Top Team Leaders who are also current or prior senior management from accredited organizations may be eligible to serve on COA’s Accreditation Commission.
Private Organization Accreditation
CSS Healthcare Services provides Community based health services to the young, the elderly and to Individuals with Developmental Disability. Founded in 1997, we have the ability to offer a variety of quality community-based services to our clients, which has greatly contributed to our growth and success.
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Ulysses Arteaga, L.C.S.W.
Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; EPPA; Marine Reviewer; Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader
The Consuelo Foundation 2012 Peer Reviewer of the Year, Mr. Arteaga conducts two to three site visits a year, often volunteering for visits that require a Spanish speaking peer.