☰  Menu

Accreditation: from a healthy skepticism to a positive experience

Quality assurance of social counseling organizations make professionals and social enthusiasts wonder. How can organizations be accredited without turning the workflows upside down? RådgivningsDanmark takes that into account in their certification process, which makes room for differences between the social counseling organizations. They offer an assessment of counseling work and a quality stamp, while strengthening and further developing the quality of the counseling service. Niels-Christian Bilenberg from CfDP has just completed the auditing program at RådgivningsDanmark and is now a part of their audit team, which quality-checks counseling organizations seeking accreditation. Read about his thoughts and considerations before and after the program.

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages
Over the years there has been a debate about the pros and cons of accreditation in both health and educational field, and now the turn has come to the social counselings. RådgivningsDanmark has developed an accreditation system that contains both a quality model and an accreditation process. The model contains five points (academic access, competencies, performance and target audience, values, ethics and legislation as well as management and involvement) that underpin the quality standard of social counseling (read more about the system here).

Accreditation has given Niels-Christian Bilenberg a lot to think about: “My first thought was probably what is it and why should we do it? And I believe there are many people out there who feel the same way.” Niels-Christian explains that the sincere desire to make a difference goes against quality assurance. That’s the reason behind his own skepticism. It is contrary to the heart of a social worker. However, as a recently graduated counseling auditor (auditor with professional experience from a counseling office), he now sees accreditation process in a completely different light. It has given him a personal and professional boost, as well as inspiration from other counseling organizations, that he can contribute with at Center for Digital Youth Care.

What is a Counseling Auditor? (auditor with professional experience from a counseling office)
The counseling field works with a large number of factors which can make it difficult to measure a counseling offer.
For example:
• The effect and quality of the individual situation will be a subjective assessment of counselors, consulters, management, collaborators and others.

• Working with a vulnerable and sometimes completely anonymous user group, where you cannot ask the youth about their experience with the counseling they have received.

• There may be special challenges in terms of recruitment and continuous replacement of counselors for those who work with volunteer counselors.

In order to ensure an accreditation process that takes these factors into account, RådgivningsDanmark has chosen to always include an auditor with experience from the consulting industry. In addition, it must be an auditor who is still active in the field. The main task of a counseling auditor is to act as a link between the measurable requirements of the accreditation system and the way in which each counseling works, as well as understanding and describing themselves.


Accreditation – What’s in it for me?

As an organization, one gets the opportunity to have their practice looked carefully through, according to the previously described factors (the five points) agreed on by the industry association, describing good quality in the counseling field. As it is a special accreditation model developed by and to RådgivningsDanmark’s member organizations, quality assurance is guaranteed for the practices.

Accreditation is a quality stamp, but the internal process of accreditation may even have a higher value: “I’ve done accreditation at another organization and it was a really positive experience! They had a good process where they talked the whole organization over, both structure, goals, workflows and volunteer management. The internal process will clearly increase the quality of their work” says Niels-Christian. According to him, the best thing about the accreditation system is room for differences, so the organizations are assessed on the basis of the same criteria, although there are very big differences between the member organizations and the way they work.

CfDP is currently not accredited: “We will definitely do it in the future. We are currently awaiting clarification on whether CfDP should be accredited as the main organization or it’s the individual counseling services, such as Cyberhus, Netstof and MitAssist, under CfDP, that should get accredited individually” concludes Niels-Christian.

Skriv ny kommentar

Vil du modtage CfDPs nyhedsbrev?

Nej tak