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What it Means to be a Compass Agency

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By Marisa Geitner

Last month, our agency received the tremendous news that the Compass validation board had renewed our certification. This is now 21 straight years that we have maintained this validation, making us one of four organizations with this honor.

At this point, some of you are probably familiar with the process. Representatives from the Compass validators pore through a binder filled with documentation about our agency’s happenings and processes. This takes place six months before they even visit us.

Once here, they sit in on departmental and executive meetings to see how we listen to our workforce, our ideation process and how we collaborate to deal with challenging situations. They also conduct visits to our locations, interacting with staff and the people we support to gauge how we provide care and services.

However, I feel the need to stress again how important this validation is for our agency. To be a care provider in our industry, we need to prove that our agency is stable and that the services we provide meet the needs of the people we serve.

The Compass designation is awarded to agencies who have “demonstrated their ability to consistently provide quality supports and services that exceed minimum regulatory requirements.”

There are five criteria an agency must meet to earn validation:

  1. Documented commitment from leadership and management to embrace the Compass designation objectives.
  2. A Strategic Plan that emerges from the mission statement.
  3. A Regulatory Self-Survey Process.
  4. Demonstrated support for valued outcomes of people supported.
  5. The Presence of a Quality Improvement Plan.

Meeting all five takes the combined effort of everyone who works for our organization. I hope you share in my enthusiasm for having earned this validation again.