When Standards and Accreditation are viewed and treated only as an externally imposed compliance requirement, responses within an organisation can range from reluctant acceptance to suspicion and defensiveness:
- the process and procedure can be seen to be taking advantage of voluntary board or committee members, demanding exorbitant amounts of time for little internal benefit, and taking staff time away from service delivery
- the culture and climate of the organisation can indeed be negatively affected.
On the other hand, when Standards and Accreditation are viewed and treated as an internal tool as well as an externally imposed compliance requirement, responses within an organisation can rise to embrace innovation at governance, management and operational levels of activity:
- the process and procedure can be used to improve and enhance the quality of decision-making throughout the organisation, clarify relationships, manifest philosophy, ensure access/equity/participation through community management, with needs-based planning leading to measurable outcomes for key stakeholders.
- the culture and climate of the organisation can indeed be empowering.
So, how can this hot topic best be handled?
When Standards are viewed as an internal tool – as well as an external compliance requirement – they can be used as a basis for:
- designing specific roles and role descriptions at governance, management and operational levels of activity,
- training needs analysis and design of training plans,
- setting priorities for the allocation of scarce resources,
- preparing case statements to attract additional resources,
- determining parameters for new initiatives, or
- strategic decision-making.
Standards and Accreditation go together – but has your organisation considered internal standards that are internally discussed, designed, introduced, monitored and reviewed only for internal use?