Accreditation Standards

Get a copy of the accreditation standards and find out about how they were developed

About the accreditation standards

Accreditation standards are operating principles that organisations need to follow. This is to show they can deliver safe, quality services to their community (or communities) and government agencies. Accredited organisations must meet and follow the same accreditation standards. The standards are there to ensure everyone is treated fairly. 

Organisations are assessed against the standards that are appropriate for the services they deliver.

Levels of accreditation

Accreditation standards have 4 levels of accreditation. We use a levels framework to work out what your accreditation level should be. This will determine the requirements you must meet to gain accreditation.

Accreditation levels and how to find your level of accreditation

The types of standards

There are 2 types of standards:

  • Social Sector Accreditation Standards (SSAS)
  • Specialist standards

Each standard is broken up into criteria. Some standards have more criteria than others. Each criterion (one criteria) has guidance. This helps organisations to understand how to meet and follow the standards.

Social Sector Accreditation Standards (SSAS)

SSAS are the core standards that every organisation must meet to be accredited. 

You can read about the standards for each level and the guidance on how to meet them.

Specialist standards

Some organisations also have to meet specialist standards.

Specialist standards are for organisations that either:

  • deliver specialised services or programmes, or
  • are required to meet specific legislation or policies.

You can read about the specialist standards and the guidance on how to meet them.

History of the Social Sector Accreditation Standards

In 2015, the Government wanted to reduce compliance it placed on organisations in the social sector. It recognised that a consistent set of accreditation standards would help to achieve this.

Agencies across government took existing Ministry of Social Development standards and worked together to fine-tune them. Then they agreed on 10 Social Sector Accreditation Standards.

We have used these standards to assess organisations since April 2016.

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