Compass is an OPWDD initiative that recognizes and promotes provider agencies that have progressed beyond minimal regulatory compliance and have achieved excellence in service delivery. Compass agencies engage their entire organization by encouraging service recipients, board members, management, and staff to work together in a person-centered environment with the goal of promoting and achieving valued outcomes for the people served.
The person receiving supports and services is the central figure in Compass. Empowerment of the individual, supporting their choices and preferences, and ensuring their overall satisfaction are the agency’s primary objectives. The person’s involvement in all aspects of the agency assists the agency in achieving the goals contained in its management and strategic plans. Compass also is increasingly focusing on developing methods to measure achievement of valued outcomes/person-centered outcomes in people’s lives.
Compass focuses an agency’s efforts on quality through ongoing internal assessment rather than external review. Instead of agencies concentrating their efforts on “passing” a periodic recertification inspection, continual review activities are conducted with the goal of identifying and correcting problems as part of an agency’s internal quality management (QM) process.
Participation in the Compass initiative involves a three-tiered admission process. As an agency demonstrates its ability to provide, monitor, and improve the manner in which it supports individuals in having their needs met at one tier, it works toward addressing the needs in the next tier. The agency, together with service recipients and families, works to become an agency with effective processes for ensuring that the people receiving its services have their physiological, safety, and security needs met, and are supported in developing meaningful relationships and valued roles. In addition, a participant in the Compass initiative is expected to strive for an agency culture that fosters innovation in the provision of supports and services that make the most of the capabilities and interests of the people served, and works to bring improvement to field of development disabilities.