|CEAPA Standards & Guidelines
A. POLICY INTENT:CEAPA is representative of the Canadian EAP community and is committed to addressing relevant issues as they arise across the country.
The Executive, through its Standards Committee, will research and develop Standards and Guidelines on timely issues to serve as a framework for the various EAP's to use in their worksite.
The Standards Committee will develop the Policies primarily through tele-conferencing/electronic communication and they will be adopted at the biannual CEAPA meeting in Ottawa (starting in November, 1997), as long as these gatherings exist. Where urgent Policies need to be endorsed, the CEAPA Executive will endorse these through a teleconference.B. REVIEW PROCESS:All policies are able to be brought up for review at the biannual meetings, by any CEAPA member in good standing requesting a review through sending a request to the CEAPA President.
In conjunction with the following practice guideline, personnel and their employees should be aware of and adhere to the standards of their respective provincial or territorial "Occupational Health and Safety Act" and abide within these guidelines.
Every occupation has its own unique set of safety issues. Employee Assistance personnel are placed in a wide range of practice settings, some of which may be directly or indirectly hazardous or injurious. A proactive approach entails developing an awareness of the different environments within which you are placed and for the employer to be aware of potential risk situations and prepare contingencies should they arise.
2. Each employer should have in place a fire procedure policy and all staff (full time, part-time, contract) should be verified and aware of their responsibilities regarding personal and client safety.
3. Whenever possible there should be two staff members present on site, particularly after regular business hours.
4. On site staff should notify security when working off hours, including evenings and weekends.
5. Off site personnel, when visiting a work site, should inform security of their presence on site, especially when visiting or working outside of regular business hours.
6. A schedule of off hours practice times should be posted so that staff are aware when others are working.
7. A buddy system for staff should be implemented with emphasis placed upon those working outside of regular working hours.
8. All staff should have a secured office and a secured entrance and exit.
9. Employee Assistance personnel should only be required to meet with clients in their home under special circumstances.
10. Employee parking should be well lit and located in a highly visible area. Whenever possible parking should be in a secured lot, especially if it is underground.
11. Staff should have access to a cellular/digital telephone if their responsibilities include travelling to different work sites or office locations.
12. All staff should be covered by their provincial or territorial Workers' Compensation Act for any work-related injury, illness or disabling accident/event.
1. Harassment is one or a series of unwanted, and/or unsolicited remarks, behaviours or communications in any form based upon a prohibited ground of discrimination, which has the effect of:
a) creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive psychological or emotional climate of work;
b) undermining work; and/or;
c) preventing or impairing full and equal enjoyment of employment.
2. Each employer should have in place a policy outlining a definition of harassment by clients or other staff members.
1. All new employee orientation should include information on personal safety, fire safety and harassment.
2. A manual should be prepared and distributed to all staff (full-time, part-time, contract) outlining the organization's policies and procedures on personal safety, fire safety and harassment.
Members of CEAPA shall abide by its Practice Guidelines, in particular Section 3.3 on Statement of Ethics and Section 4 on EAP Characteristics.
Professional Misconduct for CEAPA members means that an individual or organization has violated the Association's Practice Guidelines.
A member who is found in violation of these guidelines shall be subject to action of the Board of Directors.
Procedures for Review of Complaint:A complaint against a member shall be submitted in writing to the CEAPA President. The President shall designate an appropriate investigating committee (or refer to Standards Committee). The Committee shall review the complaint and determine if a hearing is required into a formal complaint.
Within 30 days, The Executive/Standards Committee shall prepare a recommendation to dismiss the complaint, to educate the member to the CEAPA Practice Guidelines; or to suspend CEAPA membership for a determinate period, with training conditions.
As you are aware, the practice of auditing employee assistance programs is a relatively new development in the EAP industry. The following standards are intended to provide some guiding principles to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are protected, including the plan sponsor (i.e., the organization and/or its unions), the employees covered by the program, as well as the EAP service provider.
A third party audit is an independent and objective review of an EAP provider's delivered services over a specified historical period of time.
AUDIT PROCEDURES:Periodic third party audit of employee assistance programs should be recognized as a legitimate program review activity and as part of an on-going evaluation process to foster service accountability, due diligence, and program development.
3.2 The auditor's access to client records is limited to the scope defined in writing and as agreed in advance by informed client consent (i.e. for the strict purpose of verifying client eligibility for services).
3.3 Client consent to release information for the purpose of pursuing audit objectives must not be obtained retro-actively.
3.4 Components of files or records must not be copied and/or removed from the EAP provider's location(s) being audited.The audit firm and/or its designated auditor(s) should limit its/their audit activities to areas of demonstrated professional competence.
The EAP service provider should be prepared to cooperate to facilitate the auditor's review as part of its regular Contract Management activity and without extraordinary charges to the plan sponsor.
Poor documentation can lead to client negligence and malpractice. Having no formal documentation does not protect the client, and can place the practitioner in jeopardy as they have no evidence to support their actions.
The client records should include the following:Initial contactClient personal information (name, phone #, address, demographics, workplace)Assessment of presenting problemTreatment plan and outcome, reason for selection of treatment modalityReferralsDates and summary of all contactsSigned consent formRelease of informationConsultations with other professionalsFee informationTermination agreementFailure to keep adequate records may be grounds for professional misconduct.Maintenance of Files
There is a responsibility on the part of the practitioner to maintain the files in a secure manner. If they are stored electronically, care should be taken to ensure security with passwords. Also care should be taken to backup files to discs, these should be stored under lock and key. All paper records should be stored in a locked filing cabinet with access restricted to the practitioner. Any confidential information that is discarded should be shredded. Client files should be kept for the time specified in applicable provincial legislation. EAP client files should be kept separate from any company, personnel or medical files.Release of Information
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) it is discriminatory practice for an employer, employee organization or organization of employers:to establish or pursue a policy or practice, orto enter into an agreement affecting recruitment, referral, hiring, promotion, training, apprenticeship, transfer or any other matter relating to employment or prospective employmentthat deprives or tends to deprive an individual or class of individuals of employment opportunities on a prohibited ground of discrimination.
Under the CHRA:
*Employees have a duty to accommodate individuals with a dependence, short of undue hardship.Members of CEAPA shall abide by its Practice Guidelines, in particular Section 3.3 on Statement of Ethics and Section 4 on EAP Characteristics.
DEFINITIONS:Safety-Sensitive Positions/Jobs - can be described as those posing great risk to oneself, co-workers, the public, environment. These tasks/jobs/duties may vary from company to company. Safety-Sensitive Position(s) within the organization must be clearly identified, defined and known by all parties concerned with the daily operations of the company. All employees are required to be fit for duty at all times, a basic requirement of the position/job during their shift. Some companies limit the category to those with a key and direct role in the operation where performance can impact safety for oneself...and that are significantly unsupervised with limited opportunity for operational checks. Still others extend the category to include those whose decisions or actions may affect safe operations (risk sensitive positions). Examples of such positions/jobs may include:Airline Industry: pilots, certified aircraft technicians, ground support staff, equipment handlers, loadmasters, weight and balance planners.
Substance Abuse Professional - The Department of Transportation (DOT) rules define the SAP to be a licensed physician (Medical doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy), a licensed or certified Psychologist, a licensed or certified Social Worker, or a licensed or certified Employee Assistance Professional. In addition, alcohol and drug abuse counsellors certified by the National Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counsellors (NAADAC) Certification Commission, a national organization that imposes qualification standards for treatment of alcohol-related disorders, are included in the SAP definition. In Canada this may also include the Addiction Intervention Association (A1A). All must have knowledge of and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse-related disorders (the degrees and certificates alone do not confer this knowledge).
In addition to understanding substance abuse-related disorders, SAP's must understand the U.S. rules and their role under them. Refer to SAP qualifications according to Canadian Motor Carrier Consortium - consistent with U.S. requirements.
There are growing concerns and questions from Canadian Labour Groups, Corporations, Health Professionals, Civil Rights Organizations, Federal and Provincial governments, as well as EAP service providers regarding the 1991 "Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act" (and subsequent amendments) on drug testing in safety-sensitive positions that have been passed by the DOT in the United States of America.
To date, the primary focus of these laws is the Trucking Industry. However, there is absolutely no intention by the U.S. government to extend their requirements to any other mode of transportation. It is clearly understood that non-compliance to these laws will result in severe penalties up to and including loss of operating authority into the United States. The penalties are against the company - not the driver.
SAP Role and Responsibility:
The SAP's fundamental responsibility is to provide a comprehensive face-to-face assessment and clinical evaluation to determine if the employee needs assistance resolving problems associated with alcohol use or prohibited drug use.
If the employee is found to need assistance as a result of this evaluation, the SAP recommends a course of treatment with which the employee must demonstrate successful compliance prior to returning to safety-sensitive duties. Treatment recommendations can include, but are not limited to: in-patient treatment, partial in-patient treatment, out-patient treatment, education programs, and aftercare. Upon the determination of the best recommendation for assistance, the SAP will serve as a referral source to assist the employee's entry into an acceptable treatment or educational program.
The SAP shall have a working knowledge of quality programs and qualified counsellors as well as insurance, benefit plans, and payment requirements. In addition, the SAP, when possible, should be cognizant of the employer's policies regarding payment for treatment, on-duty-time treatment programming, and the granting of administrative, sick and/or annual leave for both in-patient and out-patient treatment.
Return to Safety-Sensitive Duties Protocol:
Prior to the employee's return to safety-sensitive duties, a SAP - in collaboration with the treatment centre - is required to determine if the individual has demonstrated successful compliance with recommendations of the initial evaluation. This evaluation serves to provide the employer with assurance that the employee has made appropriate treatment progress. The SAP also directs a follow-up testing plan for the employee returning to work following treatment. The number and frequency of such tests are clearly outlined by the DOT guidelines.
Substance Abuse Policies, Employers and EAP's:
Client records and statistical reports should never have names attached and/or become part of an employee's personal/work file. Thus, CEAPA recommends that Ethical standards for EAP's be followed and adapted for the SAP service provider.
a) Contract - Ad Idem (Reliance and Consent)b) Tort - The Duty to Warn and the Duty to Protect (1974, 1976 Tarasoff v Board of Regents of the University of California)*The only other act of authority that can supersede any EAP policy is that of a Court of law under the power of a subpoena.
One of the basic principles in all EAP policies is confidentiality. The principle of confidentiality requires that NO information of a personal nature be shared with anyone without the expressed written consent of the client. However, a person's right to confidentiality is negated when a direct threat (real or perceived) is made to the safety and security of oneself, children, general public, state/government, and the Crown. Also behaviours related to the safety within the workplace and to others could negate confidentiality.
CEAPA recognizes that breaching confidentiality under the above mentioned conditions applies equally to EAP practitioners, Peer Referral Agents, Medical professionals/Practitioners, and Addiction Counsellors. However, the SAP confidentiality issues are much different than the EAP, peer agent, medical practitioner, etc. The employer gets more information from the SAP because the individual being assessed has broken the rules, is at risk of losing their job, and the SAP assessment is one part of their condition of continuing employment.SUMMARYIn conclusion, CEAPA is aware of the many concerns being raised by those in the Human Services profession regarding the recent passage of legislation by the DOT in the USA and its impact on Canadian Industry. Also, as there is no regulating body governing this new (SAP) designation within Canada, CEAPA strongly recommends that individuals entering this field be well prepared and adequately trained.
Note*** There are clear differences in the roles and responsibilities of EAP's and SAP's as defined in their contractual commitments. They are two separate functions and should be performed by separate individuals. Many EAP providers have decided not to provide SAP services to ensure their historic function is not compromised.top of page
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