Compass Initiative


Compass Initiative… 

Compass is an OPWDD* initiative that recognizes and promotes provider agencies that have progressed beyond minimal regulatory compliance 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. Their involvement in all aspects of their care helps the agency achieve the goals in its management and strategic plans. 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 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 works with effective processes for ensuring that the people receiving services have their physiological, safety, and security needs met, and are supported in developing meaningful relationships and valued roles. A participant in the Compass initiative also strives for an agency culture that fosters innovation and works to bring improvement to the field of developmental disabilities.

Opengate has been designated an “Emerging Compass Agency” and will expend substantial effort to demonstrate that it has established the foundation to meet the five quality criteria of Compass to achieve full designation.

The first two criteria that need to be met are obtaining Board and management commitment and the creation of a Management Plan. When agencies are working on these criteria, they are considered to be at the level of a Candidate agency on the continuum toward Compass designation. Once OPWDD’s Division of Quality Improvement has validated that these first two criteria are met, the agency is designated an Emerging Agency; one that is actively developing a Self-Survey process to assure that state and federal regulatory requirements and quality expectations are met. An Emerging Agency is also creating and utilizing a continuous quality improvement process that identifies and evaluates key indicators of agency competence and quality in order to maximize quality of life satisfaction. Currently, only nine agencies in New York have attained the level of an Emerging Agency on the Compass continuum. After an Emerging Agency has successfully demonstrated to OPWDD that they substantially meet the five Compass criteria, they may be designated a “Compass Agency.”

* Office for People With Developmental Disabilities


Striving for excellence…recognized by New York State as an emerging Compass Agency


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