The details are important.
Yesterday we published an article about the new independent credentialing organization ALFA is creating. I had some additional questions about what it will look like. I played a short game of phone tag with James Balda, the CEO of ALFA, before heading to Canada and we determined it made more sense for me to email him my additional questions.
Here are the questions and his responses:
- Who will be on the board of directors and how will they be selected?
To start, the Board is being pulled from the current ALFA Credentialing Committee. This will allow us to maintain continuity with the work that has been completed to date. The new organization, though, will have its own by-laws that establish a separate process for selecting Board members going forward to maintain independence and autonomy from ALFA.
- Will you include people from the not-for-profit side of the fence . . . if they are willing?
Absolutely. The need for a professional credential for the industry goes beyond tax status. It is about providing regulators and consumers with an ability to evaluate the leaders of senior living communities and to be comfortable in the knowledge that they have the training, skills, and education necessary to provide quality care to their residents.
- Do you see a way to bridge between LeadingAge, ALFA, and NCAL in this process? Yes, we will be working to get all industry stakeholders involved in this process and program moving forward.
- It looks like initially this will be about individuals rather than communities. I want to first confirm this is correct, then ask if there are future plans to credential or accredit individual communities?
This credentialing program is initially focused on professionals within the industry with a specific emphasis on Executive Directors of senior living communities. Other professional programs such as memory care and sales/marketing are on our road map for the future. The new ALFA is also looking at standards for communities themselves and we are working to further refine this concept over the course of 2015.
- Will the credentialing be open to any senior living provider or only ALFA members?
The credentialing program will be open to any provider. This is an industry initiative that leadership has deemed critical enough for ALFA to begin devoting resources towards
developing, however it is intended to lift all boats and promote the professionalism of the industry.
The way ALFA is approaching this could do tremendous things for the industry. Here is why this is so important:
- It is an opportunity for all of the big senior living trade associations to come together for the good of the industry. To stand and say this is what excellence looks like. This is what we are asking our members to do for the good of the nation’s elderly and for the good of the industry.
- It will take some time, but it will help protect senior living communities from charges that they are not providing adequate training for their teams.
- I appreciate that they are opening the process to the whole industry.