Program Certification & Network Options

While the primary mission is to support fully certified START programs, there are other options available for programs who are interested in becoming part of the START network. Accreditation through the National Center for START Services can take the shape of full START Program Certification or approval as a START network provider. 

National START Program Certification

Full fidelity to the START Model

Certified START Programs meet all fidelity requirements outlined in the table below. Certified START programs demonstrate exemplary knowledge of, and service to people with IDD and MH needs and their systems. They have a network of partners and active involvement with community stakeholders. They actively collect and report data in the SIRS system, and use it to make individual and programmatic decisions. Their partnership with the national team helps to improve the START model as a whole. All research with regard to promotion of evidence-based practice is based on the work of certified START teams. Obtaining program certification takes approximately four years to complete, followed by annual QA reviews, ongoing participation in the PLC, and SIRS data entry and analysis.

Programs Based on the START Model

Quality clinical services approved program provider, not a START program

At the onset of the work with the national center the provider and the national team will work jointly to design a program that meets the goals of local funding sources and stakeholders, with elements based on the START model. All programs based on the START model employ an approach that fits the philosophy and practices of Certified START programs and may include training in coordinator certification for staff. Program design and implementation takes approximately two-three years to complete, followed by annual QA reviews of coordination, training and clinical practices to assure adherence to quality best practices utilized through START. 

START Network (PLC) Partner

A third option for those interested in learning and implementing best practices in the mental health aspects of IDD is to be a member of the START National Professional Learning Community (PLC). This does not allow for approval or accreditation, but allows for a state/region to learn more about best practices in the field and strategies to apply such practices.

On the following page, two tables outline the necessary elements of the START model and the requirements for Certified START Programs, programs based on the START model, and START network partners. Additional information regarding each of these elements can be found in this START overview along with START manuals and program certification materials in limited availability upon request.

Clinical Team

Elements of the START Model

National Certified START Clinical Team

Program Based on the START Model

START Network (PLC) Provider

Applies START evidence based practices with fidelity to the START model

X

 

 

Applies practices based on the START model

 

X

(optional)

Access to START trainings/curriculums 

X

X

Some*

Use of the SIRS database  (required)

X

 

 

START coordinator certification

X

X

(optional)

Proficiency in the use or START sanctioned tools (required)

X

(optional)

 

Research toward evidence based practices

X

 

 

Quality assurance and training ongoing

X

(optional)

 

*As determined for the project

 

Therapeutic Supports/Resource Center Model

Elements of the START Therapeutic Supports/ Resource Center Model

National Certified START Clinical Team

Program Based on the START Model

START Network (PLC) Provider

The program meets the fidelity for START certified Resource Center/therapeutic supports

X

(optional)

 

Services based on the START model

 

X

 

Training on and use of standardized, START endorsed assessment tools

X

(optional)

 

Use of START endorsed admissions and discharge protocols

X

(optional)

 

Therapeutic milieu provides therapeutic group activities, uses positive psychology and strengths-based approaches

 
X

 
X

 
X

Designated planned and emergency beds

X

(optional)

 

Length of stay is short term

  • planned=avg. 3 days/month

  • emergency= avg. of 2-3 weeks (less than 30 days)

 

X

 

 

Connection to START clinical team services

X

(optional)

 

Director of center is a certified START coordinator and is trained in providing outreach to families and systems of support

 
X

 
(optional)