February 7, 2019

An Idea Whose Time has Come

Accreditation is not sexy. It’s not “fun.” It’s something that occurs in the background. But if you are having surgery, you may want to know that the hospital you are in is accredited. Because in the end, accreditation is an assurance of quality.

In 2016, the Ottawa Humane Society attained accreditation from Imagine Canada—the second, and still only one of two humane societies in Canada to do so. Imagine Canada accreditation requires that applicants achieve an advanced level of governance, management, financial, and human resources and volunteer management practices. I’m proud of this accreditation and if you support the OHS, you should be too.

Of course, Imagine Canada does not accredit any of our work with animals or in our community. This is a serious gap. But it is a serious gap that is about to be filled. Humane Canada (formerly the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) is undertaking the creation of an accreditation regime for humane societies and SPCAs in Canada, addressing standards in areas such as animal care, transfer, disease prevention and control, and community services. And for the past year, the Ottawa Humane Society has been at the table helping them do it. Last month, the OHS served as the test site for the new system and shortly, it will be piloted at other sites. It is a rigorous program. It needs to be. And we hope to be among the first to achieve the new standard when it’s launched.

Accreditation of humane societies and SPCAs is long overdue. Donors and those who use our services should have the means to easily and clearly identify organizations that provide quality services.  And organizations that are not quite there yet need a clear path to improve. Accreditation can do both.

Bruce Roney

President and CEO