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The program standards provide recommendations for guidelines, policies, and procedures that victim-serving organizations should have in place, and identify ways of documenting and administering services. The program standards describe what should be accomplished by the program; it is up to the program to decide how it will achieve each standard. The program standards should promote thoughtful program-specific and community-specific consideration of quality service delivery. This approach reinforces the intended flexibility of standards, making them suitable to the philosophies, goals, and needs of different programs and communities. The program standards can be adopted by state, tribal, regional, and national organizations to guide improvements in service delivery and encourage communitywide quality and accessibility of victim services.

Each program standard has two parts:

  1. Standard statement. The standard statement outlines a clear expectation for the program. It is a written guideline that describes the program’s policies, procedures, rules, regulations, or other aspects of program functioning.
  2. Standard commentary. The commentary clarifies the intent of the standard by providing examples, including suggestions and nonbinding recommendations for achieving the standard.