- What is a standard?
- How are standards developed?
- Could you provide a brief explanation about the Standardization Collaborative?
- Who can participate in the Collaborative?
- Will I get remunerated for my time and expertise?
- What is the structure of the Collaborative?
- What are the key milestones of this project?
- If committees have started meeting already, is there still time to participate?
- Could you please explain how the 6 priority areas were developed, and what is the role of the working groups within this context?
- What is a Standardization Roadmap?
- How were the Co-Chairs identified for the working groups?
- With respect to the priority areas, could you please explain the meaning of “people with complex needs”?
- Could you explain more about what substance use workforce means?
- How will the new mental health and substance use standards be implemented?
- Could you please elaborate on conformity assessment?
- Will the standards also cover forensic mental health services under the Criminal Code of Canada?
- How much influence do the working groups have in the final standards? Are they just feeding into it, or do they comment on the final product?
- What are the requirements for participants to attend working groups?
- Are these standards related to Accreditation Canada standards in any way?
A standard is a document that provides a set of agreed-upon rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. Standards establish accepted practices, technical requirements, and terminologies for diverse fields. They can be mandatory or voluntary and are distinct from Acts, regulations and codes, although standards can be referenced in those legal instruments.
A proposal for a standard can come from an organization that has identified the need for a standard. The development process may use a pre-existing document or, if one does not already exist, it may begin the process of having a standard developed. Standards can be developed nationally or internationally.
- Nationally, SCC accredits Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to develop the National Standards of Canada (NSCs).
- Internationally, standards are developed by the technical committees and subcommittees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and IEC. Canada contributes to international development through its mirror committees.
A Standardization Collaborative is a platform that brings together a wide variety of stakeholders (such as policymakers, government officials, service providers, people with lived and living experience, etc.) to make sure that the standards being developed reflect these diverse perspectives. Among other things, the Collaborative will:
- Figure out what areas need to be standardized and put them in order of importance;
- Use consensus to decide on the content of standards-based deliverables;
- Give information and advice on the scope and detailed statements of work for the deliverables before SCC hires third parties to develop standards;
- Find key stakeholders and technical expertise to help with the standardization process.
The goal of this initiative is for SCC to work together with interested parties to create standards-based deliverables for mental health and substance use health services. Standards will help achieve consistency and trust in these services, improving quality and outcomes throughout Canada.
Standards are based on working together, being open, and coming to an agreement. As such, we are committed to making sure the Collaborative is represented by people from a variety of backgrounds. Accessibility barriers to participation will be accommodated upon request. To register, please use the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/YNR5VBW.
Standards development is pro bono work. However, for considerations of equity, SCC will compensate people with lived and living experience (PWLLE), indigenous partners, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, people with neurodiversity, members from marginalized communities, and more. Compensation will be provided for participation, expertise, advice, and direction in discussions about mental health and substance use as per SCC’s compensation policy. Decisions will be made with consideration of equity and budget allocations. Please keep in mind that an agreement must be concluded with SCC before compensation is offered. We have developed a compensation policy. For inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Collaborative has a Steering Committee, which consists of the Government Advisory Table and the Working Group Chairs Sub-Committee. There will be at least four working groups which will each focus on different priority areas; these working groups may be further broken down into task groups if necessary.
|Steering Committee||Develop a Standardization Roadmap; advise on a conformity assessment strategy and standards deliverables.|
|Government Advisory Table||Provide input from provinces and territories on standardization activities.|
|Working Group Chairs Sub-committee||Discuss Progress of Working Groups and cross-cutting issues.|
|Working Group 1 –Foundation and Integration||Define terminology for the Working Groups|
|Working Group 2 –Primary Health Services Integration||
Deliverable 1: Integration of Mental Health and Substance Use in Primary Care Settings
Deliverable 2: Digital Mental Health and Substance use Applications
|Working Group 3 –Integrated Youth Services||Deliverables 3: Access to Integrated Community-Based Services for Youth|
|Working Group 4 –People with Complex Needs||
Deliverables 4: Integrated Mental Health and Substance use health Services for People with Complex Needs
Deliverable 5: Substance Use Treatment Centres
Deliverable 6: Substance Use Workforce
|Spring 2022||Create the Steering Committee and hold the first meeting.|
|Spring 2022||Create Working Groups and Task Groups.|
|Summer 2022||Develop and confirm statements of work for all six standards-based deliverables to be created.|
|Summer and Fall 2022||Meetings of Steering Committee, Working Groups, and Task Groups to gather input for Standardization Roadmap.|
|Fall 2022 and Spring 2023||Public consultations on Standardization Roadmap.|
|Spring 2023||Publication of deliverables and Standardization Roadmap.|
The sign-up form for the working groups is now closed. Contact email@example.com to find out how you can still get involved.
9. Could you please explain how the 6 priority areas were developed, and what is the role of the working groups within this context?
The 6 priority areas were determined through the Government of Canada’s 2021 Budget, where mental health and substance use health were identified as key issues. This Collaborative will also develop a roadmap to explore other issues that need to be addressed. This approach will hopefully allow the standardization process to address gaps in other important areas.
The Collaborative will create what is known as a “Standardization Roadmap”, which will provide advice on how to effectively use standards to improve mental health and substance use treatment outcomes for Canadians.
The Roadmap will be led by SCC with close collaboration from the Steering Committee and working groups. It will serve several purposes:
- It will provide guidance to governments on how to use standardization tools to provide effective MHSU treatment options for Canadians;
- It will provide standards development organizations a clear picture of the standardization landscape today, including areas with adequate standardization tools available and other areas where more development is needed;
- It will provide private- and public-sector service providers with tools on how to measure the results of their treatment options, and pathways forward to get improved outcomes;
- It will provide the public with a clear picture of the standardization landscape today, and equip them with knowledge of where standards are today and where they will continue to advance in the future.
Overall, the Roadmap will gather input from everyone involved in the Collaborative and compile it in one clear document that will chart a course for the continued development of standardization tools to ensure Canadians have access to effective, reliable, community-focused, and world-leading mental health and substance use health services.
Our Steering Committee Co-Chairs identified leaders from diverse stakeholder categories as co-chairs for each of the working groups. The Co-Chairs were selected before the first meeting of each working group committee meeting. SCC is governed by inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility considerations, and we applied these principles to the selection process.
12. With respect to the priority areas, could you please explain the meaning of “people with complex needs”?
For this Collaborative, the definition of people with complex needs revolves around people who are experiencing mental health and substance use challenges, but who may have other complex needs and related factors. This may include:
- physical illnesses;
- a person’s living experience as a member of a marginalized community;
- a person being a victim of racism;
- a person from an immigrant background who may have experience with mental health and substance use in addition to a complex immigration process.
This priority area will focus on people who experienced various barriers in getting healthcare they need.
13. Could you explain more about what substance use workforce means? Is that training and skills for those working in substance use? Or is it substance use in the workforce?
The “Substance Use Workforce” priority area encompasses medical personnel and other professionals that are providing mental health or substance use health care.
The Collaborative aims to seek clinical guidance for providing evidence-based care. Individual medical personnel may not be fully aware of the latest knowledge, skills, and procedures in their practice, so standards can ensure that care provided is optimal and consistent.
14. What is the relationship between these new standards currently in development and the existing national standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace?
A standards collaborative generally begins with a scoping exercise to determine the existence of any similar standards, in order to avoid duplication and confusion within the system. Our goal is to build on previous work and experience to create new standards that would be used across Canada to deliver the same performance-based outcomes regardless of the service provider’s location.
Standards are voluntary unless incorporated into codes, laws, or regulations. The Government Advisory Table that exists within this initiative will assess how these standards could be used in provinces and territories. Their efforts will be aided by the conformity assessment pilot to determine a potential path for implementation.
Conformity assessment is the practice of determining whether a product, service or system meets the requirements of a particular standard.
Although standards can be used on a voluntary basis, in order to leverage the best practices provided in the document, conformity assessment provides an additional layer of trust. This Collaborative aims to develop a conformity assessment strategy and pilot projects to guide the potential certification or verification of mental health and substance use health services to ensure all Canadians receive high-quality care.
17. Will the standards also cover forensic mental health services under the Criminal Code of Canada?
This question would need to be discussed within the working groups. SCC’s role in the Collaborative is that of a neutral facilitator to enable the discussions of the working groups as they establish the scope of the standards that will be developed.
18. How much influence do the working groups have in the final standards? Are they just feeding into it, or do they comment on the final product?
The Standards Development Organizations developing the future standards will use the work of the working groups as the basis for these standards. Members of the working groups will also have the opportunity, if desired, to participate on the standards development committees.
Pending membership availability, anyone with relevant expertise can participate as a member of the working groups to represent their own perspective and interests. To become an official member, participants must sign a Code of Conduct, and review the Terms of Reference. Considerations for a balanced and diversity in stakeholder perspective are observed throughout the working groups’ overall work and activities.
As mentioned above, a standards collaborative begins with a scoping exercise to determine the existence of any similar standards. While we do not want to duplicate the already existing standards, there are instances when standards can be updated. For example, if the Collaborative decides that there are certain issues that have not been covered in an already-published standard, this would be a useful opportunity to provide relevant and timely feedback. We also want to ensure that we are including best practices for mental health and substance use health that have been developed across Canada at all levels, including provinces, territories, and municipalities.