Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Compass Initiative


The Compass designation is achieved by provider agencies which have demonstrated their ability to consistently provide quality supports and services that exceed minimal regulatory requirements.  This program was designed, in the 1990’s, by OPWDD and agencies who demonstrated dependable focus on person-centered processes which resulted in high levels of both health/safety compliance and valued outcome attainment.  As a result of ‘becoming Compass’, agencies were given the responsibility of performing robust self-survey processes which were, and are, annually validated by OPWDD. 

While the numbers of agencies which have received and maintained the Compass designation has declined over the interim, its inherent value to drive quality in the OPWDD system toward the empowerment of persons to achieve their goals, has had a formidable role in today’s changing service delivery system.  In the arriving CCO/MCO world of defining quality from the perspective of the chosen goals and services of the individual, Compass’ values are even more relevant.  Provider performance will be evaluated and made available to the public for persons to have more information with which to choose their services.  It will also provide a scheme by which agencies’ performance will inform OPWDD if they are able to become Compass designated and perform agency self-survey.  The alignment of the provider performance rating system with evaluation of Compass designation readiness makes the existing 3-tiered Compass application process obsolete.  OPWDD will continue to provide annual validation of Compass designation worthiness within the provider performance and recently revised survey protocol structures.