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(NAR) VOL. 11 NO.1 / JANUARY – MARCH 2000

[ DSWD DEPARTMENT ORDER NO. 01, S. 1996, February 14, 1996 ]


The following are the guidelines in the accreditation of social development and welfare services of government and non-government agencies.


The Department in fulfilling its mandate to accredit social development and welfare services of government and non-government agencies recognizes:

1.         A unified and coordinated approach to social development and welfare is needed. This approach will appropriately respond to the specific needs and interests of the groups in especially difficult circumstances as well as the general populace.

The groups in especially difficult circumstances are the: a) women, b) children and youth, c) persons with disabilities, d) senior citizens, e) victims of natural and manmade calamities f) families in the food and poverty threshold, g) individuals and families whose functioning is impaired due to psycho-social problems, h) communities in high risk locations, i) communities which are unable to access and manage basic services, resources and opportunities for growth and development including the indigenous people, farmers and landless rural workers, urban poor, fisherfolks, among others.

2.         Non-government agencies and other government agencies play a significant role in the equitable and responsive accessing of services and resources to achieve human development.

3.         The immensity, diversity and complexity of the needs and problems affecting the disadvantaged population requires the meeting of a set of standards by non-government and government agencies implementing social work services.

4.         It is important to insure that resources intended for social development and welfare services are used for the purpose. This will protect the interests of the disadvantaged population as well as the public and private supporters.

5.         Quality social development and welfare services are necessary to promote the well-being of the disadvantaged groups and enable them to join the mainstream of development.


The accreditation of social development and welfare services of government and non-government agencies is guided by these principles:

1.         Every person has inherent worth and dignity.

2.         Every person has the right to opportunities towards the fulfillment of his/her potentials. The society has the obligation to assist its members encountering difficulties or hindrances in realizing their full potentials.

3.         The coordination and sharing of resources, both material and technical among agencies is necessary for effective service delivery. Accreditation is a means by which the forging of partnerships between the government and non-government agencies may be achieved with the goal of human development.


The Department draws its mandate to accredit social development and welfare services from:

1.         Republic Act 4373. “An Act to Regulate the Practice of Social Work and the Operation of Social Work Agencies in the Philippines and for Other Purposes.” (1967)

2.         Executive Order No. 123. “Reorganizing the Ministry of Social Services and Development and Renaming it as the Department of Social Welfare and Development.” (1986)

3.         Executive Order No. 292. “Administrative Code” (1987) (Title XVI, Section 3, Powers and Functions of DSWD)


1.         Social Work Agency. This refers to a person, corporation or organization engaged in social development and welfare. It obtains its finances from any agency or instrumentality of the government and/or the community by direct or indirect solicitations and/or drives, and/or private endowment. (RA. 4373)

2.         Government Organization (G.O.). This term refers to an agency engaged in social development and welfare services that obtains its finances from the government.

3.         Non-Government Organization (NGO) or People’s Organization (P.O.). These terms refer to persons or agencies engaged in social development and welfare, supported by funds from the community or private endowment.

4.         Registration or Licensing of Social Work/Welfare and Development Agencies. This term means the satisfactory compliance of a non-government agency as defined above with the requirements set by Republic Act 4373 to operate as a social work agency. A certificate or license shall be issued to this effect by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The guidelines in the process of licensing are contained in Department Order 07, Series of 1995 (DSWD). The requirements for licensing as provided for in Republic Act 4373 are:

4.1.   The applicant must be engaged mainly or generally in social work activity;

4.2.   The applicant has employed sufficient number of duly qualified and registered social workers to supervise and take charge of its social work functions in accordance with accepted social work standards;

4.3.   The applicant must show a duly certified financial statement that at least 60 percent of its funds are disbursed for direct social work practice;

4.4.   The applicant keeps a record of all cases and welfare activities handled by it.

5.         Social Development and Welfare Program. This term means the combination of services designed to promote the development and welfare of a particular clientele group. These clientele groups may be: persons with disabilities; senior citizens; neglected, abandoned, abused, exploited children or those in especially difficult circumstances; youth; victims of natural or manmade calamities; families and individuals with psycho-social problems; families and communities in high-risk or disaster-prone locations; families or individuals in crisis; indigenous peoples; informal workers; landless farmers and rural workers; urban poor; fisherfolks; families in the food and family threshold and other disadvantaged groups.

6.         Social Development and Welfare Service. This refers to the series of activities that are undertaken under a specific social development and welfare program. These are designed to address specific needs or problems of a particular group in especially difficult circumstances. It utilizes any or an integration of the social work methods. These methods are social case work, social group work and community organizing.

7.         Accreditation of Social Development and Welfare Service. This means that a specific social development and welfare service is being implemented in accordance with accepted social work standards as assessed and certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.


Accreditation as referred to in this document covers the following:

1.         Social development and welfare service/s of non- government agencies licensed to operate by the Department;

2.         Social development and welfare services of government centers, institutions, branches or units including those of the Department.


A licensed non-government agency has three years from the date of issuance of its license to meet the minimum accreditation standards of its social development and welfare service/s. Failure to achieve accreditation of its social development and welfare service/s after three years will result in the suspension of the license to operate. In this case, the non-government agency will be given a one year grace period to work for accreditation.

If after one year of grace period, the non-government agency still cannot meet the minimum standards of accreditation, the Department will revoke or cancel its license.


A non-government agency with accredited social work services will have the following benefits:

1.         Eligibility to purchase or subcontract projects and/or services from the Department.

2.         Technical assistance from the Bureau/s concerned upon request or regularly as agreed upon. Technical assistance will be in the form of:

*           Technical Expertise

*           Program Materials

3.         Subsidy for program implementation depending on the availability of funds of the Department and the specifications of the Bureau/s concerned.

4.         Human resource development or training assistance from the Bureau/s concerned. Training assistance may be in any of the following forms:

*           Subsidy in Training

*           Program Materials

*           Technical Resource Persons


5.         Linkage to national and international networks of social work agencies by the Department for resource sharing and generation among others.

6.         Invitation/Recommendation to national and international conferences; consultations or dialogues regarding social work policies, services.

7.         Recommendation by the Department as representative in social work councils at the local, regional, national and international levels.

8.         Indorsement by the Department to qualify for Official Development Assistance (O.D.A.) and international assistance.

9.         Indorsement for duty-free importation of goods pertinent to the accredited service/s.

10.       Recommendation to avail of the Subsidized Power Rate Program (SPRP) benefits.


The following activities will be undertaken in the process of accreditation of the social development and welfare services of government and non-government agencies:

1.         Notification on Required Accreditation. Upon the issuance of a license to operate as a social work/welfare and development agency, the DSWD Field Office concerned will notify in writing the former that the next requirement for continuing operation is accreditation. The notification will include these information:

1.1.   The First Step in Accreditation: Written Application for Accreditation to the Concerned Bureau
1.2.   Three Year Period For Accreditation
1.3.   Result of Non-Accreditation.

2.         Endorsement of Licensed Non-Government Agency. The Public Affairs and Liaison Service of the Department will indorse the non-government to the concerned Bureau for accreditation. This will be done as soon as the license is issued. The indorsement will be supported by these documents:

2.1.   Manual of Operation
2.2.   SEC Registration, By-laws, Articles of Incorporation
2.3.   Work and Financial Plan (Current and Incoming Year)
2.4.   Profile of Members of the Governing Board
2.5.   Profile of Employees
2.6.   Annual Report (Latest Year)
2.7.   List of Children Served, Status Thereat (For child/youth caring/placing agency)
2.8.   Audited Financial Report (Latest Year)

This step does not apply to government agencies, institutions, centers and other facilities.

3.         Application for Accreditation. The licensed non-government agency will confirm its readiness to be accredited in writing to the Bureau concerned within one year from the issuance of a license. The application will be acknowledged within five working days after receipt by the Bureau. The acknowledgment will include the proposed schedule of the accreditation visit by Bureau staff.

In the event that a licensed non-government agency does not apply in writing to the concerned Bureau within one year, the latter will reach out to the former. The process of reaching out will include among others reiterating in writing the implication of non-accreditation. In addition, the non-government agency will be informed of the availability of technical assistance so that it can meet the accreditation standards within the three-year period of accreditation.

Government centers, institutions, branches, units implementing social development and welfare service/s will not apply in writing for accreditation. Instead, the Bureau/s will write the center/institution/branch/unit within their respective program/service concern to schedule the accreditation visit/s.

4.         Accreditation Assessment. The accreditation assessment visit will be conducted as per schedule confirmed by the NGO or government center/branch/unit. The assessment will be through the following activities:

>    Administration of interview schedule with: supervisors, implementors, beneficiaries and collateral informants
>    Review of program records
>    Review of administrative records
>    Program implementation site visit
>    Actual observation on the operations of child/youth facilities

5.         Minimum Standards for Accreditation and Rating System. The minimum standards and the corresponding point rating set in order for a social work service delivery may be accredited are:


Total Points

Minimum Points





40 points

30 points

Service Delivery

60 points

50 points


100 points

80 points

6.         Accreditation Assessment Results. The concerned staff will give an initial feedback on the results of the assessment conducted to the agency visited. The confirmation of the assessment results and recommendations will be sent to the agency within one month after the visit. The result of an accreditation assessment may be a recommendation for:

6.1.   Accreditation — An agency with service/s which meet/s the minimum standards will be recommended for the issuance of a Certificate of Accreditation particular to the service.

6.2.   Technical Assistance:

6.2.1.   Where an agency needs to improve its standards in service delivery based on the assessment results, technical assistance will be negotiated with the concerned Bureau. After the technical assistance has been provided, the concerned agency will have six months to upgrade its standards.

6.2.2.   Six months after the official recommendations were provided to the agency, a validation visit will be conducted by a Bureau staff. The purpose of the visit will be to look into action taken to upgrade operations based on the technical assistance provided.

The results of the validation visit will be communicated in writing within one month after the validation visit. The communication will inform the agency whether there is a need for continuing technical assistance, what areas have to be improved upon, if there are; or whether the agency has met the minimum standards for accreditation.

6.3.   Suspension of License to Operate — An agency unable to meet the standards of accreditation within three years after the issuance of its license will be suspended from continuing operations. The standards of accreditation depend on the specifications of each particular service. These are formulated through a continuing process of consultation with the non-government agencies concerned by the different Bureaus of the Department.

The notice of suspension will be in writing and signed by the Secretary of the Department.

Suspension will be for one year. This is the grace period for the agency to upgrade its standards in accordance with those set by the Department.

6.4.   Closure — An agency which does not meet the minimum accreditation standards even after the grace period of one year will be subject for closure. Its license to operate as a social work agency will be revoked.

The notice of revocation of license or closure of operations as a social development and welfare agency will be in writing and signed by the Secretary of the Department.

7.         Issuance of Accreditation Certificate. An agency with social development and welfare service/s found to have met the minimum standards for accreditation based on the accreditation assessment and validation will be issued a certification to the effect. The certificate will specify the service that is being accredited. It will also state the three year-period of effectivity. It will be signed by the Department Secretary.

8.         Monitoring and Technical Assistance. The Bureaus and the Field Offices will monitor and provide technical assistance to their respective agency/service areas based on a schedule negotiated between the parties concerned. The recommended frequency of monitoring and technical visits is once a quarter.

9.         Renewal of Accreditation. Accreditation is subject to renewal every three years. The agency will apply in writing to the concerned Bureau for renewal of accreditation. The Bureau will also notify the agency to renew their accreditation before it expires.

For strict compliance.

Adopted: 14 Feb. 1996


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