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Performance and Certification Standards: Statewide Policy Implications November 7, 2002. Dick Hall – Capital Area Asset Building Corporation (CAAB) Jan Huneke – Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). Voluntary Certification Standards. For Individual Development Account Programs.

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performance and certification standards statewide policy implications november 7 2002

Performance and Certification Standards:Statewide Policy ImplicationsNovember 7, 2002

Dick Hall – Capital Area Asset Building Corporation (CAAB)

Jan Huneke – Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)

voluntary certification standards
Voluntary Certification Standards

For Individual Development Account Programs


Seven Basic Principles

  • IDA Programs should be accountable to accountholders and all stakeholders
  • The certification system should help the field by fostering high quality and attracting funding and other partners without suppressing innovation
  • The system should be flexible to allow change and refinement and to recognize diversity in the field – encourage learning and change in the field and not locking in current practice

Seven Basic Principles

  • The field is young and much is unknown about best practice and as a result the standards should not be narrowly prescriptive
  • The system will work best if it is voluntary
  • The system should be affordable
  • The system should facilitate the start of an IDA program by allowing commitment to the principles of good practice as a basis of provisional certification
  • Undertaken to strengthen field and foster growth
  • Initial draft presented at 2000 IDA Conference
    • 600+ attendees’ feedback solicited
  • Diverse national task force assembled
    • Conference feedback examined and incorporated into 2nd draft
  • 2nd Draft widely shared with comments solicited
    • Posted on IDANetwork; 3,000 people notified via Assets Newsletter; direct mailing to 1,250 stakeholders
  • Task force processed additional feedback, issued subsequent drafts – current Spring 2002

Quality Standards

Purposes: Protect the promise

Promote quality

Identify quality programs

Encourage innovation

Increase investment

Level: Basic - Not best practice

Types - Provisional 0 - 12 months and

Operating 12 months +

Duration - 3 years

Measurement - 6 areas of operation



Full Disclosure Agreement - states all program conditions expectations, roles and responsibilities of program and participant

Uses: Flexible

Match Adequacy: Sufficient to leverage purchase

Cost of asset

Realistic saving goals

Match Approval: Written approval

Timely manner

Security: IRA eligible, insured

Statements: Quarterly - savings, interest, match



Match Funds: Equal to 80% maximum contingent liability

Room for attrition and unmet goals

Program Funds: One year banked or committed and a fundraising plans for future and lost funding



1. Adequate Staff


1 Staff per 50 accounts

2 Staff per 100 accounts

Additional FTE per each additional 100 accounts


Staffing plan that reflects staff coverage for all phases of program implementation

Collaboratives, partnerships, or multi-site roles of organizations included



2. Experience/Training

Either one year of prior experience in IDA program management or training and/or formal TA

3. Networking/ Learning

Learning Conference

Learning Network (

Other conferences, meetings, listserves


Organizational Stability

1. Organizational Experience

Experience serving similar populations

Fiscal Agent unqualified audit by CPA

Less than 2 years old without audit, should contract for fiscal agent services

2. Partnership/Collaborative Agreement

Written agreement with goals, roles and responsibilities


Organizational Stability

3. Written IDA Program Plan

Written program plan updated annually

Should address all program issues

Should be accessible to all stakeholders

4. Written Policies and Procedures

Day to day operations, ie. income guidelines, enrollment, handling of missed deposits, etc.

Must be provided to all staff


Asset Training

1. Basic Personal Financial Management Training

Training that covers all aspects of financial literacy as specified

2. Asset Specific Training

Training on homeownership, business start- up or post-secondary education/training


Management Information System and Reporting

1. MIS Required

Monitor and report on demographics, savings, asset purchases and financial and operational aspects of the Program. (MIS IDA or equivalent)

2. Annual Reporting

Written annual reports to public and Certification Review Board on number of accounts open, total and average monthly savings, etc. using standard format




Certification Website

“Yellow Book” Auditor

Audit Module

Back-Up Documentation

Certification Review Board




Annual Reports using Audit forms demonstrating consistent maintenance of quality standards

Filed with Certification Review Board


Annual Report suggests decline in standards

Corrective Action Plan should accompany the filing of a new annual report within 60 days


Audit Process

Documentation and Files

Full Disclosure Agreement

Partnership/ Collaborative Agreement

Policy and Procedure Manual

Staffing Plan

Participant Handbook

Comprehensive Proposal/ Business Plan

Program Budget

Bank Agreement


Audit Process

  • Application Form and Fee ($200.00 )
  • The Auditor
  • “Yellow Book” Auditor - Grant Thornton
  • Review documentation, files, and staff interviews
  • Auditor Feedback
      • Objective observation of program
      • Audit Module reflecting evaluation of each standard
      • Audit Memos
      • Management Letter

Audit Process

  • Certification Review Board
      • Submission of Management Letter to an objective body made up of key stakeholders
      • Independent decision making body
  • Corrective Action Plan
      • If management letter reflects deficiencies, program can decide not to submit to the Board
      • Develop a Corrective Action Plan addressing deficiencies
      • Auditor may review changes when implemented and issue a memo on the Corrective Action Plan indicating compliance with standards
      • Resubmission to Certification Review Board

Audit Process

  • Certification Award
      • Issued by Certification Review Board
      • Good for three years supported by positive annual reports
      • Certified programs will be published with list of endorsements on-line and in Asset Newsletter
      • May be displayed at Program site

Next Steps

1. Pilot Program - Closely monitored pilot with 25 sites

2. Modify and Improve - Standards and Process

3. Develop list of endorsements

4. Develop Certification Website

5. Hire staff to manage ongoing implementation and

improvement process

6. Full Scale Launch to the Field

statewide policy implications
Statewide Policy Implications
  • Benefits and Challenges of Performance/Certification Standards
  • What Standards are Currently Being Used?
    • How are They Being Used?
  • What’s Working/What’s Not?
  • How do Changes in Delivery Models and Products Impact the Use of Standards?