Good Services - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Good Services

What is Good Service?

PDD believes it is important for everyone to get good service. Any agency that PDD pays to help you needs to show that they do a good job. Every three years, each agency must meet the "Creating Excellence Together" (or CET) standards for good service. (That means they must prove that they give good service.) Trained staff from other agencies come and talk to some of the people who get services, their families and staff. They find out if the services these people get are what they want.

The CET standards are in 3 parts:

  • What a good life looks like
  • What good services look like
  • What agencies need to do for it to work well.

PDD uses the CET standards to say what is good service.

What to Do if You Do Not Get Good Service

If you feel that you do not get the kind of help you want from your staff, you can call Calgary PDD at 297-5011. Ask to talk to your Client Services Coordinator. Tell them about the problem and they will help you sort it out.

What PDD Says Good Services Look Like

Click on any ones you want to find out more about.

Standards for Good Service

Calgary PDD thinks it is important for everyone to get good service. Any service provider funded by PDD to help adults with developmental disabilities must meet the "Creating Excellence Together" (CET) standards every three years. Trained staff from PDD and agencies elsewhere in Alberta talk to some of the people who get services, their families and staff. They find out if the services these people get are what they want.

The CET standards were set by the Alberta Council of Disability Services (once called the Alberta Association of Rehabilitation Centres). Their standards are based on what Alberta self-advocates, families and agencies told them was important in services, as well as what other accreditation systems in North America include in their standards.

The CET standards are divided into 3 parts:

  • What a good life looks like (service outcomes)
  • What good services look like
  • What service providers need to do for the agency to function well.

Calgary PDD uses the CET standards to define good service. Here is what PDD says good services look like.


Staff help the individual feel where they live is really their home.

This is important if someone is paid to help individuals where they live. People should be able to decorate their space so it looks the way they want. They should have meals that include foods they like. Staff should respect individuals' routines and plans.

An individual should have as much say in the rules for the home as anyone else who lives there, and more say than staff, if the staff do not live there.

Individuals should have a say in who they live with and where they live. They should feel safe and comfortable at home.

Staff should not make individuals feel like a guest in their own home. Individuals should be able to go into any room of their home apart from their roommate's. Staff should not go into a person's room unless the person says it is OK. Individuals should have their own key or other way to get inside on their own.

Staff should not have rules that say a person cannot be at home during the day. They should be able to have family or friends visit them at home.

Choices and Decision-Making

Staff help individuals make choices about everyday things that fit what they want, like and need.

These can be things like

  • what to wear,
  • when to get up and go to bed,
  • when to eat and what to eat,
  • what to do that day and who to be with, and
  • what to buy with their spending money.

Staff should only help individuals make choices when they want or need that help. Staff who help should understand what is important to the individual. They should make sure individuals know what options are available, and how they fit with what the individuals like or need. Staff should explain everything in ways that the person understands.

Individuals should feel they can pick what they want, even if staff would choose something different. If individuals need help to act on their choice, they should be able to ask staff for help.

If individuals choose something that has risks, staff should help them plan how to deal with those risks.


Staff help individuals build strong, positive relationships with others.

Individuals should be able to spend as much time with family and friends as they want. If individuals need help to phone or visit them, staff should help.

Individuals have the right to pick their own friends. Staff can help individuals find good places to make new friends. Staff who help with jobs or volunteer work should help individuals make friends with the people they work with. Staff who help individuals at home should make sure they have time and privacy to meet with family and friends.

If individuals want to know more about friendship or intimate relationships, staff should help them find out more.


Staff help make sure individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

Everyone wants to be treated well by others. Staff should treat individuals with respect. Staff should listen and pay attention to what individuals say. Staff should not talk about individuals as if they were not there; they should include them in conversations.

You should feel as if staff see the individual's skills and good points, not just their needs or problems.

Staff should respect individuals' privacy. If individuals need help with personal care, staff should help in private and be gentle.

If others do not treat the individual with respect, staff should support the individual to change that.

Staff help individuals get their rights.

Adults with developmental disabilities have the same rights and responsibilities as other Canadians. The law says they can vote and practise their faith and culture. The law says individuals must not be treated badly because of their religion, sex, colour, family background or disability.

Staff should help individuals get their rights, if they need help to do so. Staff can support individuals to vote for whoever the individual wants to represent them in government. Staff should help individuals go to their own church, if they want to go.

Staff should help individuals learn about their right to fair treatment, and what they can do if something is not fair.

Individuals also have rights and responsibilities when they get help from agencies. Staff should tell you and the individuals about these rights and responsibilities in ways that are easy to understand.

If individuals do things that can hurt themselves or others, some agencies have rules that let them limit individuals' freedom to act (sometimes called "restrictive procedures"). Staff must explain these rules in a way you understand. They must make a plan with you and the individual that you both understand and agree with. The plan must say how they will help the individual NOT do the hurtful thing, and have a date for review of the plan. Staff can act without a plan in an emergency, like pulling individuals back to keep them from being run over by a car.

Personal Control

Staff help individuals control their own lives as much as they can.

No one has control over everything in their life, but individuals should be able to have as much control as they can and want and want to have.

Staff should help individuals be as independent as they can. They might do this by teaching individuals how to budget, plan their time, or take the bus.

If individuals need aids (such as wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids or computers that talk for them) to do things on their own, staff should make sure the aids work and that individuals know how to use them. Staff should make sure individuals can always reach their aids when they need them. The aids should help individuals have more control, not limit their freedom.

Community Inclusion

Staff help individuals participate in their community.

Individuals should be able to take part in their community, just like their neighbours, friends and others.

Staff should learn about individuals' interests and what they like to do. They should help individuals find places where they can do things that they like. If individuals need help to participate in community activities, staff should help them with that. Staff should help individuals meet or make friends with others in the community, if needed.

Work and Community Options

If individuals want to work, staff help them with a job that they like.

If individuals want to volunteer or learn new skills, staff help them with good places for those activities.

If individuals want to keep busy with things they like to do, staff help them with that.

We all want to do things that are meaningful to us. For some people, that means a paid job. For others, it is unpaid volunteer work. Others like to create art or do crafts. And some people like to take classes.

Everyone is different. Staff should find out what individuals like to do and what they are good at. Staff should find out how much individuals can do before they need to rest.

Staff should help individuals find out about work or activities that they like and can do. Staff should help find good places to do those things, and make sure people know what to do. They should help individuals get to know others in those places.

Staff should check with individuals later to find out if they are still happy with what they are doing.


Staff help individuals with fun things to do in their spare time.

Everyone needs free time to relax and have fun. Staff should find out what individuals like to do for fun or to relax. They should help individuals find things to do that they may enjoy. If there are things individuals want to try but there are barriers, staff should help individuals with these.

Individuals should not have to do something they do not enjoy just because others do.

Staff should help individuals have enough to do to feel busy, but not too busy.

Health and Safety

Staff help individuals take care of their health.

Healthy people can enjoy more of what life offers. Staff should know about any medical problems the individual has and any medicine they take for them. Staff should be able to help individuals understand their medical problems and the effects of their medicine or other treatments.

If staff help individuals with their medicine, they should know how to do it right.

Staff should help individuals learn how to stay healthy. But staff should respect individuals rights to make their own choices, even if those choices are not very healthy.

They may help individuals with doctor and dentist visits, if individuals want help. If individuals want staff to help them share medical information with others, staff should share information in a respectful way.

Staff help individuals stay safe.

Individuals should feel safe in their home and other places in the community.

Staff should know what support individuals need to be safe. They should try to help individuals learn how to stay safe around knives, fire, stairs, strangers and other things that can hurt them. Staff should make sure individuals know what to do in an emergency.

If individuals cannot manage their own safety, staff should have a plan for how they will keep the individual safe. That plan should not be so restrictive as to make individuals feel like they are in prison.

Staff help individuals be free from abuse.

There are many kinds of abuse. Here are some examples:

  1. Someone hits or kicks the individual.
  2. Someone says they will hit or kick individual, if the individual does not do what they say.
  3. Someone makes fun of the individual or says things that make the individual feel bad.
  4. Someone takes the individual's money or personal belongings.
  5. Someone touches the individual's private parts when the individual does not want them to.
  6. Someone keeps the individual from having things they need to be healthy, such as food, water, a safe home, clothes, or access to the bathroom.
  7. Someone gives the individual medicines they do not need.
  8. Someone takes away the individual's "privileges" or rights when the individual does something wrong, unless it is part of a restrictive procedures plan that you and they agreed to as part of services.

Individuals should never be abused by their staff, family, friends or anyone else. Staff should be trained to know about abuse and what to do about it. Staff should help you and the individual learn about different kinds of abuse and what to do.

If you or the individual tells staff they were abused by anyone, staff must report it. Someone must investigate to find out what happened. Staff should also do what is needed to make sure it does not happen again. Staff should make sure individuals get the help they need to feel OK again.

Agency Rules

Service provider rules must be fair to everyone. Here are some CET rules for services that are good to know.

  1. An agency must let you know what help they will give the individual. You and the individual should get a copy of their service plan and have a right to understand what is in it. The actions in the service plan should help the individual meet goals that they have said are important to them.
  2. An agency does not have to help everyone who asks for it. If they will not help the individual, they must tell you why. If you do not agree with their reason, you can ask them to reconsider. This is called an "appeal."
  3. If you or the individual have a problem with their services or staff, you have a right to ask the agency to fix the problem. Staff should tell you the agency rules for how to make a complaint. The steps should be easy to understand and follow. At most agencies, you would talk to the boss of the individual's staff. You can also call your PDD Client Services Coordinator at 297-5011 to help you sort out the problem with the agency.
  4. When an individual gets services, the agency keeps a file that has information about them. The information in the file tells them things that should help them give the individual better service. Agencies must let staff who work with the individual know about things in the file, so they can help the individual better. Agencies must not share file information with others, unless those people need to know in order to help the individual or be safe around them. Staff should ask the individual first if they may share the information with someone other than the individual. The individual has a right to see what is in their own file. They can also ask why some information is in their file.

What to Do if the Individual Does Not Get Good Service

If you feel that an individual does not get the kind of help they want from their staff, you can call Calgary PDD at 297-5011. Ask to speak to your Client Services Coordinator. Tell them about the problem and they will help you sort it out.

You can learn more about the CET standards at

Modified: 2012-10-23
PID: 15240