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Standards & Accreditation


Gain national recognition for your senior center

NCOA’s National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) offers the nation’s only National Senior Center Accreditation Program.

To advance the quality of senior centers nationwide, NISC developed the program with nine standards of excellence for senior center operations. These standards serve as a guide for all senior centers to improve their operations today—and position themselves for the future.

More than 200 senior centers have been accredited, and many more are in the process. See the current list of accredited centers.

Why get accredited?

Improve your organization

The accreditation process improves and strengthens overall senior center operations. It results in official recognition that a senior center is meeting its mission in a nationally accepted, professional fashion.

Connect to the community

During the self-assessment process, staff, participants, board members, aging service agency representatives, and the community come together to look at the senior center and compare it to the standards that have been established by NISC. Together, the center and the community identify strengths and areas that need improvement and develop a strategy. Many centers report that this has led to funding opportunities, new collaborative partners, and an increase in programs or participation.

Develop a plan for the future

Throughout the process, centers have access to a specially designated accreditation hotline to get the information and guidance they need to develop a vision for the future. They are provided with a written strategic plan, and receive technical assistance in determining outcome measurements to improve overall senior center operations.

Enhance your center’s image

Accreditation creates an opportunity to establish your senior center’s position as a leader in positive aging. You can use this national recognition strategically to heighten awareness of the importance of your center and showcase your excellence to funders, participants, families, and other key people in your community. Collectively, accreditation raises the bar for all of us. It legitimizes senior centers as professionally managed, relevant, and vital resources for older adults.

What senior centers are saying …

The most rewarding benefit of accreditation is the process and an action plan for achieving a bright future.

Christine Beatty, Madison, WI

It portrays the senior center in a positive light in terms of being a viable, fundable, and qualified provider of services within the community.

Dr. A. Eugene Smiley, NISC past-chair

I love being able to say that we are nationally accredited and first in the state. Our organization’s accountability and quality of services was proven.

Pat Branson, Executive Director, Senior Citizens of Kodiak, Inc.

Questions?

Contact the NISC Accreditation Office: