ACDS COVID-19 Update: March 17
This email includes

  • ACDS’ COVID-19 related advocacy efforts: update on outcomes following yesterday’s meeting with the Service Provider Partnership Committee  

  • ACDS Operational and Program status as of March 17, 2020 
  1. The ACDS office remains open: we are committed to supporting you during this challenging time 
  2. Accreditation: CET surveys are suspended until the end of May 
  3. Training and Development: face-to-face training is cancelled until further notice

  • The ACDS office remains open: we are committed to supporting you during this challenging time 

  • Accreditation: CET surveys are suspended until the end of May 

  • Training and Development: face-to-face training is cancelled until further notice  

  • ACDS 2020 Annual Conference: the new conference dates are September 22-23, 2020 

  • ACDS Innovation Award 2020: deadline extended to August 10, 2020 

Message from Andrea Hesse:
ACDS’ advocacy efforts related to COVID-19  

ACDS is working hard to advocate for the required and proper supports for our sector during this unprecedented time. The Service Provider Partnership Committee (SPPC) met yesterday afternoon and discussed a number of issues related to the ongoing pandemic response and the challenges faced by agencies. These include challenges related to staffing, determination of essential services, flexibility in funding, extraordinary expenses, and the need for access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies.  
Some outcomes of this meeting include

  • An agreement that service providers are best positioned to determine essential and non-essential services for individuals at this time and should make these decisions and redeploy staff as necessary, and will have the flexibility to do so. Community and Social Services (CSS) will develop and distribute a provincial level communication affirming this approach as soon as possible this week. 

  • John Stinson, Assistant Deputy Minister, is going to explore any potential options for CSS to support the procurement of PPE, and other necessary pandemic related supplies and get back to ACDS. 

  • Service providers should create a budget mechanism for tracking increased expenditures related to supplies, as well as staffing costs directly related to COVID-19. This will facilitate the tracking and assessing of costs that will be necessary to facilitate any funding or extraordinary expenses. CSS is exploring options for creating funding options for these types of expenses. 

  • Contracts for 2020-2021 are expected to be completed as planned. 

  • The SPPC will be meeting weekly to address ongoing issues on Wednesdays and I will provide updates each Wednesday afternoon beginning this week, as well as ongoing updates from ACDS as needed.  

  • Please forward ongoing issues and concerns to me at, to allow us to address these in our regular communication with the Ministry. As well, please update us on the work you are doing to liaise with your regional PDD contacts.  

ACDS Operational and Program Status as of March 17
The ACDS Office  

Our office currently remains open and we are implementing best practices in the workplace as advised by health officials and the government. Many staff members are currently working from home, with full technological capacity to meet work demands and our commitments to our members and stakeholders. 

CET Accreditation surveys will be suspended until the end of May to limit demands on organizations at this time. Our Accreditation staff will be working on planning for rescheduling and prioritizing of surveys moving into summer and fall, and coordinators will be in contact with organizations scheduled for surveys in the coming weeks. Staff continue to complete final reports following recent surveys.   
Training and Development  

Until further notice, all face-to-face ACDS training programs are cancelled. We are working to increase the online course availability and will keep you informed as new options become available.  

For any questions or concerns related to Accreditation or Training and Development, do not hesitate to reach out to Clova Lehr, at or (403) 250-9495 ext. 229. 

ACDS 2020 Annual Conference: new dates
As announced on Friday, the conference has been postponed. The new conference dates are September 22-23, 2020. The conference theme, addressing timely and important topics, will remain the same: Innovate, Collaborate, Elevate: Realize the Possibilities. 

If you have already registered for the conference, your registration remains active and you do not need to re-register. If you would like a refund of your registration cost, please email:  to request a refund. Registration for the conference is currently closed and will re-open in the coming weeks.

ACDS Innovation Award 2020:
deadline extended 
We understand that our members are currently occupied with responding to new issues and challenges during this unprecedented time. The call for nominations for the ACDS Innovation Award 2020 has been extended to August 10, 2020.

Pandemic Planning for Our Members
ACDS members are encouraged to implement pandemic planning plans. The Calgary Region Service Provider Council has released the  Pandemic Planning: Collective Response Plan , and some members are sharing their plans as promising practices.

Click here for a link to the pandemic plans, and other resources related to pandemic planning.
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