What To Look for in an EAP Vendor

February 1, 1993
The success of your EAP depends in part on the competency of the people providing the services. Companies often lack the resources needed for a totally in-house program. Other organizations may have the resources but decide that their needs can be met more effectively by a vendor. If you decided on a vendor-operated EAP, how can you decide which one is right for you? Here are some questions to ask about an EAP vendor.

  • How long has the vendor been operating?
  • Are there any potential conflicts of interest, such as an affiliation with a hospital?
  • What's the vendor's reputation among its clients and among EAP professionals?
  • Does the vendor have offices in all or most of the locations in which your company needs services?
  • What kinds of employee problems can the vendor service?
  • How many sessions are provided by the program?
  • Under what circumstances does the vendor refer clients to an outside evaluator?
  • What follow-up services are provided to the client?
  • Is access by phone, face-to-face or both?
  • How long after contacting the vendor by phone can a client have an appointment?
  • Does the vendor have a hot line?
  • What does the vendor do to promote the program?
  • How are the counselors supervised?
  • Is the vendor able to coordinate the program with your company's health care benefits?
  • What kind of utilization reports and other feedback does the vendor provide?
  • How does the vendor evaluate itself?
  • How can the vendor's clients evaluate the program?
  • What's the vendor's data processing capability?
  • What type of training and staff development are provided?
  • How does the vendor deal with confidentiality?
  • What are the procedures for transfer of information to third parties, such as the company EAP coordinator, union representatives and supervisors?
  • What's the cost of the program?

SOURCE: Employee Assistance Professionals Association Inc.

Personnel Journal, February 1993, Vol. 72, No. 2, p. 51.