January 30, 2015
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.