The National Health Council (NHC) demands the highest standards of accountability and ethical practice from its patient advocacy group members, also known as voluntary health agencies, to assure the public that these organizations are worthy of support.
The NHC requires that its member patient advocacy organizations comply with the Standards of Excellence Certification Program®. The 38 Standards cover the areas of governance, human resources, programs, fundraising, finance, accounting and reporting, and evaluation. In addition, there are 10 minimum Standards that all patient advocacy organizations must meet before they can apply for membership.
These Standards are completely aligned with, but more stringent than, the Standards for Charity Accountability adopted by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and are also consistent with Independent Sector's Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice.
New members have one year from the time of membership approval by the NHC Board of Directors to comply with all Standards and existing members are reviewed every three years. Similarly, a period of one year or less is allowed for members to come into compliance with newly adopted or revised standards.