What are the Standards?

The ABLE Standards are a set of commitments agencies make when they apply to join ABLE. The Standards provide a framework for creating a culture of active bystandership within each agency. ABLE personnel regularly speak with agencies to provide support in the agencies’ training and implementation efforts. The Standards form the basis for those conversations. ABLE agencies must be genuinely committed to the ABLE Standards in order to remain in ABLE.

Why did the ABLE Team update the Standards?

Our commitment to helping agencies build robust cultures of active bystandership means that we are always learning and growing. Since the launch of ABLE in 2020, we have had the opportunity to work with agencies to learn how we can best support them in creating and sustaining meaningful cultures of active bystandership. The revised Standards reflect the lessons we have learned in our first two years implementing ABLE in agencies across the United States and Canada. We have coupled the revised Standards with an enhanced application process that is designed to prepare agencies to hit the ground running with ABLE training and implementation.

What are the requirements for agencies already participating in ABLE?

There are no new requirements for agencies that were accepted into ABLE prior to July 15th, 2022. The ABLE Team is confident the revised Standards reflect an opportunity for agencies to further strengthen the cultures of active bystandership they are building and sustaining. Therefore, we encourage any agency accepted prior to July 15th to commit to the revised Standards, but please note that this is voluntary.

What are the requirements for new ABLE agencies?

Agencies admitted to ABLE prior to July 15th, 2022 will commit to the existing Standards. Our Team encourages those agencies to commit to the revised Standards, as we feel they are more robust and will help agencies create the strongest possible culture of active bystandership. However, the decision to not commit to the revised Standards will not impact an agency’s application. Agencies may choose at any time after acceptance to ABLE to commit to the revised Standards.

Agencies admitted to ABLE on or after August 15th, 2022 must commit to the revised Standards and must submit their application via the soon-to-be-launched application portal.

How are the new Standards different from the existing ones?

The Standards have been reorganized into thematic and programmatic areas to more clearly lay out the commitments agencies are agreeing to and how they will be implemented. Specific, substantive changes include:

  1. The requirement to provide, at a minimum, annual written or in-person updates to the community groups who provided letters of support for the agency’s application;
  2. The creation of an implementation outline, to be developed into an implementation plan with ABLE’s support; and
  3. An internal communications plan regarding the agency’s wellness program, and a dedicated point of contact for the wellness program.

Additionally, we have removed the “pay it forward” standard, as we found it was leading to confusion. Our team is happy to facilitate any efforts to share instructors across agencies; however, those efforts must be coordinated through the ABLE Team and cannot be handled independently by the agencies. This allows us to ensure that all personnel receiving training are members of an ABLE agency (unless a clear and specific agreement in writing has been made with the ABLE Team).

I have a question not listed here; what should I do?

Please direct any questions to ABLE@georgetown.edu and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.