The EAPA-SA Standards document had been formulated by The Standards Committee of
EAPA-SA for the first time in 1999. Two revised editions have been developed since. Even
though the concept of standards originated in the USA, South Africa was one of the first
countries to follow suit in creating a formal framework of practice for employee assistance
The goal of this study was to explore the EAP practices of the members of EAPA-SA,
benchmarked against the different EAPA-SA standards, as part of the projected third
revision process. The project was conducted as part of a group research project launched
by four students, registered for a master s programme in EAPs offered by the Department
of Social Work and Criminology at the University of Pretoria. Each participating student
focused on a particular category of standards under the supervision of Prof Lourie
Terblanche who was previously President of EAPA-SA and the programme manager of
the mentioned master s programme.
The researcher studied the category of Implementation standards which consisted of
policy, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and the implementation plan. The findings
of this study are truly reflective of the stage of application of these standards in the country,
as the majority of responses were reasonably above the average percentile. This signifies
the seriousness of the members in distinguishing themselves as professionals in practice.
The evidence was witnessed and confirmed by the resounding responses of
acknowledging the existence of policy in the workplace, followed by the confirmation of
participation in the policy formulation. This behaviour indicates a grounded understanding
of the mandates of the EAPA-SA standards as the policy sets the tone of the EAP in an
organisation. The acknowledgement of covering all categories of EAP standards during the
development of SOPS by the members was another significant finding that gave evidence
that the members are ensuring the implementation of a well-rounded EA programme.
The researcher also found that a great majority of these members had an implementation
plan in place and that the plan covered all core technologies as prescribed by the
Standards of EAPA-SA.
The findings also unearthed the policy; the SOPs and implementation plan were not just
developed but the members followed through and revised all these sub-standards.
In summary, like any other growing profession there are still gaps that the researcher
identified in the minority of responses such as the non-existence of policy, the lack of
understanding of the difference between policy and SOPs, and the lack of existence of the
implementation plan. Recommendations were made to the EAPA-SA Board in order to fill
these gaps and to assist in updating the EAPA-SA standards.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2015.