Like many other jurisdictions, New South Wales has compiled a set of standards that programs have to meet if they are to be run with offenders. In 2003 CSNSW published these standards in the Strategic Accreditation Framework which draws on work in other English-speaking jurisdictions and sets out how program materials should be designed, how they should show evidence of being based on sound theory and how they should be implemented. Programs that meet these criteria are included in the Compendium of Correctional Programs New South Wales and are authorised for use with offenders.
The difference between the programs in the Compendium and any other group activities that offenders may attend is that offenders may be directed to participate in the Compendium programs as part of their case plan. By including programs in the Compendium, CSNSW indicates that it has subjected these to scrutiny and can vouch for their suitability as interventions that can reasonably be expected to contribute to a reduction in the risk of re-offending. In contrast, CSNSW does not make that claim for any program that is not included in the Compendium.