Community Oriented Programs Environment Scale


Author: Rudolf H. Moos

The Community Oriented Programs Environment Scale (CPES - formerly known as the COPES) measures client and staff perceptions of the program environment. As one of the Social Climate Scales, the CPES has been widely used in clinical settings and program evaluation. It helps to compare client and staff perceptions, to monitor program changes over time, and to promote program improvement. It also provides accurate information about perceptions of different programs and encourages staff involvement in program planning and design. It measures: involvement, support, spontaneity, autonomy, practical orientation, personal problem orientation, anger and aggression, order and organization, program clarity, and staff control.

The CPES has three forms. Form R (Real) measures a client and staff perceptions of the current program environment; Form I (Ideal) asks clients and staff to describe the type of program they prefer; Form E (Expected) asks clients and staff to describe their expectations for what the program will be like. All three forms (R, I, E) are included. Administration of a single form (R, I, or E) is counted as an administration, while administration of all three forms one time is counted as three administrations.

Copyright © 1974, 1988, 1996 by Rudolf H. Moos

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Features of the CPES

Purpose: Measure client and staff perceptions of the program environment.


CPES Form = 100 items

CPES Short Form = 40 items

Average completion time:

CPES Form = 25-30 minutes

CPES Short Form = 10 minutes

Target population: Individuals who are a part of a community treatment programs. Sixth grade reading level required.

Administration: For individual or group administration.

Uses of the CPES

  • Social climate research
  • Program evaluation


Relationship Dimension
These subscales assess how involved members are in the program, how much the staff support members and members support each other, and the amount of openness and expressiveness in the program.




Personal Growth or Goal Orientation Dimension

Autonomy: assesses the extent to which members are encouraged to be self-sufficient and independent.

Practical Orientation: reflects the emphasis on practical living and job skills and preparation for leaving the program.

Personal Problem Orientation: taps the extent to which the program seeks to increase members' self-understanding and insight.

Anger and Aggression: assesses the extent to which members are encouraged to openly express their feelings of anger.

System Maintenance Dimension
These dimensions measure the extent to which the program functions in an orderly, clear, organized, and coherent way.

Order and Organization

Program Clarity

Staff Control

Sample Items

The items are worded as if the respondent is currently in the community environment. True or False:

1. Members put a lot of energy into what they do around here.TrueFalse
2. The healthier members here help take care of the less healthy ones.TrueFalse
3. Members tend to hide their feelings from one another.TrueFalse

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