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The PDS Standards recognize four stages of development that PDS partnerships pass through: beginning, developing, at standard, and leading. Each stage of development is defined by criteria:

Beginning: Beliefs, commitments, and plans are consistent with the PDS Standards

Developing: There is evidence of partial institutional support for the PDS partnership consistent with the Standards

At Standard: The PDS partnership is integrated into the work of the partnering institutions and there is evidence of best practice

Leading: The work of the PDS partnership is generative, leading to systemic change