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  • Quality standards

    Quality standards form the cornerstone of CARF accreditation. Conformance to quality standards is a way to identify areas for improvement and growth and help the service provider focus on improved service outcomes, satisfaction of the persons served, and quality service delivery. Each standard sets a guideline for the subject addressed.

    The unique collection of standards in each standards manual composes a framework that builds upon your existing practices. Each manual includes quality standards for business practices, service processes, and specific programs and services. Standards provide a mechanism for continuous improvement to positively impact service providers and their consumers.

    CARF publishes standards manuals in the following areas:

    • Aging Services (including Continuing Care Retirement Communities)
    • Behavioral Health
    • Business and Services Management Networks
    • Child and Youth Services
    • Employment and Community Services
    • Medical Rehabilitation (including DMEPOS)
    • Opioid Treatment Program
    • Vision Rehabilitation Services

    CARF quality standards have been recognized as a roadmap for quality practices. With the rapid changes in health and human services, the standards assist a service provider in maintaining a leading edge.

    Each set of standards is developed with the input of providers, consumers, payers, and other experts from around the world. As such, CARF standards are "field-driven" and "international consensus" standards.

    Each year, CARF updates its standards manuals to ensure that its standards are relevant and guide service excellence. Often, the updates provide clarification in response to feedback received from the field. Occasionally, CARF will introduce or update a set of standards between printings of the standards manual. These mid-year changes may be posted online or be available through Customer Connect.

  • Group of youth volunteers

  • Suicide Prevention Resources

    CARF wishes to raise the bar for accredited organizations to ensure clinical and service workforce preparedness as it relates to suicide prevention. Following the 2016 publication of CARF's Quality Practice Notice on Suicide Prevention, CARF published standards for Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Programs and added screening for suicide risk to its assessment standards.

    CARF adds screening for suicide risk to its assessment standards
    Suicide risk screening requirement added to 2019 Behavioral Health and Opioid Treatment Program Standards Manuals.

    988 Messaging Framework
    CARF is a proud partner of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention supporting the implementation of 988, the three-digit dialing, texting, and chat code for direct connection to compassionate, accessible support for anyone experiencing substance use issues, a suicidal crisis, or mental health-related distress.


  • To purchase standards manuals, please visit our Online StoreNew window icon

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