CARF Accredidation

Cortney’s Place Day Program became “CARF” accredited through Marc Community Resources in 2014


About CARF

Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services in the following areas:

  • Aging Services
  • Behavioral Health
  • Opioid Treatment Programs
  • Business and Services Management Networks
  • Child and Youth Services
  • Employment and Community Services
  • Vision Rehabilitation
  • Medical Rehabilitation
  • DMEPOS (Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies)

CARF is an international accreditation and extends to countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The CARF family of organizations currently accredits more than 50,000 programs and services at 23,000 locations.

More than 8 million persons of all ages are served annually by 6,700 CARF- accredited organizations.

More About CARF

CARF is an independent, nonprofit organization focused on advancing the quality of services organizations use to meet the needs of individuals for the best possible outcomes.

CARF provides accreditation services worldwide at the request of health and human service providers. Whether you are seeking rehabilitation for a disability, treatment for addiction and substance abuse, home and community services, retirement living, or other health and human services, you can have confidence in your choice. Providers that meet our standards have demonstrated their commitment to being among the best available.

Structure of CARF

Eleven elected members of the CARF Board of Directors approve policies regarding standards development and the accreditation process and fiscal matters governing the operation of CARF. The board’s composition reflects individuals whose expertise, experience, and perspectives are invaluable to CARF’s business interests and success:

What is the CARF accreditation process?

The CARF accreditation process starts with a provider’s commitment to continuous improvement and culminates with external review and recognition that the provider’s business and service practices meet international standards of quality — with all the steps in between focused on optimal outcomes for the persons the provider serves and sustained organizational success. Achieving greater satisfaction for stakeholders, improved organizational efficiency and effectiveness, as well as an enhanced community image, are among the benefits of the CARF accreditation process.

The CARF standards have been developed over 40 plus years by international teams of service providers, policy makers, payers, family members, and consumers. The standards have also been submitted to the public for review to validate relevancy and ensure input from all interested stakeholders.

After a service provider commits to accreditation, the accreditation process begins with a thorough self-evaluation that applies the relevant CARF standards against the organization’s practices. Once the organization is in conformance to the standards, a request for a CARF survey is submitted at least three full months in advance of the desired date for an on-site survey. By the date of the survey, the provider should be in conformance with the standards for at least six months.

The survey team comprises industry peers who follow a consultative (rather than an inspective) approach in conducting the on-site survey. In addition to interviews of staff, persons served and their families, the surveyors observe organizational practices, review appropriate documentation, answer questions, and suggest ways to improve the provider’s operations and service delivery.

Following completion of the survey, CARF renders an accreditation decision and delivers a report that identifies the service provider’s strengths and areas for improvement and its level of demonstrated conformance to the standards.

To demonstrate its ongoing conformance to the CARF standards, an accredited provider completes a Quality Improvement Plan after receiving the survey report and submits an Annual Conformance to Quality Report each year throughout the accreditation term.


  • CARF accreditation can help your organization meet the challenges it faces in achieving quality outcomes for the persons you serve. Specific benefits that CARF accreditation affords a provider include:
  • Assurance to persons seeking services that a provider has demonstrated conformance to internationally accepted standards.
  • Improved communication with persons served.
  • Person-focused standards that emphasize an integrated and individualized approach to services and outcomes.
  • Accountability to funding sources, referral agencies, and the community.
  • Management techniques that are efficient, cost-effective, and based on outcomes and consumer satisfaction.
  • Evidence to federal, state, provincial, and local governments of commitment to quality of programs and services that receive government funding.
  • Guidance for responsible management and professional growth of personnel.
  • A tool for marketing programs and services to consumers, referral sources, and third-party funders.
  • Support from CARF through consultation, publications, conferences, training opportunities, and newsletters.

A recent study found the following average changes to CARF-accredited programs from before their first survey as compared to their latest survey:

  • 26 percent increase in persons served annually.
  • 37 percent increase in conformance to quality standards.
  • 37 percent increase in annual budget dollars.

CARF Updates: