The Standards

Standards are the core of an accreditation process. They can be seen as an external guide to assess the capacity and efficiency of a PRSS program. Programs that are applying for accreditation will be evaluated on the extent to which they can demonstrate their ability to meet specific standards,  through both self-evaluation and peer review.

CAPRSS employs a set of rigorous standards that come directly from the recovery community and reflect current practice in peer recovery support. Because of this strong orientation, they are best used as a guide from which a recovery community organization or peer program can conduct a self-inventory of how well it works by engaging in a reflective and participatory process.

To support this process, the CAPRSS standards focus on four areas:

  1. Principles: Elements that are often seen as intangible—principles, culture, and climate—and yet are known to have a significant impact on organizational success.
  2. People: People are the heart of peer recovery support services program; this area helps PRSS programs to examine how peer leaders and peer supervisors are recruited, oriented, trained, supervised, and developed, and policies needed to ensure a good environment for all staff—volunteer and paid.
  3. Practices: Organizational practices that are critical for organizational stability and success.
  4. Performance: Capacities that programs have to help people achieve and maintain recovery.

 There are 30 core standards, which are summarized below. 

Principles Domains

Recovery Principles, Culture, and Climate
RPCC-1.0 Core Recovery Principles The program is grounded in the values of the recovery community—both local community and the national movement.
RPCC-2.0 Core Recovery Culture and Values The program incorporates key practices that support and enhance recovery.
RPCC-3.0 Recovery Climate/ Environment

The program establishes a welcoming climate that is conducive to/facilitates personal recovery

Ethical Framework for Service Delivery
EFSD-1.0 Code of Ethics The PRSS program has guidelines, policies, procedures, and practices related to ethics that are consistent with recovery and peer values, protecting both providers and recipients of peer services.
EFSD-2.0 Ethics Training and Support The PRSS program ensures that training and guidance are provided on the implementation of ethical guidelines.
EFSD-3.0 Confidentiality The PRSS program has guidelines, policies, procedures, and practices related to maintaining confidentiality of personal information.
EFSD-4.0 Boundary Setting The PRSS program provides supervision, support, and learning opportunities to help staff and peer leaders address boundary-related conflict before, during, and after conflict happens.

People Domains

Peer Leader Development
PLD-1.0 Recruitment The program uses efficient and effective processes to recruit quality peer leaders.
PLD-2.0 Selection and Orientation The program has clearly defined processes for screening, selecting, and orienting new peer leaders to the PRSS program.
PLD-3.0 Training and Development The program provides each peer leader with training that to help them to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for their assigned job, to help them develop within the organization.
PLD-4.0 Retention The program has clearly defined methods for increasing peer leader retention.
Peer Supervisor Development
PSD-1.0 Recruitment The program uses efficient and effective processes to recruit quality peer supervisors.
PSD-2.0 Selection The program has clearly defined processes for identifying needed qualifications, screening, and selecting peer supervisors.
PSD-3.0 Training, Mentoring, and Support The program provides each peer supervisor with training and ongoing support that will enable them to acquire the knowledge, skills, experience, attitudes, and attributes necessary to effectively supervise peer leaders in a non-clinical context.

Practices Domains

GOV-1.0 Program Oversight The program oversight is inclusive of and responsive to local communities of recovery.
GOV-2.0 Board of Directors The board of directors is appropriately representative of and responsive to local communities of recovery.
GOV-4.0 Organizational Policies and Practices The board of directors ensures that the organizational policies and practices are consistent with the principles of good governance.
GOV-5.0 Community Linkages The board of directors facilitates linkages with other organizations that can strengthen the larger community’s network of support for recovery.
Management Systems
MS-1.0 Fiscal Management The organization is a good steward of financial resources, accountable to the recovery community, as well as funders and donors in its use of funds.
MS-2.0 Human Resource Management The organization uses best practices in human resources management to create a safe and healthy work environment.
MS-3.0 Quality Assurance The organization establishes ongoing, data-driven quality assessment and performance improvement processes and methods.
MS-4.0 Peer-compatible Record Keeping The organization establishes record keeping processes and methods that are compatible with peer-led efforts.
MS-5.0 Confidentiality of Records The organization establishes record keeping processes and methods that ensure compliance with state and federal regulations related to confidentiality and privacy.
MS-6.0 Participant Protection  The organization is committed to providing a safe, secure, and respectful environment.
MS-7.0 Cultural Competence The organization has clear goals, policies, and oversight practices to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate peer services.

Performance Domain

Peer Support: Core Competencies
PSCC-1.0 Determining Community Strengths and Needs The program uses participatory processes to assess community strengths and needs.
PSCC-2.0 Planning The program plans to offer PRSS that will have a measurable impact, based on community assets and needs.
PSCC-3.0 Offering Support The program is an opportunity-rich environment that builds individual and community strengths (recovery capital) and addresses individual and community needs.
PSCC-4.0 Supervising Peers Providing Services The program provides regular guidance, support, and skills-building through non-clinical supervision to all peer leaders, whether supports/services are provided at the program site or elsewhere in the community.
PSCC-5.0 Evaluating the Supports/Services The program uses evaluation data as a management tool.

Version 1.1 | Updated August 2014