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How to Implement CARF® Updates

CARF® Standards Manuals are made available through the CARF® International or CARF® Canada Online Store in January each year. It is anticipated that CARF® accredited organizations will be meeting new or revised standards by July 1st of each year. There are several areas of your organization that may need to be addressed.

  • Which of your current documents need to be updated?
  • Are there any new policies and procedures or other documents that need to be written?
  • How will you track your document updates and reviews?
  • Will you need to implement new training standards? If so, will these need to be documented?

Update Annually! (More often, as needed)

Once you’ve achieved a three-year (Or, in the case of CCRCs, a five-year accreditation) decision, that doesn’t mean updating every three (or five) years! Your survey preparations can be relatively easy if you implement as each new manual is published and any supplemental changes that occur between manual releases. The new manual will contain a section that lists notable changes with a brief description. Accreditation Now provides a detailed analysis, in plain language, of notable changes that includes a list of your current documents which may need to be updated, a list of new documents that may need to be written, new document templates, and suggestions for implementation. While updating documents, this may be a good time to review any federal or local regulation changes that require changes in practice.

Organize Polices/Procedures, Plans and Other Documents

Policies and Procedures and other documents need to be reviewed regularly. Titling or tagging documents to include the corresponding section and number of the CARF® Standards Manual will make updating easier. If collaboration with other team members is required for updates, utilizing an online service, allows independent or group reviews and tracking to the final version. The Accreditation Now Manage Polices/Documents section provides all the features you want in a document management/dissemination system. Because it was designed specifically with CARF® accreditation standards in mind, the automated reports will provide your surveyor(s) with the precise information they need.


Current trainings may need to be updated and new trainings may need to be added on general topics. You will also need to train staff members on any policy and/or procedure changes. This can include group or one-on-one trainings for individuals. Many CARF® required trainings must also be documented. Accreditation Now provides prepared trainings as well as a Custom Training function that allows you to train your personnel on your specific policies and procedures. Supervisors may need additional training modules, to assure personnel adherence.

It is important that the new or revised standard is reflected in the day-to-day operation of your organization.

This content provided by: Accreditation Now, Inc.