Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Accreditation

COA Accreditation, a service of Social Current, is a leading option for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) looking to become accredited. We offer research-based and field-informed standards. In addition, our facilitative process helps organizations truly benefit from the accreditation process.

SAMHSA’s 2023 CCBHC Certification Criteria encourages states to require accreditation by an independent accrediting body as part of their state certification requirements.

As more states begin drafting their state certification processes and requiring independent accreditation, we can ensure CCBHCs meet that requirement and successfully implement and build upon the 2023 CCBHC Certification Criteria in key areas.

To learn more about how COA Accreditation Standards align with CCBHC Certification Criteria, download the COA Accreditation/CCBHC Crosswalk.

To learn more about how the COA Accreditation Standards align with the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care, download the COA Accreditation/CLAS Crosswalk.

Upcoming Webinar: Register now for our overview of accreditation for CCBHCs, June 12 at 1 p.m. ET.

How COA Accreditation Aligns With CCBHC Certification Criteria

COA Accreditation standards on client rights and service planning and monitoring are well aligned with the CCBHC person- and family-centered treatment planning core service. The standards put the person or family at the center of all service delivery decisions and ensure that services are responsive to their preferences, values and belief systems, and goals for care.  The standards recognize individuals and families as the primary source of information regarding their request or need for care and ensure that they receive all the necessary information to make informed decisions regarding the services and supports they wish to engage with.

COA Accreditation standards promote health equity through the promotion of culturally and linguistically appropriate practice and inclusive and accessible care. Key features of the standards that support implementation of this component of the CCBHC certification criteria include:

  • Collaborating with the community to address unmet needs and advocate for improved access to services including improved supports and accommodations for individuals with special needs as well as improved access to needed services for underserved or marginalized communities
  • Ensuring staff and governing body members reflect the demographics of the community they serve, that the board represents the interests of the community, and that they serve as an ongoing link between the community and the organization
  • Considering the social factors that can impact health outcomes such as housing, food insecurity, or systems involvement and incorporating those factors into assessments, treatment plans, and the ongoing delivery and monitoring of care
  • Developing a robust, sustainable, organization-wide quality improvement system that builds organizational capacity to leverage data to address health disparities
  • Designing and adapting programs and services to accommodate the diverse abilities and spoken languages of persons served
  • Training staff on cultural differences among the service population and how to provide culturally responsive services and create inclusive service environments

COA Accreditation seeks to promote whole-person wellness through its standards on integrated care and care coordination. These standards address key requirements in the CCBHC criteria including:

  • Facilitating access to, and coordinating delivery of, the full array of social services, behavioral health care, and physical health care
  • Establishing partnerships and coordination procedures with direct service providers in the community including hospitals, primary care providers, law enforcement, the courts, residential treatment providers, and crisis response providers
  • Offering primary care screening, monitoring, and health promotion activities designed to assist people in managing their chronic conditions and improving their overall health
  • Offering comprehensive transitional care to ensure that organizations have methods for tracking movement among providers so they can follow-up and support the successful engagement of needed services post-transition​ for people served by the CCBHC

The American Society of Addiction Medicine identifies ongoing maintenance medication with appropriate psychosocial treatment as the gold standard of care for opioid use disorder and, according to a 2023 National Council for Mental Wellbeing survey of over 300 CCBHCs, 87% of CCBHCs are providing some form of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder directly. COA Accreditation has best practice standards to recognize and accredit providers offering MAT in both office-based behavioral health settings as well as in SAMHSA Certified Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP), supporting improved access to quality programs offering this evidence-based treatment. COA Accreditation has been a SAMHSA-approved accrediting body for certified OTPs since the program’s inception in 2001 and has been accrediting office-based opioid treatment since 2021.


According to the National Council’s 2023 survey of CCBHCs, peer support specialists were one of the most frequently hired types of staff after becoming a CCBHC. COA Accreditation personnel standards on staff with lived experience focus on ensuring that staff with lived experience are appropriately included as partners on the team and that they are properly prepared and supported to fulfill their roles in the organization.

Additionally, for CCBHCs that are providing comprehensive peer-led services, ​COA Accreditation has been accrediting Peer Support services since 2015 and the standards were updated in 2021 to reflect current trends and evolving practices in recovery and peer support. The accreditation standards provide a framework for recruiting, training, and supporting peer support specialists and guide organizations in creating a safe, welcoming environment where individuals with lived experience can provide one another with emotional, informational, and practical support.

SAMHSA’s CCBHC criteria requires that services be highly accessible, particularly for underserved or marginalized communities. Organizations are expected to adopt telehealth and other technology-based service delivery models to improve the availability and accessibility of care.

COA Accreditation standards for the use of this technology help guide organizations in the adoption and use of telehealth services by addressing key indicators of quality such as training for staff and persons served; appropriately applying these options given the needs and preferences of the person or family; and key risk areas such as HIPAA compliance, disaster recovery plans, and conducting security risk assessments.

COA Accreditation significantly expanded its standards for Crisis Response and Information Services (CRI) in 2024. These changes included new content for mobile crisis response services and short-term crisis receiving and stabilization units to reflect the full continuum of crisis services being provided in CCBHC communities today. According to the 2023 National Council survey, CCBHC’s reported either adding crisis services or broadening the crisis services they were already providing as a result of certification with 29% reporting adding mobile crisis services and 16% adding crisis stabilization.

Join a Free Upcoming Webinar

Social Current is the premier partner and service provider to human and social service organizations, offering a range of services and learning opportunities, driving the future of the social sector through collaboration, policy, advocacy, knowledge exchange, consultation, training, certification, and accreditation.

COA Accreditation, a service of Social Current, is an independent, objective, and reliable verification that organizations and programs qualify for the confidence and support of their stakeholders. It provides a framework to manage resources, offer best practices, and strive for continuous improvement. This supports an organization’s sustainability, encourages its growth, and helps it to achieve measurable results.

We look at the whole picture.

Our private organization accreditation covers the entire agency. We look at both an organization’s programs and services as well as its administrative infrastructure, as both are critical to producing the best possible outcomes. We want to ensure that you have the internal support you need to best support the people you serve. By making accreditation a whole-organization process, you help to ensure that everyone – from human resources to finance to direct care and clinical staff – is working together to carry out your mission. Everyone becomes invested in best practices, and everyone benefits from them.

We’re powered by our community.

We strongly believe in grounding our process in our human and social services community. That is why we conduct our Site Visits and finalize accreditation decisions not with our staff, but with peer review volunteers. Our volunteers receive no compensation; they generously donate their time and talent and represent a pool of seasoned, skilled professionals in the field.

Our standards are field-driven.

Our standards are grounded in the belief that when organizations invest in strong management practices and understand and monitor the impact of their services, people benefit. Our multi-stage standards development and vetting process involves a diverse set of experts and ongoing feedback from those in the field. This ensures that our standards remain rigorous and reflective of current trends and best practices. It is also why we make our standards available on our website for free.

We are with you every step of the way.

Your dedicated accreditation coordinator will be there throughout to answer any questions and to collaborate with you to tackle the process at a pace that works for your organization.