2022 Edition

Crisis Response and Information Services (CA-CRI) 3: Intake and Assessment

The organization screens and assesses individuals promptly and responsively to efficiently determine urgency of need and ensure access to needed services.




Crisis Response and Information Services operate as part of the community's crisis response system to provide immediate, dependable responses and reliable information to promote safety and stability for the individual in crisis.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • In a few rare instances, urgent needs were not prioritized; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Culturally responsive assessments are the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Urgent needs are often not prioritized; or 
  • Services are frequently not initiated in a timely manner; or
  • Applicants are not receiving referrals, as appropriate; or 
  • Assessment and reassessment timeframes are often missed; or
  • Assessments are sometimes not sufficiently individualized; 
  • Culturally responsive assessments are not the norm, and this is not being addressed in supervision or training; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Intake or assessment is done by another organization or referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information is present in case record. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • There are no written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.  
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Screening and intake procedures
  • Risk assessment procedures
  • Copy of risk assessment tool
  • Copy of comprehensive suicide risk assessment tool
  • Outreach and informational materials
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records


CA-CRI 3.01

The organization provides information about:
  1. hours of operation; 
  2. how to access the organization’s services; and
  3. whether crisis services have a particular focus (e.g. mental health or rape crisis intervention).


CA-CRI 3.02

Individuals are screened and informed about how well their request matches the organization’s services.
NA Another organization is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.

Fundamental Practice

CA-CRI 3.03

Prompt, responsive intake practices:
  1. gather information necessary to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary; and
  2. support timely initiation of services or an appropriate referral when individuals cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly.

Fundamental Practice

CA-CRI 3.04

An ongoing, rapid risk assessment is conducted in a culturally and linguistically responsive manner to determine:
  1. if the individual is in imminent danger;
  2. potential lethality including harm to one’s self or others and risk for suicide;
  3. the individual’s emotional status and imminent psychosocial needs;
  4. individual strengths and available coping mechanisms; and
  5. resources that can increase service participation and success.


Some crisis intervention services, such as mobile crisis units, should include a more thorough psychosocial assessment. This is likely to occur when the treatment provided is much more extensive including the prescribing of medication by a physician.


The Assessment Matrix - Private, Public, Canadian, Network determines which level of assessment is required for COA’s Service Sections. The assessment elements of the Matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.

Fundamental Practice

CA-CRI 3.05

The organization uses a comprehensive, evidence-based suicide risk assessment tool to assess the following when suicide risk is identified: 
  1. suicidal desire;
  2. capability;
  3. intent; and
  4. buffers/protective factors.