American Society of Addiciton Medicine

Level of Care Certification Program™

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The ASAM Criteria®

Level of Care Certification Program™

Addressing the addiction health crisis by establishing processes for validation of addiction treatment program capabilities, building industry transparency, and increasing patient confidence in treatment services. Currently covers adult residential programs at levels 3.1, 3.5, and 3.7 of The ASAM Criteria®.

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level of Care

The ASAM Level of Care Certification Program™ provides an independent assessment of a treatment program’s ability to deliver services consistent with The ASAM Criteria®. Delivered in partnership with CARF International (CARF), is the first program of its kind to independently assess and verify treatment programs’ capacity to deliver services consistent with the level of care standards described in The ASAM Criteria.

Increasing patient access to evidence-based addiction treatment is critical to overcoming the devastating and deadly challenges of addiction. The ASAM Level of Care Certification gives patients, loved ones, payors, and regulators the knowledge that a given treatment program is capable of administering evidence-based addiction treatment that is appropriately matched to a patient’s individual needs.

Certification currently covers adult residential programs at levels 3.1, 3.5, and 3.7 of The ASAM Criteria.  The ASAM Level of Care Certification will expand levels of care in the near future.

Read the 2020 announcement here.

2023 Rating Element Updates 

To develop updated rating elements, ASAM and CARF completed a review of over two years of data from the ASAM Level of Care Certification. Based upon an analysis of the data, several elements were updated to reflect advances in practice and foster more comprehensive and effective adoption of existing ASAM Criteria rating elements across 3.1, 3.5, and 3.7 levels of care.

The changes are made in alignment with the guiding principles of The ASAM Criteria and support the expansion of patient-centered care, the individuation of treatment planning, and access to medications for addiction treatment.

As programs begin to prepare for initial LOCC certification or recertification, they are asked to review the updated rating elements here.

2023 Rating Element Updates are effective January 15, 2023



Certification Preparation Resources


The ASAM Level of Care Certification Manual describes the level of care standards derived from The ASAM Criteria, the rating elements that will be assessed during the certification survey, and the policies, procedures, and systems a program should have in place to meet the standards. View>>


The ASAM Level of Care Certification Preparation Workbook outlines the rating elements that will be assessed by certification surveyors and provides a template for programs to conduct self-assessments to identify strengths and areas for improvement. View>>

The ASAM Level of Care Certification Training Modules are designed to guide attendees through the standards and rating elements, and describe the path to achieving certification in their organizations, with guidance on avoiding common pitfalls. View

The ASAM Criteria

The ASAM Criteria textbook is the authoritative source of standards for multidimensional assessment, patient placement, and level of care service characteristics in addiction treatment. Purchase the textbook

ASAM Level of Care Certification demonstrates a program’s capacity to deliver a specific Level of Care, thereby differentiating between the many Levels of Care available for addiction treatment. ASAM Level of Care certification will initially cover adult residential programs at Levels 3.1, 3.5, and 3.7 of The ASAM Criteria. Certification covering adolescent programs, co-occurring enhanced programs, and programs at other Levels of Care may be developed in the future.

Providers of residential substance use disorder services may submit applications directly to CARF seeking certification for Level 3.1, 3.5 and/or 3.7. CARF will conduct onsite surveys to evaluate the providers’ satisfaction of rating elements applicable to the applied-for Level(s) of Care and issue an independent certification decision. This independence ensures there will be no conflict of interest when treatment programs operated by ASAM members apply for certification.
Apply here

To be issued certification, programs must demonstrate during survey the presence of rating elements sufficient to satisfy the proprietary scoring methodology, including but not limited to the presence of all “defining elements” – those certain rating elements that are crucial to the operation of all treatment programs or are a hallmark of a particular Level of Care. Once certified, programs must promptly address any deficiencies in a plan of action submitted to CARF and annually attest to continued satisfaction of the applicable rating elements. To maintain uninterrupted certification beyond the three-year term of certification, programs must timely apply for and successfully complete a recertification survey.

What Certification Means for Patients, Providers, and Payors:

The ASAM Level of Care Certification program benefits patients, clinicians, treatment programs, and payors:

When patients and their loved ones see the ASAM Level of Care certification seal, they will feel secure in knowing that the treatment program is equipped to deliver the evidence-based treatment needed..

Treatment programs already capable of delivering the evidence-based care outlined in The ASAM Criteria will receive well-deserved recognition for their commitment to helping patients. Treatment programs seeking to improve so that they are capable of offering evidence-based care will be able to turn to ASAM for assistance. ASAM offers publications and trainings to help treatment programs craft and implement policies and procedures that will help them achieve this goal.

ASAM Level of Care Certification will help to differentiate between various levels of residential care that are often grouped together as one. As such, this certification provides an independent assessment of the services that treatment programs are equipped to provide. Payors may use this information to reduce prior authorization requirements, structure reimbursement models, or create centers of excellence for addiction treatment. Above all, certification will provide a method for ensuring that patients enter treatment programs that are equipped to deliver evidence-based care.

Find a Certified Treatment Program

Access the level of care you or your loved one deserves. Find a certified residential program that meets your needs and is certified to deliver the appropriate Level of Care.

Visit CARF's provider locator and search "ASAM" to find all certified programs. To find treatment programs capable of delivering a specific level of care, use the advanced search feature to select the appropriate level of care from the "Program" drop down menu.

If your program is not currently certified at a certain level of care, this does not necessarily mean they are not equipped to deliver it, but that they have not gone through the certification process. However, ASAM Level of Care Certification is the only way to be certain that a program has this ability. As more programs become certified, they will be added to this provider locator tool.

ASAM Level of Care Certification Consulting Services

ASAM has partnered with:

Train for Change Inc. is a trusted training and consulting organization, to provide consulting services for the ASAM Level of Care Certification delivered in partnership with CARF International. Services provided by Train for Change Inc. are tailored to the organization with the goal of guiding and supporting successful conformance with the rating elements and standards necessary to achieve the relative level(s) of care certification(s). 

Health Management Associates, Inc., (HMA) is a full-service healthcare consulting firm with a dedicated team of substance use disorder,  quality and accreditation, and behavioral health experts to successfully guide clients through the level of care certification process.

Simplifyance is a mission-driven team of behavioral healthcare compliance professionals who provide consulting services for the ASAM Level of Care Certification process, building authentic partnerships with organizations seeking to comply with the necessary standards in achieving an ASAM Level of Care Certification.



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