How to Apply

NARR Standards and Code of Ethics

The National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) sets national fidelity standards for recovery residences by curating best practices from across the United States. NARR’s Standards Committee continues to review and periodically publishes new versions of the standard to reflect the growing knowledge base and in response to the evolving marketplace. The current version of the NARR standards can be found here.

Through this process, NARR has identified 4 distinct types of recovery residences, known as the 4 Levels of Support. One level is not better than another, rather they collectively map a continuum of support that cost effectively meets individuals’ needs as they move through a nonlinear recovery process.

Based on the standards, NARR licenses a certification program to designated state affiliate organizations, such as CTARR.

**CTARR does not inspect nor certify level 4 recovery residences.

Why certification?

Recovery residence certification

  1. Empowers individual, family, referral agent and funder choices by distinguishing certified recovery residences
  2. Promotes resident’s rights with a grievance process
  3. Informs community-wide asset mapping and recovery-oriented system of care strategic planning
  4. Offers providers a blueprint to best practices and the ability to legitimize themselves in the marketplace
  5. Membership meetings and activities
  6. Training and Support

Step 1: Familiarize yourself and prepare

NARR standards  [pdf] The National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) has and continues to curate best practices, which is the basis for the quality standards. Recovery housing can be traced back to the 1840s, and today, they can be found across the US. Starting in the 1950s/60s, the Association of Halfway House Alcoholism Programs (AHHAP) formed to promote quality. In the 1970s and 80s, regional provider organizations began forming to create regional and state standards and certification programs. Fast forward to 2011, NARR formed and developed a national standard with the input of representatives from 15 different states. In 2013, NARR and AHHAP merged, making NARR the largest and oldest organization of its kind. The NARR standards represent the collective wisdom from across the US and across time. In 2018, a major revision of the standard was ratified and published on the Narr website: NARR_Standard_V.3.0_release_11-2018.

Levels of Support  With its national perspective, NARR developed a standardized framework inclusive of four different types of recovery residences, known as levels of support.

Myth buster – The Levels are not a rating system. One type or level of support is not better than another. From the standard, you can see that they all share many traits in common. They differ in the type and intensity of services and supports that they provide in order to match the diverse and changing needs of priority population. Even within a Level of Support, there is a great deal of program diversity, quality and price. 

Different standards for different Levels – [NARR_Standard_V.3.0_release_11-2018] As you familiarize yourself with the NARR standards, you will notice that some of the standards only apply to specific Levels of Support. Use the standard to cross reference and determine which standards apply to the Level of Support you provide.

What Level am I?  This is one of the most common questions that providers ask. Categorizing your recovery residence into a Level of Support is based on a number of variables that are rooted in the standards. CTARR will officially categorize a recovery residence’s Level of Support based on the information submitted in the application and/or through follow-up interviews. If a provider disagrees with their Levels classification, a formal peer review process will be provided.

Document Checklist The certification process is not difficult, but it is very detailed. You should familiarize yourself with the application.

Step 2: Submit Application and Payment

Online Application

To streamline the process, CTARR has broken the certification application down into sections:

Online application can be found here

How often does certification occur?

As per NARR’s guidelines, CTARR certifies annually.

How much certification cost?

Annual CTARR certification is $300 + $1 per unit (bed) capacity + $100 onsite inspection. If an organization has multiple properties each house must be inspected. An additional $100 for onsite inspection (per residence)

This base price includes:

  • Reviewing a Section 1 application (one per provider)
  • Reviewing a single Section 2 application (one per Level of Support)
  • Onsite inspection of one dwelling.
  • Processing grievances that are elevated to the State Affiliate Level
  • Posting the provider on the CTARR website

NOTE: Certification is all or none. A provider must certify all eligible recovery residences, meaning a provider cannot certify a “flagship” property while operating their remaining recovery homes below the national standard. If a provider operates other types of properties, such as an assisted living home, the “all or none” rule does not apply the houses that are not recovery residences. If a provider operates an intensive residential treatment program, the licensed treatment center would not have to be certified as a recovery residence as long as it does not advertise itself as a recovery residence (e.g. Level 4). CTARR does not certify level 4 residences. These are licensed by the state of Connecticut

Step 3: Application Review and Phone Interview

Once CTARR receives payment, we will begin reviewing the application against the NARR standards. Please refer to the CTARR Application Checklist. Follow-up emails or phone calls may be needed to get clarification on specific information. Once the review process has been completed, CTARR will email the provider with the results, including any standard deficits, concerns or recommendations as well as the Level of Support determination.

Step 4: Onsite Inspection

Onsite inspections of each residential dwelling are conducted once a year. There are certain portions of the NARR standard that are specific to each residence and can only be evaluated in person and on-site. It is highly recommended that a provider reviews the onsite application process prior to the site visit to avoid failing the inspection and having to pay for another onsite visit.

Inspections are conducted by Inspectors trained and designated by CTARR to conduct the On-site Inspections. Scheduling an inspection will be based on availability and minimizing cost.

CTARR will email the provider a copy of the On-site Inspection with any deficits, concerns and recommendations.

Step 5: Issue Certification

Once a provider has met all the standard requirements of a Level of Support, based on data collected from the online application, on-site inspection and if needed, follow-up documentation, a certification will be emailed to the provider and they will be listed on CTrecoveryresidences.org


Step 6: Recertify

  • Certifications are valid for one year, meaning providers must be re-certified every year (annually)
  • CTARR will send out a reminder prior for inspection review