Accreditation Application & Survey Procedures


To be eligible for the NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Accreditation, a program must: 

  • Be located in North America 
  • Provide assessment and/or treatment and/or support services for individuals with dual diagnosis (intellectual/developmental disability and mental illness — IDD/MI)
  • Have a NADD organizational membership
  • *At least 10% of clinical staff (e.g. MD, PhD, therapist, RN) must be NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Certifed Clinicians
  • *At least 10% of the staff who would be eligible for NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Specialist Certification must have NADD certification
  • *At least 10% of direct care staff must be NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Certified DSPs

* For the initial application for accreditation, NADD is waiving the requirement that ten (10%) percent of the staff of the program be NADD Certified Clinicians, Specialists, and Direct Support Professionals.  By the end of the initial accreditation period, 10% of Clinical, Specialist, and Direct Support Professional staff must have NADD certification.

Certified Clinical Professionals include: Clinicians with one of the following state/provincial licenses: Psychologist (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.), Physician/Psychiatrist (M.D. or D.O.) Behavior Analyst (either state licensed or governing body recognition) Social Worker (MSW, DSW), Professional Counselor, Physicians Assistant, Advanced Practice Nurses. The 10% Certification of Clinical staff is required by the time that the program re-applies for Accreditation.

Specialists Certification includes but not limited to: staff working in units of county, state or provincial government, QIDP, nurses, program directors, program supervisors, case/care managers, program specialists, supports coordinators, peer specialists and trainers. Professionals may present a Master’s level degree in a related field with one year experience, a Bachelor’s level degree in a related field with 2 years experience or 60 credit hours in the field of ID or Mental health and 3 years of related experience. This can include volunteerships, internships and externships. The 10% Certification of Specialists is required by the time that the program re-applies for Accreditation.

Direct Support Professionals (DSP), are direct support staff : (1) worked as a DSP in the developmental disability or mental health field for at least one calendar year and must have completed 1000 hours of direct support work; (2) must be an employee in good standing; and (3) must sign Code of Ethics. The 10% Certification of DSP staff is required by the time that the program re-applies for Accreditation.


Organizations/programs seeking accreditation begin the process by submitting an application, together with an application fee of $500 to the NADD office.

The application provides basic information about the organization/program including contact information, number of individuals served, number of individuals with a dual diagnosis served, the age level of those individuals with a dual diagnosis who are served, the types of services offered, and number of clinical and direct care staff who provide services to individuals with a dual diagnosis.

Once received, the application is reviewed in the NADD office to confirm that this is an appropriate request for review and consideration for a NADD accreditation, and to estimate the amount of surveyor time that will be required to complete the review. Provided that the program meets requirements to seek accreditation, a survey will be scheduled.

Components of Accreditation Survey

The Accreditation Survey includes: (1) interviews, (2) records review, and (3) policy and procedure review. The NADD surveyor(s) will have face to face interviews with treatment team members, other staff involved in treatment of the individual, and program administrators. The NADD surveyors will complete a records review and interview of the treatment team members on specific cases to ensure clear documentation that reflects the individualized goals of treatment plan as well as direct observation of the staff and persons receiving services. The NADD surveyor(s) will review and assess whether the policies, procedures, and practices reflect the best practice as established by the NADD certification.

Evaluation of Meeting Best Practice Standards

For each Competency Area that has been identified for review, and for the standards considered within each Competency Area, the accreditation surveyor will assign a value according the following rubric:

0 = No evidence of meeting minimal best practice standards

1 = Some evidences (verbal, written, observation) in meeting minimal best practice standards

2 = Significant evidences (written, standards, protocols, observation) in meeting minimal best practice standards

3 = Evidence/support (written, standards, protocols, observation) exceeds best practice standards

N/A – Non-Applicable – Area, item does not apply

Consultation/Exit Conference

One way that NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Accreditation differs from almost all other accreditation programs is the inclusion of a consultation component. Through their expertise, NADD surveyors are not only able to identify areas that are in need of improvement, but they are also able to offer concrete suggestions about how to improve the program. The consultation component takes place on site during the course of the survey.

Upon completion of the accreditation survey, the surveyor(s) will meet with management of the program for a consultation/exit conference in order to provide feedback regarding the strengths of the program, as well as to identify areas for improvement, and to offer suggestions and consultation.

Accreditation Decisions

After completion of the accreditation survey, NADD will make a determination about granting accreditation. The decision may be to grant accreditation for three years, two years, one year (provisional accreditation), or to deny accreditation. Programs which receive accreditation or provisional accreditation will receive a certificate.

Three Year Accreditation: 

A 3-year Accreditation is awarded to Programs that meet or exceed the NADD accreditation standards for support for people with Dual Diagnosis (IDD/MI) and additionally demonstrate that they meet or exceed standards in the critical module areas, if appropriate to the program being surveyed, including; (1) Medication Evaluation, (2) Holistic and Individualized approaches, (3) Protocols for Diagnosis, (4) Treatment Planning, (5) Crisis Management and (6) Evidenced Based Treatment Practices.

Two Year Accreditation:

A 2-year Accreditation is awarded to Programs that meet the NADD accreditation standards for support for people with Dual Diagnosis (IDD/MI). To receive a 2 year accreditation, the Program must demonstrate substantial compliance with Best Practice standards.

One Year / Provisional:

A 1-year Certification is awarded to programs who score below NADD accreditation standards.

Non Accreditation:

A Program will not receive NADD Accreditation if the mission, values, treatment and services of the Program directly interferes with the health, safety, welfare and rights of the individual being served.

Quality Improvement Plan

In line with the NADD IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis Accreditation Program’s commitment to ongoing and continual improvement of services to individuals with a dual diagnosis, after receipt of the accreditation decision the program is expected to submit a Quality Improvement Plan identifying what steps it has or will take to improve any weaknesses identified in the survey. The Quality Improvement Plan should be submitted by the program within 45 days of receipt of accreditation decision and written report.