Skip to main content

Standards & Accreditation

ABI Clubhouse Standards and Philosophy

All acquired brain injury (ABI) clubhouse programs are required to follow a set of standards developed by the International Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance.  These standards are modeled off of the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) standards that have been successfully utilized by mental health clubhouses for over 50 years. ABI clubhouse standards have been modified with the consent of ICCD to reflect the differences that exist between the disabilities of mental illness and brain injury.

These standards serve as a "Bill of Rights" for members and a code of ethics for staff and organizations running ABI clubhouse. These standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.


Approved by Consensus at IBICA 5th Annual Meeting August 2008

The International Standards for Clubhouse programs, a consensual agreement by the worldwide Clubhouse community, define the Clubhouse Model of rehabilitation.  The principles expressed in these Standards are at the heart of the acquired brain injury Clubhouse community's success in helping people with brain injury to achieve social, financial and vocational goals.  The Standards also serve as a "bill or rights" for members and a code of ethics for staff, board, and administrators.  The Standards insist that a Clubhouse is a place that offers respect and opportunity to its members.

The Standards provide the basis for assessing Clubhouse quality, through the international Brain Injury Clubhouse Alliance (IBICA).  Every two years the worldwide Clubhouse community reviews these Standards and amends them as deemed.


  1. Membership is voluntary and without time limits.
  2. The Clubhouse has control over its acceptance of new members. Membership is open to anyone with a history of TBI, unless that person poses a significant and current threat to the general safety of the Clubhouse community.
  3. Members choose the way they utilize the Clubhouse, and the staff with whom they work. 
  4. All members have equal access to every Clubhouse opportunity.
  5. Members at their choice are involved in the writing of all records reflecting their participation in the Clubhouse. All such records are to be signed by both member and staff.
  6. Members have a right to immediate re-entry into the Clubhouse community after any length of absence, unless their return poses a threat to the Clubhouse community. 
  7. The Clubhouse provides an effective reach out system to members who are not attending, becoming isolated in the community or hospitalized. 


  1. All Clubhouse meetings are open to bot members and staff. There are no formal member only meetings or formal staff only meetings where program decisions are made.
  2. Clubhouse staff are sufficient to engage the membership, yet few enough to make carrying out their responsibilities impossible without member involvement.
  3. Clubhouse staff have generalist roles. All staff share employment, housing, evening and weekend, holiday and unit responsibilities. Clubhouse staff does not divide their time between Clubhouse and other major work responsibilities.
  4. Responsibility for the operation of the Clubhouse lies with the members and staff and ultimately with the Clubhouse director. Central to this responsibility is the engagement of members and staff in all aspects of Clubhouse operation.


  1. The Clubhouse has its own identity, including its own name, mailing address, and telephone number. 
  2. The Clubhouse is located in its own physical space. It is separate from any other rehabilitation program and is impermeable to other programs. The Clubhouse is designed to facilitate the work-ordered day and at the same time be attractive, adequate in size, and convey a sense of respect and dignity. 
  3.  All Clubhouse space is member and staff accessible. There are no staff only or member only spaces.
  4. The work-ordered day engages members and staff together, side-by-side, in the running of the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse focuses on strengths, talents and abilities; therefore, the work-ordered day must not include day treatment of therapy programs within the Clubhouse. 
  5. The work done in the Clubhouse is exclusively the work generated by the Clubhouse in the operation and enhancement of the Clubhouse community.  No work for outside individuals or agencies, whether for pay or not, is acceptable work in the Clubhouse. Members are not paid for any Clubhouse work, nor are there any artificial reward systems.
  6. The Clubhouse is open at least five days a week. The work-ordered day parallels typical working hours.
  7. The Clubhouse is organized into one or more work units, each of which has sufficient staff, members and meaningful work to sustain a full and engaging work-ordered day. Unit meetings are held to foster relationships as well as to organize and plan the work of the day.
  8. All work in the Clubhouse is designed to help members regain self-worth, purpose and confidence; it is not intended to be job specific training.
  9. Members have the opportunity to participate in all the work of the Clubhouse, including administration, research, intake and orientation, reach out, hiring, training and evaluation of staff, public relation, advocacy and evaluation of Clubhouse effectiveness.


  1. The Clubhouse enables its members to return to paid work through Transitional Employment and Independent Employment. The Clubhouse assists and supports members to secure, sustain and subsequently, to better their employment. The Clubhouse also assists in supporting members to secure volunteer and other means of productive activities in their community.
  2. Members who are working independently continue to have available Clubhouse support and opportunities including advocacy for benefits and assistance with housing, health and rehabilitative services, legal, financial and personal issues, as well as participation in evening and weekend programs. 


  1. The Clubhouse assists members to further their vocational and educational goals by helping them take advantage of adult education opportunities in the community. When the Clubhouse provides in-house educational programs, it significantly utilizes the teaching and tutoring skills of members.

Functions of the House

  1. The Clubhouse is located in an area where access to local transportation can be assured in terms of getting to and from the program. The Clubhouse either provides or arranges for effective alternatives whenever access to public transportation is limited.
  2. Community support services are provided by members and staff of the Clubhouse. Community support activities are centered in the work unit structure of the Clubhouse. They include helping with benefits, personal support, transportation, housing, and advocacy, promoting healthy lifestyles as well as assistance in finding needed community resources.
  3. The Clubhouse conducts an objective evaluation of its effectiveness on a regular basis.
  4. The Clubhouse has recreational and social programs during evenings and on weekends.
  5. The Clubhouse is committed to ensuring safe, decent and affordable housing for all members.

Funding, Governance and Administration

  1. The Clubhouse has an independent board of directors, or if it is affiliated with a sponsoring agency, has a separate advisory board comprised of individuals uniquely positioned to provide financial, legal, legislative, consumer and community support and advocacy for the Clubhouse.
  2. The Clubhouse develops and maintains its own budget, approved by the board or advisory board prior to the beginning of the fiscal year and monitored routinely during the fiscal year. 
  3. Staff salaries are competitive comparable positions in the social resources field.
  4. The Clubhouse has the support of appropriate authorities and all necessary licenses and accreditations. The Clubhouse collaborates with people and organizations that can increase its effectiveness in the broader community.
  5. The Clubhouse holds open forums and has procedures which enable members and staff to actively participate in decision making, generally by consensus, regarding governance, policy making, and the future direction and development of the Clubhouse.

CARF Accreditation

ADAPT Clubhouse is a CARF accredited program of Brain Injury Services. CARF certification is an objective measure of a variety of fundamental assets organizations like ours should have - including such basics as having effective leadership, employee safety programs, and many other critical processes and resources. It represents our commitment to continually improve our services and meet high standards in service delivery.

Powered by Firespring