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MARCO Certification FAQ’s

The MARCO Recovery Community Organization Certification is a process that strengthens an organization’s service to the recovery community and demonstrates its commitment to the RCO model. Our certification has five core goals:


Certification helps all organizations, whether emerging or established, strengthen the core organizational functions, systems, and processes that enable RCOs to execute their missions and serve the recovery community.


RCOs are accountable to the communities they serve. Certification promotes organizational transparency and establishes a framework for the community-based processes that uphold the RCO’s mission and purpose.


RCOs play a critical role in the continuum of care. Certification ensures they are faithful to the principles and practices that define RCOs and make them agents of long-term system change.


Certified RCOs receive recognition for their commitment to the recovery community and the quality of their services. They join a statewide network of grassroots organizations working together to strengthen recovery in Minnesota.


Certification helps RCOs build financial operations, develop programs, connect to resources, and gain knowledge that strengthens their long-term sustainability to keep delivering critical services into the future.

The RCO certification is a 5-step process which includes:

1. Self Assessment

2. Application Prep

3. Application

4. Application Review

5. Certification


At this time, there is no cost to organizations to go through the MARCO certification process. MARCO is funded through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, which makes it possible for us to provide this service to the recovery community free of charge.

The length of the process varies depending on organizational readiness. The time between the self-assessment and application submission is up to your organization. If you are missing key pieces of RCO infrastructure, it may take a substantial length of time before you are ready to apply. If you are an experienced RCO, you should be able to prepare your application materials fairly quickly.
Once you submit your application, it will take 2 to 4 months to complete the application review, site visit, and final RCO certification determination.
MARCO’s certification process is designed specifically for organizations located in Minnesota. Additionally, organizations located in Minnesota and elsewhere may be certified through Faces and Voices of Recovery, a national organization that has been setting standards and best practices for Recovery Community Organizations since 2001. 
Certification through either MARCO or ARCO is required for RCOs to be eligible vendors of peer recovery support services per Minnesota Statute 254B.05 Subdivision 1. RCOs that have been accredited through the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS) are also eligible to be Medicaid vendors of peer recovery support services. 

There are currently two pathways to certification in Minnesota.  


MARCO: MARCO (Minnesota Alliance for Recovery Community Organizations) certification is offered free of charge to organizations interested in certification in the state of Minnesota.


FAVOR: FAVOR (Faces and Voices of Recovery) certification is a fee-based program offered to organizations nation-wide.



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