A preferred provider is an organization that has attained a certificate from the Department of Health and has an existing contract or grant from the Department to provide treatment for substance use disorder.

Substance Use Disorder Treatment Certification Rule

The Substance Use Disorder Treatment Certification Rule provides certification and operational requirements for Vermont Department of Health approved and preferred providers.

Preferred Providers - Substance Use Disorder Treatment Standards are the procedural guidelines of practice for all DSU-funded substance use disorder treatment services in Vermont.

The Compliance Assessment Tool (CAT) is used during site visits to determine a Preferred Provider’s level of certification compliance by:

  • Providing transparency about the Preferred Provider's compliance status;
  • Highlighting areas that require action or emphasis; and
  • Evaluating the level and type of technical assistance needs.

Certification Process

Certification requires site visits to DSU-funded programs providing substance use disorder treatment to assess program compliance with Substance Use Disorder Treatment Standards.

Quality Improvement

There are several approaches and models for implementing continuous quality improvement, which can be applied to substance use disorder treatment providers, in addition to a variety of other settings. The Process Improvement Model of continuous quality improvement uses the Plan, Do, Study and Act (PDSA) cycle.

Each step of the PDSA cycle involves activities that give you opportunities to involve your staff, include your clients, and ensure a relevant, achievable and successful improvement process.


  • Identify one specific area for improvement at a time.
  • Decide on which strategy to use for that specific area of improvement.


  • Implement the planned change in your treatment setting (often on a pilot basis).


  • Assess the effects, both positive and negative.


  • Expand implementation if the effort is successful.
  • Consider other strategies if the effort is unsuccessful.
  • Once this problem has been successfully addressed, identify another area or strategy for improvement.
Contact Us
Substance Use Programs (DSU)

Vermont Department of Health
280 State Street
Waterbury, VT 05671-8340