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Starting July 1, 2024, The Joint Commission approved a set of fresh and updated workplace violence prevention criteria, applicable to all Behavioral Health Care and Human Services (BHC & HS) organizations accredited by the Joint Commission.

Three new and one revised workplace violence prevention requirements outlined in the December 20, 2023 Prepublication Requirements will apply to all BHC accredited organizations. These revamped criteria offer BHC & HS organizations a structured roadmap for crafting robust workplace violence prevention strategies. They encompass the following key aspects:

  1. Precise Definition: Inclusion of a formal definition in the Glossary to clearly delineate workplace violence.
  2. Leadership Oversight: Establishing guidelines for leadership to take charge of the prevention efforts.
  3. Worksite Analysis Procedures: The development of comprehensive processes for analyzing the worksite’s vulnerability to violence.
  4. Policy and Procedure Formulation: Crafting effective policies and procedures aimed at averting workplace violence.
  5. Reporting Mechanisms: Implementation of systems for reporting, collecting data, and conducting in-depth analysis.
  6. Post-Incident Strategies: Initiating strategies for responding to incidents that have occurred.
  7. Training and Education: Providing training and educational resources to reduce instances of workplace violence.


The number of workplace violence incidents within Behavioral Health Care (BHC & HS) settings surged in recent years, reaching alarming levels. Linked to burnout and severe staff shortages in the healthcare sector, this escalation in violence exacerbates the critical mental health crisis among behavioral workers. To combat this concerning trend, The Joint Commission introduced comprehensive and updated requirements aimed at empowering BHC & HS organizations to fortify their existing workplace violence prevention measures while developing new ones. The Joint Commission R3 Report outlines the rationale and references for these requirements.

New Definition

In conjunction with the updated requirements, the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Behavioral Health Care and Human Services (CAMBHC) Glossary has been expanded to incorporate a precise definition of workplace violence:

“An act or threat occurring at the workplace that can include any of the following: verbal, nonverbal, written, or physical aggression; threatening, intimidating, harassing, or humiliating words or actions; bullying; sabotage; sexual harassment; physical assaults; or other behaviors of concern involving staff, licensed practitioners, patients, or visitors.”

New and Updated BHC Standards

  • NEW EC.02.01.01 EP 17:  The organization has an annual worksite analysis related to its workplace violence program
  • UPDATED EC.04.01.01 EP 1:  The organization has a process that includes continually monitoring safety and security incidents related to workplace violence
  • NEW HRM.01.05.01 EP 17:  The organization provides education, training and resources related to the workplace violence prevention program upon hire, annually and upon changes 
  • NEW LD.03.01.01 EP 9:  The organization’s workplace violence program has a designated leader and a multidisciplinary team

Get Started Now

Compliance with these new and updated standards is imperative with a mandatory deadline of July 1, 2024. Meet this deadline by taking these steps today.

  • Designate a Workplace Violence Prevention Program team leader and multidisciplinary team members.
  • Develop a new worksite analysis or review and update your existing one.
  • Ensure that your workplace violence prevention program incorporates mechanisms for ongoing monitoring of safety and security incidents affecting clients, visitors, and staff in relation to workplace violence.
  • Implement initiatives to provide education, training, and resources that foster a culture of safety and quality across your organization, with a particular focus on workplace violence prevention.

By promptly taking these initial steps, your organization will be well on its way to meeting the compliance deadline while creating a safer and more secure environment for all stakeholders.

Barrins & Associates Consultation

We’ll be sure to update our clients on this change when we do our 2024 Mock Surveys and Customized Survey Preparation.

As always, we stand ready to support your ongoing survey readiness and best practices for regulatory compliance.