Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Customer Rights (MIL-CR) 1: Protection of Rights and Ethical Obligations

The MFR program protects the rights of all customers by:

  1. informing customers of their rights and responsibilities;
  2. providing fair and equitable treatment; and
  3. providing customers with sufficient information to make an informed choice about using the MFR program and its resources.


2020 Edition

Currently viewing: CUSTOMER RIGHTS (MIL-CR)



The rights and dignity of customers are respected throughout the MFR program.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the programs’ practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality or overall performance.  
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance 
A rating of (2) indicates that a programs’ infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  Minor inconsistencies and practices that are not fully developed are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or overall performance.
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that significant aspects of the programs’ observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement. The program has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part(s) of this framework. Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised. Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all. The programs’ observed administration and management infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.

Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Description of resources available to the MFR program to accommodate the needs and abilities of customers (MIL-CR 1.08, MIL-CR 1.09)
  • Procedures for resolving complaints at the local level (MIL-CR 1.13)
  • Procedures for providing customers with a written summary of their rights and responsibilities (MIL-CR 1.01)
  • Policy and related procedures for providing services to minors without the consent of the parent or legal guardian (MIL-CR 1.05)
  • Procedures governing access to customer files (MIL-CR 1.11, MIL-CR 1.12)
  • Complaint reports for the two most recent quarters (MIL-CR 1.13)

MIL-CR 1.01

Customers have appropriate access to a written summary of their rights and responsibilities, that includes:

  1. a description of their rights, including the obligations the MFR program has to the customer and limits on confidentiality;
  2. basic expectations for use of the MFR program’s services;
  3. hours that services are available;
  4. rules, expectations, and other factors that can result in discharge or termination of services; and
  5. a clear explanation of how to lodge complaints, grievances, or appeals.
Related Standards:


The way the MFR program provides appropriate access to this document will vary given the program design or service modality. Examples include posting a copy, providing an electronic copy via email or on a Website, or providing a hard copy to the customer during an in-person meeting. 


When working with customers who have been deemed incapacitated by the court, the depth or content of information provided may vary based on the individual’s assessed capacity to understand the information, the court order, and state law.

MIL-CR 1.02

A written summary of customer rights and their responsibilities is posted in the reception areas of all service delivery locations.

Note: This standard does not apply to services provided over the phone or online.

Note: For more information on which of COA’s standards will be included as part of the Peer Review Team’s facility observation, please see the following tool: Facility Observation Checklist - MFR.

MIL-CR 1.03

A privacy policy is posted on the MFR program’s Website to inform Website visitors about:
  1. what information is being collected; and
  2. how that information is being gathered, used, shared, and protected.
Related Standards:
NA MFR program information is included as part of the installation’s or command’s Website.

MIL-CR 1.04

When using third-party Websites or applications to interact with or provide information to its customers, the MFR program informs Website visitors that activity on third-party websites and applications is subject to third-party privacy and/or data policies, which may override the MFR program’s own privacy policy.
NA The MFR program does not use third-party Websites or applications to interact with or provide information to its customers.
Note: This standard is not intended to apply when installation or command Websites are used to interact with or provide information to MFR program customers. For MIL-CR 1.04, third-party Websites are those operated by non-DoD entities.

MIL-CR 1.05

The MFR program states in writing circumstances under which it will serve minors without consent from a parent or legal guardian, and provides this information upon request.

NA The MFR program does not serve minors without consent from a parent or legal guardian.

MIL-CR 1.06

Customers are informed of their responsibility to provide relevant information as a basis for receiving services and participating in service decisions.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-CR 1.07

Customers have the right to fair and equitable treatment including:

  1. the right to receive services in a non-discriminatory, culturally responsive, and affirming manner; 
  2. the consistent enforcement of MFR program rules and expectations; and
  3. equal access when requesting and receiving services. 
Related Standards:

MIL-CR 1.08

The MFR program accommodates the language needs of customers by:

  1. communicating, in writing and orally, in the languages of the major population groups served; and
  2. providing, or arranging for, bilingual staff or translators or arranging for the use of communication technology, as needed.
Related Standards:


Accessing translation services available through Military OneSource is one way of demonstrating implementation of element (b).

Fundamental Practice

MIL-CR 1.09

The MFR program designs and adapts its services, as appropriate, to accommodate the visual, auditory, linguistic, and motor abilities of its customers.


Examples of ways the MFR program can adapt its services to accommodate the abilities of its customers include providing telephone amplification, sign language services, or other communication methods for deaf or hard of hearing persons; providing, or arranging for, communication assistance for persons with special needs who have difficulty making their service needs known; and adapting informational materials to match various literacy levels.

Fundamental Practice

MIL-CR 1.10

Customers, and a parent or legal guardian when applicable, participate in all service decisions and have the right to:

  1. request a review of the services they have received;
  2. refuse any service or treatment unless mandated by law, court order, or lawful order of a commander; and
  3. be informed about the consequences of such refusal, which can include military disciplinary procedures.


MIL-CR 1.11

Customers have a right to review and, when desired, add a statement to their files in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and:

  1. reviews are conducted in the presence of professional staff on the MFR program’s premises;
  2. reviews are carried out in a manner that protects the confidentiality of family members and others whose information may be contained in the record;
  3. any response by staff to customer additions is added with the customer’s knowledge; and
  4. the customer is given the opportunity to review and comment on such staff responses.


One example of how the MFR program can safely grant customers access to their electronic customer files is by printing the contents of the file.


Fundamental Practice

MIL-CR 1.12

When the MFR program determines, based on consistent and objective criteria, that it would be harmful for a customer to review his or her file, and it has been determined that applicable law permits limiting the customer’s access to their record, then:
  1. the MFR program director reviews, approves in writing, and enters into the file the reasons for refusal; and
  2. procedures permit a qualified professional to review records on behalf of customers, provided the professional signs a statement that information determined to be harmful will be withheld.

MIL-CR 1.13

The MFR program implements a local process through which customers and other stakeholders can express and resolve complaints at the local level, which includes:
  1. the right to make a complaint without interference or retaliation;
  2. timely written notification of the resolution and an explanation of any further appeal rights or recourse, including their right to file a formal grievance with oversight entities; and
  3. at least one level of review that does not involve the person about whom the complaint has been made or the person who reached the decision under review.


Given the severity of the complaint, local action may be limited to informing the customer of how to initiate the formal grievance process with oversight entities.